The Bolsheviks in Russian Society: The Revolution and the Civil Wars
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.
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