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 22 September 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… 

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,

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 Russian

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 have

12. The Russian Revolution of 1917 and the Kremlin’s Policy of Remembrance

  • J. Nielsen
  • History
    The Russian Revolutions of 1917
  • 2020
The first time I visited the Lenin Mausoleum was on an autumn day in 1971. Leaves blew over Red Square, and down in the sarcophagus Lenin was lying in dim illumination, immaculately dressed in a dark

“Mad Mongols”, Uncivilised Russians

This article examines US military reactions to violence during the Russian Civil War in the Far East (1918 - 1922). Paying close attention to US descriptions of anti-Bolshevik-perpetrated

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 being

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 of

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 have

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 the



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 and

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 language

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 unabashed

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 would

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 in

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 had

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 conscription

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.

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. The

Russia's Peasants in Revolution and Civil War: Citizenship, Identity, and the Creation of the Soviet State, 1914-1922

Introduction 1. The masses mobilized: militarization, conscription, and war in the village 2. Peasant citizens: freedom and revolution in the village 3. Peasant and nation in revolution 4. Bringing