1991 and the Russian Revolution: Sources, Conceptual Categories, Analytical Frameworks*

  title={1991 and the Russian Revolution: Sources, Conceptual Categories, Analytical Frameworks*},
  author={Stephen Kotkin},
  journal={The Journal of Modern History},
  pages={384 - 425}
  • S. Kotkin
  • Published 1 June 1998
  • Art
  • The Journal of Modern History
A man sets himself the task of drawing the world. As the years pass, the fills the empty space with images of provinces and kingdoms, mountains, bays, ships, islands, houses, and people. Just before he dies, he discovers that the patient labyrinth of lines traces the image of his own face. (Jorge Luis Borges) 

The Russian Revolution: Broadening Understandings of 1917

The rich historiography of the revolution has tended to focus around urban and political elites, labour history and events in Petrograd and to a lesser extent Moscow. The collapse of the Soviet Union

Documents as Weapons: The Uses of a Dictatorship’s Archives

Close to thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall Albania remains a blind spot in the literature on twentieth-century socialism. International histories of the Cold War continue to ‘de-centre’

The Tenacious Liberal Subject in Soviet Studies

American scholars of Soviet Russia have demarcated their scholarship of the 1990s as a distinct period in Soviet studies. Scholarly work set itself off from the previous academic period by the events

On Memory, Identity and War

The past was ubiquitous in South Eastern Europe in the 1990s. On the one hand, historical analogies were widely and tendentiously used by observers and participants to render comprehensible the


For nearly a century, the interpretation of Vladimir Sergeevich Solov′ev (1853–1900) has been locked in a “mythopoeic method” of the Symbolist conceit rooted in Europe-wide fin de siècle cultural

Historians As Enablers? Historiography, Imperialism, and the Legitimization of Russian Aggression

This essay raises the issue of historians’ responsibility to the communities that they study. While some purported version of history has been central to the Kremlin’s justifications for Russia’s

Archives, Documentation, and Institutions of Social Memory: Essays from the Sawyer Seminar (review)

From ancient Rome’s damnatio memoriae to George Orwell’s memory holes, from the ancient Library of Alexandria to Google’s proposed digital repository “of all books in all languages,” people have ever

Revisiting the Revisionists and Their Critics

In North-American historiography of late Imperial and early Soviet Russia, the term “revisionism” usually refers to a critique that rejected and revised the “totalitarian” interpretation of the

Stalinism as a Civilization: New Perspectives on Communist Regimes

A new line of inquiry into the history of communist regimes and the cold war has emerged. Pioneered by Stephen Kotkin and other American historians, it views Stalinism as the defining era of

Revisionism in Retrospect: A Personal View

This is a participant's account of the movement in Soviet history during the 1970s and 1980s known as “revisionism,” which Sheila Fitzpatrick understands as an iconoclastic challenge by social



The Living And The Dead: The Rise And Fall Of The Cult Of World War II In Russia

This eye-opening book shows how Communist state and party authorities stage-managed the Soviets memory of World War II, transforming a national trauma into a heroic exploit that glorified the party

Stato e industria in Unione Sovietica (1917-1953). By Andrea Graziosi. Naples: Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane, 1993. 233 pp. Index. Plates. Lit. 34.000, paper.

This volume consists of four different essays, all previously published in English or French and now collected and translated into Italian, the original language of the author. The paper "G. L.

Fashioning the Stalinist Soul: The Diary of Stepan Podlubny (1931-1939)

  • Tagebücher aus Moskau
  • 1996

See also Leonid Schapiro

  • Totalitarian Dictatorship and Democracy
  • 1956

which appeared in Russian as Bol'sheviki-iakobintsy i prizrak termidora (Moscow, 1993)

  • Itineraire des analogies
  • 1989

Of the differences between these two, one of the most salient is that Getty assigned Stalin to the moderate faction, while Rittersporn saw him as a radical. 112 For an authoritative discussion, see

  • New Left Review
  • 1991

Along with Reginald Zelnik

  • slightly enlarged in translation: La tragédie soviétique: Histoire du socialisme en Russie
  • 1994

Lewin's work combines incisive descriptions of the bureaucratic state with almost facile generalizations about Russia's "archaic" peasantry. Moshe Lewin, The Making of Soviet Society

  • Stalinism: Its Nature and Aftermath: Essays in Honour of Moshe Lewin
  • 1985

Volkogonov's study of Stalin, though tending to substitute biography for history, also breaks new ground to the extent that it highlights the war. Dmitrii Volkogonov, Stalin: Triumf i tragediia

  • abridged and trans. as Stalin: Triumph and Tragedy
  • 1991