This short and updated introduction by one of Europe's leading specialists in Russian and Soviet history presents a broad survey combined with a penetrating analysis of the key issues of the Russian Revolution, such as the nature of pre-Revolutionary society and politics, the many links between war and revolution (e.g., the effects of the war on the Bolshevik theory of revolution), the possibilities open to the Provisional Government, political alternatives to Bolshevism, and the place of the Revolution in contemporary intellectual debate in the West. The particular originality of this volume lies in the fact that the author also examines the way in which these issues were viewed both at the time and later. He looks at contemorary (1917) assumptions, at the validity of questions traditionally asked about the Revolution, and concerns himself with the degree of hindsight and ideological basis contained both in the questions themselves and in the answers usually given to them. The author's knowledge of works in Russian as well as in German, English and French add to the indispensability of this book.
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