The Historiography of the Russian Revolution 100 Years On

  title={The Historiography of the Russian Revolution 100 Years On},
  author={Steve Smith},
  journal={Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History},
  pages={733 - 749}
  • Steve Smith
  • Published 2015
  • History
  • Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History
As we edge toward the centenary of the Russian Revolution, it is a good time to ask how recent historiography is shaping our understanding of that momentous event. Our times are not especially friendly to the idea of revolution. In the West, the scope of politics has narrowed since the 1970s with the onset of neoliberalism, the collapse of communism, the upsurge in concern for human rights, and the boundaries of politics defined by free markets, good governance, and individual rights. Talk of… Expand
The Centenary of the Russian Revolution Came and Went: What Next?
Major anniversaries of defining moments in history provide unique opportunities for governments, historians, and the public to revisit popular narratives, often resulting in their revision,Expand
The ‘lessons’ of 1917
So far this year, the response to the centenary of 1917 in Russia has been underwhelming. Faced with an event that does not fit neatly into the positive, patriotic and unifying version of RussianExpand
Violence to Velvet: Revolutions—1917 to 2017
From their inception, the 1917 Russian Revolutions, specifically the October Revolution, have been synonymous with Bolshevik violence. In the course of the last century, almost all observers haveExpand
Celebrating (or Not) The Russian Revolution
The Russian Revolution has long been a subject of controversy among Russian/Soviet historians, both in the West and Russia/the Soviet Union. Now that the centenary has arrived, conferences are beingExpand
Contemporary Russian Scholarship on the February Revolution in Petrograd: Some Centenary Observations
Given the remarkable endurance and central position the spontaneity–leadership question occupies in the centenary discourse, this article examines how this question shaped the development ofExpand
Rethinking Resistance as an Act of Improvisation: Lessons from the 1914 Christmas Truce
We examine the historical phenomenon of truces, as these occurred during a period of intense warfare during World War I, around Christmas 1914. These were processes of resistance that could not haveExpand
Democratic Support for the Bolshevik Revolution: An Empirical Investigation of 1917 Constituent Assembly Elections
We analyse the stability of democracy in agrarian societies by exploring cross-district variation in Russian citizens’ preferences in 1917 Constituent Assembly elections. After plurality eluded theExpand


Writing the history of the Russian revolution after the fall of communism
A CHINESE PROVERB speaks of 'hurling a brick in order to attract jade'. The present article is written in that spirit: it presents its arguments boldly in the hope that it will provoke lively andExpand
Interpreting the Russian Revolution: The Language and Symbols of 1917
This is the first book in any language to offer a comprehensive analysis of the political culture of the Russian Revolution. Orlando Figes and Boris Kolonitskii examine the diverse ways that languageExpand
Captives of Revolution: The Socialist Revolutionaries and the Bolshevik Dictatorship, 1918–1923
The Socialist Revolutionaries (SRs) were the largest political party in Russia in the crucial revolutionary year of 1917. Heirs to the legacy of the People s Will movement, the SRs were unabashedExpand
Violent Russia, Deadly Marxism? Russia in the Epoch of Violence, 1905-21
The events of the [Russian] revolution present us with a twofold historical aspect. First, the crisis was one of the numerous European revolutions that emerged out of the Great War.... But it wouldExpand
Provincial Landscapes: Local Dimensions of Soviet Power, 1917–1953
The closed nature of the Soviet Union, combined with the West's intellectual paradigm of Communist totalitarianism prior to the 1970s, have led to a one-dimensional view of Soviet history, both inExpand
Bandits and Partisans: The Antonov Movement in the Russian Civil War
Beginning in the fall of 1920, Aleksandr Antonov led an insurgency that became the largest armed peasant revolt against the Soviets during the civil war. Yet by the summer of 1921, the revolt hadExpand
Drafting the Russian Nation: Military Conscription, Total War, and Mass Politics, 1905-1925
How did Russia develop a modern national identity, and what role did the military play? Sanborn examines tsarist and Soviet armies of the early twentieth century to show how military conscriptionExpand
Experiencing Russia's Civil War: Politics, Society, and Revolutionary Culture in Saratov, 1917-1922
List of Illustrations ix List of Tables xi Acknowledgments xiii Glossary and Abbreviations Used in Archival Citations xvii Introduction: Experiencing Russia's Civil War 1 PART ONE: POLITICS 1.Expand
The Furies: Violence and Terror in the French and Russian Revolutions
Preface xiii Introduction 3 PART ONE CONCEPTUAL SIGNPOSTS 1. Revolution 23 2. Counterrevolution 45 3. Violence 71 4. Terror 93 5. Vengeance 126 6. Religion 141 PART TWO CRESCENDO OF VIOLENCE 7. TheExpand
Politics and the People in Revolutionary Russia: A Provincial History
1. Introduction 2. The February Revolution: whose story to believe? 3. The Socialist Revolutionary Party, and the place of party politics 4. Choosing local leaders 5. Talking to the people andExpand