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Publisher's Summary

This concise, accessible introduction provides an analytical narrative of the main events and developments in Soviet Russia between 1917 and 1936. It examines the impact of the revolution on society as a whole--on different classes, ethnic groups, the army, men and women, youth. Its central concern is to understand how one structure of domination was replaced by another. The book registers the primacy of politics, but situates political developments firmly in the context of massive economic, social, and cultural change.

Since the fall of Communism there has been much reflection on the significance of the Russian Revolution. The book rejects the currently influential, liberal interpretation of the revolution in favor of one that sees it as rooted in the contradictions of a backward society which sought modernization and enlightenment and ended in political tyranny.

©2002 Oxford University Press (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Frank
  • 24-02-2012

Inaccessible ad a little scary

Would you try another book from S. A. Smith and/or Suzanne Toren?

Yes to the narrator, Toren, NO to S. A. Smith the author

What could S. A. Smith have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Not write a textbook for admirers of Communism.

Which scene was your favorite?

The scene at the end where the author sympathizes with the good intentions of Bolshevik butchers.

What character would you cut from The Russian Revolution?

Lenin, Stalin, the author?

Any additional comments?

It is quite dishearening, knowing what we know today, that the Russion Revolution shattered so many lives and convulsed and twisted a society of tens of millions into an unimaginably wretched state, that somoeone feels no compunction about writing a short history of these fateful events....from the perspective of teh perpetrators of the terror. While you read this trash, you are given little signals along the way....why is there barely any perspective of the disenfranchised, thte starved, families of the murdered?....are the bolsheviks really just responding to outside pressures the best they can?....until at the end when the author's conculsion pulls back the curtain and you find where the author's sympathies lie, with the idealists who were only trying make things better.

5 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anastasia Nahtepa
  • 13-08-2009

Well written and narrated

Being phonetically dyslextic I have studied a lot off material like this with the Open University. I can only say I wish all their material was narrated as well as this. I found it to be very interesting and informative and definitely worth the money

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • tom dixon humphreys
  • 02-05-2017

good depth but deadly boring

this is a very well written book however it is read in a monotone which makes an interesting subject dull.

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  • Mr D Kingaby
  • 11-01-2017

Great Introduction

A very good introduction to this historic event. It covers the essential elements of the revolution, and addresses what lead onto Stalinism.

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  • MR
  • 24-04-2016

Clear and neat with no frills

A clean, sharp outline of the main points without a wasted word. If you want the story in a nutshell, you've got the right book.

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  • Troy Salady
  • 16-12-2014

Useful Introductory Text

Would you listen to The Russian Revolution again? Why?

Probably not but it is meant as an introduction so you would tend to move on to more detailed works.

What did you like best about this story?

Very clear explanation of a complex period which managed to set the narrative out well, dealt with the complexities of differing ideologies and provide interesting and slightly off-beat details.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The chapter on Soviet social policy was fascinating as it showed that in many ways they were ahead of their time particularly with regard to women's place in society.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Russian Revolution for dummies