2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Very refreshing synthesis of a Russian year that shook the world,
This review is from: A Brief History of 1917: Russia's Year of Revolution (Paperback)
Roy Bainton is a British journalist. He wrote a short narrative history of the Russian revolution in 1917, an excellent introduction in a very fluid style. He focused on the experience of the people, great and small, who influenced or just lived through those momentous events (mostly in Saint-Petersburg, the capital city). 1917 was a year of great suffering for the Russian people. The " First revolution", in February, that put an end to the Old autocratic Empire, unleashed huge hopes for freedom. The October " coup" of the Bolscheviks, however, crushed these hopes for at least 70 years, and inaugurated unheard of barbarism in the name of ideology "for the good of the people".
Roy Bainton used a variety of "general" sources, but most importantly, because he meant to recreate the ambiance of the times, contemporary eyewitness accounts; he also traveled several times to Saint-Petersburg in 2000 to speak to people who either had been through the events (although at the time they were still very small children)or who told the author about their parents' experiences. That would not have been possible before the 1990's. This is the first book I read about the Russian revolution but I found its approach particularly refreshing.