Archives de catégorie : Ouvrages/Books

Nicolas Werth, Les revolutions russes, PUF, 2017

Que sais-je?, n°968, 128p.

Février 1917. L’empire de Nicolas II s’enlise dans la guerre. Les failles de l’économie russe, dont la modernisation est restée inachevée, apparaissent au grand jour. Entre l’autocratie des Romanov et une société en pleine mutation, le fossé se creuse.
Quelques jours suffiront pour renverser le tsar. Sa chute ouvre la voie à une expérience démocratique unique dans l’histoire multiséculaire de la Russie, une expérience qui durera moins de huit mois : en octobre 1917, les bolcheviks, conduits par Lénine, prennent le palais d’Hiver…
Ce sont ces événements de l’année 1917 que raconte avec passion Nicolas Werth. Dépassant le clivage entre les interprétations soviétique et libérale, il s’attache à analyser non pas une seule révolution politique, mais une multiplicité de révolutions sociales et nationales.

Continuer la lecture de Nicolas Werth, Les revolutions russes, PUF, 2017

Andy Willimott, Living the Revolution Urban Communes & Soviet Socialism, 1917-1932, Oxford University Press, 2016

Oxford Studies in Modern and European History, 224 pp. 

Living the Revolution offers a pioneering insight into the world of the early Soviet activist. At the heart of this book are a cast of fiery-eyed, bed-headed youths determined to be the change they wanted to see in the world. First banding together in the wake of the October Revolution, seizing hold of urban apartments, youthful enthusiasts tried to offer practical examples of socialist living. Calling themselves ‘urban communes’, they embraced total equality and shared everything from money to underwear. They actively sought to overturn the traditional family unit, reinvent domesticity, and promote a new collective vision of human interaction. A trend was set: a revolutionary meme that would, in the coming years, allow thousands of would-be revolutionaries and aspiring party members to experiment with the possibilities of socialism.

Continuer la lecture de Andy Willimott, Living the Revolution Urban Communes & Soviet Socialism, 1917-1932, Oxford University Press, 2016

Mark D. Steinberg, The Russian Revolution, 1905-1921, Oxford University Press, 2016

Oxford Histories, 400 pp.

he Russian Revolution, 1905-1921 is a new history of Russia’s revolutionary era as a story of experience-of people making sense of history as it unfolded in their own lives and as they took part in making history themselves. The major events, trends, and explanations, reaching from Bloody Sunday in 1905 to the final shots of the civil war in 1921, are viewed through the doubled perspective of the professional historian looking backward and the contemporary journalist reporting and interpreting history as it happened. The volume then turns toward particular places and people: city streets, peasant villages, the margins of empire (Central Asia, Ukraine, the Jewish Pale), women and men, workers and intellectuals, artists and activists, utopian visionaries, and discontents of all kinds. We spend time with the famous (Vladimir Lenin, Lev Trotsky, Alexandra Kollontai, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Isaac Babel) and with those whose names we don’t even know. Key themes include difference and inequality (social, economic, gendered, ethnic), power and resistance, violence, and ideas about justice and freedom. Written especially for students and general readers, this history relies extensively on contemporary texts and voices in order to bring the past and its meanings to life. This is a history about dramatic and uncertain times and especially about the interpretations, values, emotions, desires, and disappointments that made history matter to those who lived it.

Continuer la lecture de Mark D. Steinberg, The Russian Revolution, 1905-1921, Oxford University Press, 2016

Geoffrey Swain, A Short History of the Russian Revolution, I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd, 2017

I.B. Tauris Short Histories, 256 pp.

In 1917 revolutionary fervour swept through Russia, ending centuries of imperial rule and instigating political and social changes that would lead to the formation of the Soviet Union. Arising out of proletariat discontent with the Tsarist autocracy and Lenin’s proclaimed version of a Marxist ideology, the revolutionary period saw a complete overhaul of Russian politics and society and led directly to the ensuing civil war. The Soviet Union eventually became the world’s first communist state and the events of 1917 proved to be one of the turning-points in world history, setting in motion a chain of events which would change the entire course of the twentieth century. Geoffrey Swain provides a concise yet thorough overview of the revolution and the path to civil war. By looking, with fresh perspectives, on the causes of the revolution, as well as the international response, Swain provides a new interpretation of the events of 1917, published to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the revolution.

More information

Ben Eklof, Tatiana Saburova, A Generation of Revolutionaries Nikolai Charushin and Russian Populism from the Great Reforms to Perestroika, Indiana University press, 2017


Nikolai Charushin’s memoirs of his experience as a member of the revolutionary populist movement in Russia are familiar to historians, but A Generation of Revolutionaries provides a broader and more engaging look at the lives and relationships beyond these memoirs. It shows how, after years of incarceration, Charushin and friends thrived in Siberian exile, raising children and contributing to science and culture there. While Charushin’s memoirs end with his return to European Russia, this sweeping biography follows this group as they engaged in Russia’s fin de siècle society, took part in the 1917 revolution, and struggled in its aftermath. A Generation of Revolutionaries provides vibrant and deeply personal insights into the turbulent history of Russia from the Great Reforms to the era of Stalinism and beyond. In doing so, it tells the story of a remarkable circle of friends whose lives balanced love, family and career with exile, imprisonment, and revolution.

Continuer la lecture de Ben Eklof, Tatiana Saburova, A Generation of Revolutionaries Nikolai Charushin and Russian Populism from the Great Reforms to Perestroika, Indiana University press, 2017

Stephan Rinke, MICHAEL WILDT (eds.), Revolutions and Counter-Revolutions : 1917 AND ITS AFTERMATH FROM A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE, Campus Verlag, 2017

coll. Eigene und Fremde Welten, 400 pp. 

Unquestionably a watershed year in world history, 1917 not only saw the Russian Revolution and the US entry into World War I, it also marked a foundational moment in determining global political structures for the remaining twentieth century. Yet while contemporaries were cognizant of these global connections, historiography has been largely limited to analysis of the nation-state. A century later, this book discusses the transnational dimension of the numerous upheavals, rebellions, and violent reactions on a global level that began with 1917. Experts from different continents contribute findings that go beyond the well-known European and transatlantic narratives, making for a uniquely global study of this crucial period in history.

More information

Tzvetan Todorov, Le Triomphe de l’artiste La révolution et les artistes – Russie : 1917-1941, Flammarion, 2017

Coédition Flammarion/Versilio, Hors collection – Essais, 336 p. 

« Le discours soviétique officiel décrit progressivement la réalité du pays en termes qui ne correspondent pas à l’expérience commune, comme si les mots pouvaient créer les choses. […] L’importance de cette doctrine dépasse de loin le domaine esthétique, elle représente à l’état pur l’un destraits dominants de la société soviétique sous Staline car elle consacre le règne universel du mensonge.»
À la fois connaisseur de l’Union soviétique et grand penseur des œuvres d’art, Tzvetan Todorov a souhaité éclairer les rapports idéologiques entre ceux qu’il nomme les «artistes créateurs» et le pouvoir politique à partir de la révolution d’Octobre. Comment les artistes ont-ils annoncé la révolution? Comment ont-ils ensuite obéi ou échappé au réalisme socialiste désireux d’annihiler toute création? Todorov explore le destin d’artistes phares, Maïakovski, Pasternak, Boulgakov ou Mandelstam, et s’attarde sur le parcours singulier du peintre Kasimir Malevitch, dont la pluralité des voies artistiques fait écho à l’intensité de son engagement.
Le Triomphe de l’artiste, c’est finalement le pouvoir de l’art sur celui qui veut sa mort.

Plus d’information

Raya Dunayevskaya, Russia: From Proletarian Revolution to State-Capitalist Counter-Revolution. Selected writings, Brill, 2017

Edited by Eugene Gogol & Franklin Dmitryev, Raya Dunayevskaya Memorial Fund