It is my considered judgement that, had it not been for the Russian Revolution, there would very likely have been no National Socialism; probably no Second World War and no decolonization; and certainly no Cold War, which one dominated our lives. I will attempt here to distill the essence of my books The Russian Revolution and Russia Under the Bolshevik Regime by raising the three central questions addressed in those volumes: Why did tsarism fall? Why did the Bolsheviks gain power? Why did Stalin succeed Lenin?' Richard Popes, from Three Whys of the Russian Revolution. Arguably the most important event of the twentieth century, the Russian Revolution changed for ever the course of modern history. Due to the Soviet clampdown on archives regarding the Revolution, many aspects of the event have been shrouded in mystery for over seventy years. However, since the collapse of Communism the archival depositories havebeen thrown open to interested parties. The author of several groundbreaking and controversial works on Russian history, Richard Pipes has written an invaluable book for anyone who wishes to understand the complicated events taking place in Russia today.
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(216mm x 138mm x 6mm)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
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US Kirkus Review »
For those without the energy or leisure to digest Pipes's magisterial history of revolutionary Russia (Russia Under the Bolshevik Regime, 1994; The Russian Revolution, 1990), the author has distilled his arguments concerning several key questions: Why did tsarism fall? Why did the Bolsheviks triumph? Why did Stalin succeed Lenin? The book, based on lectures given at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, has a nicely colloquial feel, clarity, and vigor. At the heart of the answers to the first two questions is Pipes's assertion that, far from being the product of large, impersonal forces of history, the fall of the tsar and the rise to power of the Bolsheviks (in, he reminds us, a coup d'etat largely unsupported by the Russian people) were the result of the old regime's clear failings and Lenin's genius for manipulation and appetite for total power. Stalin succeeded Lenin, Pipes asserts, because Lenin had so successfully suppressed all elements of democracy that no alternatives were possible. There's little new here, but the volume does offer a concise and eminently straightforward summary of current research on the rise and nature of Communism in Russia. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Richard Pipes
In 1981-82 Richard Pipes served as President Reagan's National Security Council advisor on Soviet and East European affairs, and is presently the Baird Professor of History at Harvard University.