Sociology Index

Russian Revolution of 1917

French Revolution, American Revolution, Xinhai Chinese Revolution

The Russian Revolution refers to a series of revolutions in Russia in 1917, the overthrow of Tsarist autocracy and the creation of the Soviet Union. The Russian Revolution of October 1917 marked the first large-scale attempt to fundamentally reorganize economic, social and legal life along egalitarian lines.

In the Russian Revolution or October Revolution, the Bolshevik party led by Vladimir Lenin, and the workers' Soviets, overthrew the Provisional Government in Petrograd. They seized control of the countryside. Most historical narratives of the Bolshevik Russian Revolution prioritize the role of an ideologically driven transformative agency.

The old dichotomies of anarchic organization and authoritarian centralization are much too simplistic to capture the complex dynamic that characterized the movement. The potential of workers' control for medium-term development were considerably greater than recognized by Bolshevik ideology. This paper reevaluates workers' control during and after the Russian Revolution. Rethinking the Significance of Workers' Control in the Russian Revolution
Carmen J. Sirianni, Northeastern University, Boston - Economic and Industrial Democracy, Vol. 6, No. 1, 65-91 (1985)

War, State Collapse, Redistribution: Russian Revolution Revisited - Osinsky, Pavel
Abstract: The working class, the intelligentsia, the party, Lenin, Stalin and so forth were the transformative agency in the Russian Revolution.

The Passionate Legal Debates of the Early Years of the Russian Revolution
Michael Head, University of Western Sydney - Campbelltown Campus
Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, Vol. 14, No. 1, January 2001
Abstract: In relation to legal theory and practice, the Russian revolution launched the boldest experiment of the 20th century, accompanied by passionate, free-ranging and scholarly debates.

The Russian revolution of 1905 and the Chinese intellectuals - James D. White
Published in: journal Sibirica: Journal of Siberian Studies, Volume 2, Issue 2 October 2002
Abstract: It reveals how events in Russia were refracted through the imperatives of the Chinese political situation and used to support indigenous political attitudes.

The fiscal background of the Russian revolution - Gregory M. Dempster
European Review of Economic History, 2006, vol. 10, issue 01, pages 35-50
Abstract: This article examines important aspects of the interaction between the fiscal history and political events of tsarist Russia's final years in the light of macroeconomic theories of government budget constraints.

Can We Write the History of the Russian Revolution? A Belated Response to Eric Hobsbawm
Murphy, Kevin J. - Source: Historical Materialism, Volume 15, Number 2, 2007 , pp. 3-19(17)
Abstract: This essay argues that Hobsbawm articulated a perspective on the Russian Revolution that was shared by a much wider audience on the Left after the fall of the Soviet Union. Hobsbawm's own ambivalence toward the October Russian Revolution and his lack of clarity on the origins of Stalinism are not supported by the latest empirical evidence and concede much ground to strident anti-Marxists.

The Russian Revolution and the Communist Party - Alexander Berkman
Russia was a country with a badly organised system of transportation, with a weak bourgeoisie and weak proletariat, but with a numerically strong and socially important peasant population. The possibility of blending the slogans of the Social Revolution with the popular demand for the termination of the imperialistic world war which had created dissatisfaction among the masses and the possibility of satisfying the fundamental demands of the revolutionary peasantry. The world war, by exposing the complete bankruptcy of constitutional government, served to prepare and quicken the greatest movement of the people.

Russian Revolution Bibliography:

Orlando Figes, A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution, 1891-1924 (London: Jonathan Cape, 1996 (reviewed in Pimlico edition, 1997).

Richard Pipes, The Russian Revolution (1990), xxiv + 944 (New York, Alfred A. Knopf, $40.00).

Edward Acton, William G. Rosenberg and Vladimir Iu. Cherniaev, eds., Critical Companion to the Russian Revolution 1914- 1921 (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1997).

Ronald Kowalski, The Russian Revolution, 1917–1921 (London and New York: Routledge, 1997).