"The Bolsheviks in Russian Society" by Vladimir N.              Brovkin

The Bolsheviks in Russian Society The Revolution and the Civil Wars Vladimir N. Brovkin

Publication date:
29 May 1997
Yale University Press
344 pages: 235 x 156mm
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Was the Bolshevik success in Russia during the revolution and civil war years a legitimate expression of the will of the people? Or did Russian workers, peasants, bourgeoisie, and upper-class groups pose numerous challenges to Bolshevik authority, challenges that were put down through unyielding repression? In this book distinguished scholars from East and West draw on recently opened archives to challenge the commonly held view that the Bolsheviks enjoyed widespread support and that their early history was simply a march toward inevitable victory. They show instead that during this period Russian society was at war with itself and with the Bolsheviks.

Authors discuss such previously neglected subjects as government policies toward women and toward religious institutions, the protests of workers and peasants, and the anti-Bolshevik movements and parties. In particular, they investigate the actions of other political parties and White leaders, the peasant rebellions and workers' strikes, Bolshevik operations against the church, attitudes toward peasant and working-class women, and new data on Lenin (the last in a chapter by Richard Pipes). Describing not one civil war but several social, political, and military confrontations going on simultaneously, they portray a Russia in turmoil and an outcome that was by no means inevitable.

"This book will usher in a new generation of studies of the revolution and early Soviet state by scholars operating in a post-Soviet world. It provides new information that significantly enriches our knowledge of the subject."?Dominic Lieven

"Some of the evidence put forward is based on research in archives in Russia only recently available to scholars. Discussions of Bolshevik culture and of Bolshevik policy toward women, the church, and the peasantry should interest any student of this turbulent period."?Choice