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Many have claimed that the Russian Revolution was the dawn of a new era. Now, it has almost been 100 years since the historic period occurred and was relegated as a past that no one wanted to see repeated.
For all the history fanatics who want to know about the Russian revolution so that they can get to know more about it, reading a textbook on it is the best idea. Given below are some of the best books on the Russian revolution which will enlighten you with knowledge and give you information about the that time.
7 Best Books on the Russian Revolution & Reviews
1. Six Weeks in Russia in 1919
Author: Arthur Ransome
Publisher: Faber & Faber
This book presents a stylized view of the author on his version of the Russian Revolution. When reading about the revolution, perhaps it is a given context that the reader must submit to the perception of the author. In this book, the author presents a personal account for his readers. So, they are going to find a recounting of a period of 6 weeks spent by the author in Russia.
The main focus of the book spans the human element of the resolution and less about ideologies. Thus, the first-hand account from the author seems to grab the attention of the reader from the very first few pages. In this book, the author spells out a detailed account of the political state at the time, as witnessed by him.
Speaking of the content of this book, you may not be surprised to find that it is highly domesticated. The author paints a very real and distinguishing image of all the characters in his book. So, it is not difficult for readers to make a connection with events about which he speaks in this book. He further elaborates on an account of his memories of that time and keeps his readers engaged. This book serves as a treasured historical document with immense significance.
Summary: The most unique feature of this book is its domestic angle, which is why it turns out to be so fantastic. Readers will be utterly bewildered to go through these words of timeless significance.
2. A People’s Tragedy: The Russian Revolution
Author: Orlando Figes
Publisher: Penguin Books
Surprisingly, this modern master piece of text happens to be a treasure trove of absorbing narrative and engaging writing. The superb narration of events and the author’s perception in this book makes it an illuminating textbook on the Russian Revolution since it is highly readable and contains text that was hardly available to the world for common reading until after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The author goes on to challenge the actual time when the Russian Revolution began. Instead of 1919, he claims that the revolution began long back in 1891. He goes on to say that it really ended in 1924, marked by the expiration of Lenin.
Given the particular interest of the author, the readers will not be surprised to read about the social history of the revolution. This is because he has focused his efforts in extracting the reasons behind the occurrence of the revolution. In this book, the author combines his personal narrative with multiple theses about the revolution.
The author has made a commendable effort to gather the information laid out in this book since the readers will clearly find exclusive information in this edition, perhaps originating from sources which have never been talked about before now. The author has wilfully expanded his vision to include a boggling variety of perspectives in this book. Whether it is political, literary, or military, he examines them all to collect his thoughts in this version of the Russian revolution.
Summary: Going by the number of pages in the book, it is clear why readers will find this book well detailed since the author does not hold back his visions in this crucial piece of history.
3. The Debate on Soviet Power
Author: John L. H. Keep
Publisher: Clarendon Press
Earlier, this book may not have gained enough appreciation or popularity. This is why it has mostly failed to grab the attention of the public eye. Yet, once readers pick up this piece of literary brilliance and fact filled treasure, they might find themselves unable to put it down.
As we are well aware, the revolution was a mass of the vast number of events, spread over a number of years. In all its practicality, it made it quite difficult for anyone to really debate upon its players and outcomes. The author examines the segment of the revolution which emerged from the world war I and continued to thrive beyond it. It is here that the author willfully points out how it was one of the most drastic events of the twentieth century.
The author is quick to highlight how it is almost impossible to emerge from an event of such massive scale in its entirety. This is why authors who have attempted to pen down books on the Russian Revolution have not succeeded in attracting many eyes because of the generalizations that tend to overlap such authors. So here is a book which manages to bend around one of these and outshine as a special treasure.
It includes a selection of vital meetings of the Soviet central committees and no other book ever makes a mention about them. So, this book is essential in understanding the many secrets behind the Russian Revolution.
Summary: In many ways, the readers will find this book to be the most unique on the subject matter. It is, in fact, a classic story, written by a very talented author, making this book a success.
4. Lenin in Zurich
Author: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Publisher: Wilcox & Follett Book Co
The interesting feature of this book is that it is a fictional piece of art. The author finds it a better way to describe his story using a fictional story line. So, the portrayal of Lenin is made as a mythical figure in this book. As many will already know, Lenin was famous to the point of having a statue of himself in every town. He became a cult figure at that time, mounting the attention of everyone. The author does a great deal of justice in defining this figure, as it should be.
This is why the readers will find an immaculate amount of work on Lenin in this book since he is examined by the author up close and front in this very beautiful book. For the most ardent readers, tiny details about this man will serve to build a strong character in their mind. And this when the reader realizes the literary prowess of the author.
In the few pages in this book, the author ties together many narrative records in one story. So for the better use of words, many people describe this book better as a collection of numerous stories. The readers will find themselves revelling in little moments from the war in this unique book.
Summary: This book is a collection of facts about a man who is the central figure in the Russian Revolution. The use of fiction to portray his character will be really appreciated by the readers.
5. History of the Russian Revolution
Author: Leon Trotsky
Publisher: Pathfinder Press
In this hefty collection of an author’s perspective on the Russian Revolution, readers will find an incredible angle to read. Readers might ordinarily predict a single perspective on the Russian Revolution from a westerner. But this book does not turn out to be boring or predictable since it presents a newer narrative from a different perspective.
However, there is little weight to the truth of the facts mentioned in this book. Yet, it managed to make it to this list owing to the historical people it talks about. This book was written by the author soon after he was expelled from the Soviet Union. At that time, he happened to be busy penning down a different book. And somehow that is when he realized the need to write a completely different book on the Russian Revolution and bring the facts to the readers. Even then, his work turned out to be propaganda altogether.
Piecing together the different elements of the book, the reader may find it extraordinary at some points. And yet at others, they might be compelled to reserve the opposite opinion. Overall, this book is a literary ace of brilliance and perfection which any reader will be able to enjoy.
Summary: The author has used a compelling storyline to extract the plot of his book. It will be appreciated by the readers who are bored with reading a Westerner’s outlook on the book and want something different.
6. Mikhail and Margarita: A Novel
Author: Julie Lekstrom Himes
Publisher: Europa Editions
This book happens to be an award winning novel. A debutant, the author has portrayed a very confident and carefully crafted book which adapts to reality and brutality inside a creative circle. Many will define this novel as a gripping and atmospheric sensation and not do so wrongly. In this suspenseful narrative, the author does not fail to transport the reader with her thoughts.
From the very first few pages, the author begins to sketch an image of the Soviet Union, which is unlike anything. He centers the narrative around the incidents leading up to the Russian Revolution with stark clarity and boldness which shows the reader just how confident he is, in her approach.
There is no dearth to the author’s imagination in this expansive novel because he has used a novel mixture of facts and fiction to master the narrative and offer the readers with this beautiful narrative. The basic edifice of the novel spans a wide array of topics and offers the reader pleasure in knowing about the history of the Russian Revolution.
Many elements in this book outline the clear observation of the author and how they have been portrayed with some degree of austerity. The book is complete of some amazing page turner facts and additions which keep the readers hooked to this beautiful book.
Summary: The readers will appreciate this fresh face of writing from the author since he has made an excellent effort to pen down this book and give it depth with his writing style.
7. October: The Story of the Russian Revolution
Author: China Mieville
This book is touted to be a revelation to the time when the history of mankind was turned upside down. For this, the author and the book have also earned several awards, which puts some credit in this book. This book is the story of the Russian Revolution and spans the movement through the times when it started and the reasons behind it.
The readers will be exposed to a panoramic view of the Russian Revolution in this book. The author takes no less than a bounty of an effort to expand the story for the readers. For someone who is looking to find a light but effective read on the Russian Revolution, this book is an excellent pick.
Many of us often ponder about the events which escalated the Russian Revolution. So this book is an excellent window to answers on that. The book is intriguing and inspiring, to say the least. There is enough passion and drama in this book to keep the readers hooked.
Summary: This breathtaking story that spans the history of mankind is an utter delight to read. It uncovers many historical catastrophes which have shaped us into the world we are today.
If you have been meaning to read in detail about the Russian Revolution, we believe that these books will serve your purpose well. Each of these books have something new to offer to your reader instincts.
So, we hope that you will find them useful for your reading purposes. Do let us know if you have another book in mind.