The Russian Revolution: A New History by Sean McMeekin

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In The Russian Revolution, historian Sean McMeekin traces the origins and events of the Russian Revolution, which ended Romanov rule, ushered the Bolsheviks into power, and changed the course of world history. Between 1900 and 1920, Russia underwent a complete and irreversible transformation: by the end of these two decades, a new regime was in place, the economy had collapsed, and over 20 million Russians had died during the revolution and what followed. Still, Bolshevik power remained intact due to a remarkable combination of military prowess, violent terror tactics, and the failures of their opposition. And as McMeekin shows, Russia's revolutionaries were aided at nearly every step by countries like Germany and Sweden who sought to benefit—politically and economically—from the chaotic changes overtaking the country.

The first comprehensive history of these momentous events in a decade, The Russian Revolution combines cutting-edge scholarship and a fast-paced narrative to shed new light on a great turning point of the twentieth century.

Title : The Russian Revolution: A New History
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0465039901
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 496 pages


Liviu rated it ★★★★★

June 15, 2017

shorter than I expected (there are 150 pages of notes, references etc) but captivating like a page turner novel; the main thrust (argued well) is how preparing for 1917, Russia was actually very well positioned to defeat the Central powers who were the ones on the verge of meltdown, but a weak Ts...

Mark rated it ★★★★☆

October 03, 2017

The author, Bard College professor Sean McMeekin, is certainly an authority on the Russian Revolution surrounding World War I. I was not able to fully absorb the abundance of facts and material, which I found overwhelming and a bit dry at times, but I did comprehend an overview. The revolution ha...

Marks54 rated it ★★★★☆

August 22, 2017

Sean McMeekin is a wonderful historian. His recent books on the run up to WW1 and the end of the Ottoman Empire are really well done. In his most recent book, he presents a "new history" of the Russian Revolution to take advantage of the opening up of state archives following 1990. His intent is...

Jimmit rated it ★★☆☆☆

August 24, 2017

Although I am not an expert on the subject, I don't think the book portrays Lenin's role objectively. It does provide a good summary of events that led to and followed the October revolution but seems to have been written with an agenda in mind. Does not seem to be a reliable source of informatio...

Barry rated it ★★★☆☆

August 22, 2017

A little dry, but very informative. The author does not try to minimize or justify the atrocities committed during this bloody revolution. From the epilogue: "If the last hundred years teaches us anything, it is that we should stiffen our defenses and resist armed prophets promising social perfect...

Jeff rated it ★★☆☆☆

July 26, 2017

Always interested in Russian history it seems that the period of the last thirty years of the tsars is the single hardest area to find a strong narrative of. The period is rife with history but the fact that there were so many different figures and groups that were involved makes it not a linear...

Chad rated it ★★★★☆

July 26, 2017

McMeekin argues effectively that the Bolsheviks were fortunate in their enemies. They benefitted greatly from the gross incompetence of their domestic political foes as well as the Entente Powers who, with the notable exception of France, took actions that aided the Bolshevik cause. In the case o...

Barry rated it ★★★☆☆

July 22, 2017

I can not recommend this book to the general reader. I seems that McMeekin has decided to go against the prevailing views about the Russian Revolution and conjure up his own interpretation of the events and their significance. His major theme is that the Bolsheviks won the revolution because they...

victor rated it ★★☆☆☆

July 04, 2017

Entertains an interesting thesis that Russia was not in as bad a shape in 1916-17 as most accounts imply and that the collapse of the Romanov Dynasty and ascent of the radicals was not a foregone conclusion. The author quite properly shows sufficient evidence to make the case that the bulk of the...

Russell rated it ★☆☆☆☆

July 14, 2017

What I learned from McMeekin: Lenin and the Bolsheviks worked for the Germans. The tsar wasn't too bad (but he did get bad advice at critical junctures). Kornilov and Denikin were good, patriotic Russians who would've probably done a fine job running the country. The Bolshevik "coup" was easily a...

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