The Story of the Russian Revolution

Book - 2017
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"Acclaimed fantasy author China Mieville plunges us into the year the world was turned upside down The renowned fantasy and science fiction writer China Mieville has long been inspired by the ideals of the Russian Revolution and here, on the centenary of the revolution, he provides his own distinctive take on its history. In February 1917, in the midst of bloody war, Russia was still an autocratic monarchy: nine months later, it became the first socialist state in world history. How did this unimaginable transformation take place? How was a ravaged and backward country, swept up in a desperately unpopular war, rocked by not one but two revolutions? This is the story of the extraordinary months between those upheavals, in February and October, of the forces and individuals who made 1917 so epochal a year, of their intrigues, negotiations, conflicts and catastrophes. From familiar names like Lenin and Trotsky to their opponents Kornilov and Kerensky; from the byzantine squabbles of urban activists to the remotest villages of a sprawling empire; from the revolutionary railroad Sublime to the ciphers and static of coup by telegram; from grand sweep to forgotten detail. Historians have debated the revolution for a hundred years, its portents and possibilities: the mass of literature can be daunting. But here is a book for those new to the events, told not only in their historical import but in all their passion and drama and strangeness. Because as well as a political event of profound and ongoing consequence, Mieville reveals the Russian Revolution as a breathtaking story"--
Publisher: London ;, Brooklyn, NY :, Verso,, 2017
Description: 369 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
ISBN: 9781784782771
Branch Call Number: 947.0841 MIe


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Jun 05, 2019

"The revolution of 1917 is a revolution of trains. History proceeding in screams of cold metal."
Perhaps the most famous (infamous) and influential revolution of the 20th century, the Russian Revolution of 1917 is an epochal event that any casual student of history will know about it and, likely, have a strong opinion about. The body of literature and massive, but this book, written to commemorate the 100th anniversary, is an absorbing and accessible intro. It's a different kind of history because China Mieville is better known as a novelist, and the book has the sweeping narrative, colorful characters, and unexpected incidents of a great novel. Regardless of your politics, this is an historical event with which everyone should be familiar. Also, Edmund Wilson's "To the Finland Station," John Reed's "Ten Days that Shook the World," and Trotsky's "History of the Russian Revolution."

OPL_DavidD Sep 12, 2018

Mieville uses his world-building skill as a science fiction/fantasy writer to write an impassioned account of the Russian Revolution. Focusing on the movement on the ground, he masterfully weaves a compelling story of rival factions, competing goals, intrigue, riots, and political exile. Both well-known and obscure figures make their mark. You really get a feel for the scale of the Revolution, as well as what the people at the time were experiencing.

TRoud Jul 03, 2018

An excellent read for anyone looking for an introduction to the incendiary period of revolution Russia. Miéville deploys a narrative writing style that keeps you turning the page, and will keep fiction readers entertained as well as fascinated. From the callous and distant Tsarist regime, the reluctance of the newly developed capitalist class in forming a government, the comedy of errors that resulted in the collapse of the February provisional government, to the passion of the revolutionaries and the desperation of a populace and conscript military facing appalling conditions, Miéville portrays a society on the brink of collapse. Readers of Miéville will know he will be somewhat partisan, but you won't find a simplistic gushing support for the Bolsheviks in this text but rather a considered, critical, nuanced analysis presented in an easily digestible style.

May 06, 2018

Trust Mieville to write a book like this. A breathless, beautiful portrayal of one of the most significant events in the Twentieth Century, "October" takes Mieville's love of language and applies it to a subject clearly dear to his heart. The structure of the book marks the rising tension as the story of Lenin and his compatriots, from all wings of Russian politics, inch closer to their moment of millenarian upheaval. Mieville's clear sympathies for the poor and oppressed people of Tsarist Russia carry the story, which is occasionally bogged down by the multitude of personalities who constantly flow through the Duma and the Soviet. A helpful bibliography of characters helps but isn't deep enough to remind the reader exactly which Right-SR he's talking about at times. On the whole, an inspiring and fresh look at a critical moment of change in human history, showing how history sweeps away its participants in its current.

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