This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
1917 The Russian Revolution: Reactions and Impact
Edited by David Morgan
(Socialist History Society, £6)
“DO WE really need another book on the Russian revolution?” David Morgan asks rhetorically in his preface to this publication.
The answer is “yes” if it deepens our understanding of those historical events and provides a fresh perspective and this volume of short essays by eight perceptive and challenging historians does just that.
While it must have been a severe challenge to the authors to write intelligently and with new insights, given that they have only a few pages, they rise to the challenge admirably. Succinctness can be a bonus at times.
Willie Thompson evaluates the lessons of October and their British resonance, Francis King looks at the consequences of the split in the European socialist movement as a result of the Bolshevik revolution, while Mike Makin-Waite examines the multidimensional aspects of Lenin’s thinking.
He argues forcefully against those who see Lenin as a prophet who foresaw historical developments. Lenin and his thinking have to be seen in their concrete historical context, he maintains, and demonstrates that he was much more a man responding creatively and courageously to rapidly changing contingencies than one who followed a rigid and preconceived trajectory.
Helen Boak discusses the impact of the revolution on Germany, seen by many Marxists at the time as the natural successor to Russia in the revolutionary domino sequence and Tobias Abse looks at an often neglected territory, giving valuable insights into the revolution’s impact on Italy.
Greta Sykes reveals the roles of revolutionary women poets, while John Partington emphasises the enormous significance of Clara Zetkin while Morgan, somewhat controversially, argues that Freud’s theory of psychoanalysis complemented Bolshevik political thinking.
Fascinating, highly readable and stimulating, it's a work that studiously avoids the constipated language and thinking of so many left-wing texts as well as the ongoing right-wing vituperation and dismissal of the whole revolutionary experience as a misconceived social experiment carried out by demonic fanatics.
Available from Housmans, Bookmarks and direct from the Socialist History Society, email: email@example.com
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.