ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Russian Revolution Special


The “Russian Revolution Centenary Special” (EPW, 4 November 2017) is a wonderful tribute to the historical event. By collecting and publishing articles of eminent scholars, from abroad as well as India, EPW has opened up new sources of information and avenues of fresh research. But, while going through their notes (appended at the end of the essays), I found the names of three books missing: (i) Ten Days That Shook the World by John Reed, published in 1919 with Vladimir Lenin’s introduction; (ii) The Great Conspiracy against Russia by Michael Sayers and Albert E Kahn, published in 1946 in the United States; and (iii) The Stalin Era by Anna Louise Strong, which came out in 1956. All the three books remain important sources for an understanding of the revolution and its aftermath.

Reed was an American journalist based in Russia, who gave us a blow-by-blow eyewitness account of the events that led to the capture of power by the Bolsheviks. Twenty-seven years later, Sayers and Kahn, through meticulous research, pieced together records of successive plots that were hatched by the Western capitalist powers to dismember the new socialist state during the turbulent years between the two great wars; plots that created paranoia among the Soviet leaders, which adversely affected their policies in developing their political system. After a decade, another American journalist, Anna Louise Strong, recorded her personal experiences during long stays in Russia, of the changing contours under Stalin’s three-decade long rule, analysing both his achievements and his atrocious misdeeds (to which she devotes a chapter entitled “The Great Madness”).

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Updated On : 17th Nov, 2017
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