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The Russian Revolution 1914-1921 - Seminar Topics & Document List

This list details the basic seminar topics for the course and is a complete record of the documentary materials on which the course is based.

Seminar Documents - i.e. material

(i) from which extracts will be taken for the gobbets question.

(ii) which will be discussed in detail in classes.

(iii) which should be used where appropriate in course and assessed essay work and Paper I & II exam answers.

Historiographical Material (Seminar Reading)

(i) which will also be discussed in class, though in less detail.

(ii) which should be used where appropriate in course and assessed essay work and in Paper 2 essay answers, questions 2-5 of Paper 1, which will be based on the sources and historiography of the revolution.

PART ONE
THE FALL OF TSARISM AND THE RISE OF BOLSHEVISM

Introduction and Background Reading:

C. Read From Tsar to Soviets
W.H. Chamberlin The Russian Revolution vol I
E. Acton Rethinking the Russian Revolution
Lars I Lih "Breakdown and Reconstitution: Thinking about the Russian Revolution", Problems of Communism March-April 1990
R. Service (ed.) Society and Politics in the Russian Revolution
Frankel E. Frankel J.& Knei-Paz B. Revolution in Russia: Reassessments of 1917
J. White The Russian Revolution: a short history
R. Pipes The Russian Revolution
P. Holquist, Making War, Forging Revolution: Russia's Continuum of Crisis 1914-1921

WEEK 11 Seminar 1 INTRODUCTION. TSARIST SOCIETY BEFORE THE FIRST WORLD WAR

Document

P.N. Durnovo Memorandum to the Tsar

Seminar Reading

H. Rogger Russia in the Age of Modernisation

Alternatives to this are:

C. Read From Tsar to Soviets (chs. I & II)
L. Kochan Russia in Revolution
H. Seton-Watson The Russian Empire (late chapters)

You may also like to dip into D.M. Wallace's book Russia which is one of the best first hand accounts of life in Russia in the early twentieth century by an acute observer of all aspects of Russian life.

WEEK 11 Seminar 2 RUSSIA AND THE FIRST WORLD WAR

Documents

Labour unrest 1914-16 (from Golder pp. 186-7)
Secret Police Reports, February-October 1916 (Vernadsky & Pushkarev, p.865 868)
Documents of the August 1915 crisis (Vernadsky & Pushkarev, p.845-847)
Prologue to Revolution: Notes of A.N. Iakhontov on the Secret Meetings of the Council of
Minister, 1915 (ed by Cherniavsky p. 65-8; 113-127; 137-149)
Alexander Shlyapnikov On the Eve of 1917 p. 70-103
V.I. Lenin The War and Social Democracy; Lecture on the 1905 Revolution

Seminar Reading

N. Stone The Eastern Front (essential)
M. Florinsky The End of the Russian Empire
G. Katkov Russia 1917: The February Revolution (chs.1-8)
M. Ferro The February Revolution (ch. 1)

WEEK 12 Seminar 3 THE FEBRUARY REVOLUTION

Seminar Reading

G. Katkov Russia 1917: The February Revolution (ch 9-16)
M. Ferro The February Revolution (chs 2-6)
O. Anweiler The Soviets (ch 2 & 3)
R. Pipes Revolutionary Russia chs by Schapiro & Anweiler)
C. Read From Tsar to Soviets (ch. III)
E.N. Burdzhalov 'Russia's Second Revolution: The February 1917 uprising in Petrgorad' in M. Miller The Russuan Revolution: Essential Readings pp. 39-72

WEEK 12 seminar 4 THE FEBRUARY REVOLUTION AND THE EMERGENCE OF THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT AND THE SOVIET

Documents

Documents of the February Revolution (Vernadsky & Pushkarev pp.873-884
V.I. Lenin First Letter from Afar; The Tasks of the Proletariat in the Present Revolution; The Dual Power;
Reports and Speeches at the Seventh Conference of the R.S.D.L.P.

WEEK 13 Seminar 5 RUSSIAN SOCIETY IN MID 1917 I - The Peasantry

Seminar Reading

C. Read From Tsar to Soviets (ch. V)
O. Figes 'The Russian Revolution of 1917 and its language in the village' in Wade, R. Revolutionary Russia: New Approaches pp. 91-118 (also in Miller pp. 73-103
D. Raleigh Revolution on the Volga: 1917 in Saratov
J. Keep The Russian Revolution (chs. 5-19)
G. Gill Peasants and Government in the Russian Revolution
R. Service (ed.) Society and Politics in the Russian revolution
(chapters by Perrie & Channon)

WEEK 13 Seminar 6 RUSSIAN SOCIETY IN MID 1917 II - Workers & Soldiers

Seminar Reading

S. Smith Red Petrograd
S. Smith 'Petrograd in 1917: the View from Below' in Wade, R. Revolutionary russia: New Approaches pp. 13-32
D. Koenker Moscow Workers in 1917
M. Ferro October 1917 (esp. chs. 4-7)
D. Koenker & W. Rosenberg (eds) Strikes and Revolution in Russia 1917
R. Service (ed.) Society and Politics in the Russian Revolution
chapters by Service & Mawdsley)
C. Read From Tsar to Soviets (ch. IV & VI)
T. Hasegawa 'Crime, police and mob justice in Petrograd during the Russian revolutions of 1917' in Wade, R. Revolutionary Russia: New Approaches pp. 46-72

 

WEEK 14 Seminar 7 POLITICAL PARTIES IN 1917

Seminar Reading

C. Read From Tsar to Soviets (ch. VII, pp. 145-169)
R. Service The Bolshevik Party in Revolution
A. Rabinowitch Prelude to Revolution
W. Rosenberg The Liberals in the Russian Revolution
Z. Galili Menshevik Leaders in the Russian Revolution
Kolonitskii, B.I. ‘ “Democracy” in the political consciousness of the February revolution’ , in Wade, R. Revolutionary Russia: New Approaches pp.75-90
Melanç on, M.S. ‘From rhapsody to threnody: Russia’s Provisional Government in Socialist-Revolutionary eyes’, in Wade, R. Revolutionary Russia: New Approaches pp143-158
Hickey, M.C. ‘The rise and fall of Smolensk’s moderate socialists: the politics of class and the rhetoric of crisis in 1917’ in Wade R. Revolutionary Russia: New Approaches pp.159-184

 

WEEK 14 Seminar 8 THE OCTOBER REVOLUTION - THE BOLSHEVIK ROUTE TO POWER

Documents

V.I. Lenin Writings of June-July 1917 (pp 298-326)
V.I. Lenin Between the Two Revolutions (pp 380-418)
Minutes of the Bolshevik Central Committee Meetings (pp 85-126)

Seminar Reading

A. Rabinowitch The Bolsheviks Come to Power
M. Ferro October 1917 (ch.8)
(R. Daniels Red October is also worth looking at)
C. Read From Tsar to Soviets (ch. VIII (p.169-176)
J. White ‘Lenin, Trotskii and the arts of insurrection: the Congress of Soviets of the Northern Region, 11-13 October 1917’ in Wade, R.Revolutionary Russia: New Approaches pp.187-210
R.Wade ‘ “All Power to the Soviets” the Bolsheviks take power’ in Wade R.Revolutionary Russia:New Approaches pp.211-42
*C.Read Lenin: A Revolutionary Life (Ch 5)

WEEK 15 Seminar 9 THE FIRST STEPS - OCTOBER 1917-SPRING 1918

RUSSIA DURING THE FIRST SIX MONTHS OF BOLSHEVIK RULE

Seminar Reading

J. Keep The Russian Revolution (chs 20-33)
L. Schapiro The Origin of the Communist Autocracy (chs V-VI)
R. Service The Bolshevik Party in Revolution (chs 2-3)
Brovkin, Lewin, Rosenberg debate Slavic Review vol 44
pp 213-257 (+ cross references)
V. Brovkin The Mensheviks After October
C. Read From Tsar to Soviets (ch VIII pp 177-91)
L.G.Protasov ‘The All-Russian Constituent Assembly and the Democratic alternative: two views of the problem’ in Wade R.Revolutionary Russia:New Approaches pp.243-6
W.Rosenberg ‘Russian labour and Bolshevik Power: Social Dimensions of Protest after October’ in Miller, M The Russian Revolution: The Essential Readings pp.149-79

 

Documents

The Second Congress of Soviets (Bunyan & Fisher) pp 119-138)
Minutes of the Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P. October-December 1917 (pp 126-168)
The Election to the Constituent Assembly
V.M. Chernov Russia's one-day Parliament (pp 176-182)
Extraordinary Meeting of Delegates of Factories and Plants in the City of Petrograd (pp 212-241)

 

PART 2 THE BOLSHEVIKS IN POWER: THE FOUNDING OF A NEW ORDER

Introduction & Background Reading:

W.H. Chamberlin The Russian Revolution vol II
D. Koenker, W. Rosenberg, & R Suny Party, State
and Society in the Russian Civil War
E. Mawdsley The Russian Civil War
W. Bruce Lincoln Red Victory
R. Pipes The Bolsheviks in Power

WEEK 15 Seminar 10 INTRODUCTION: THE CIVIL WAR

Documents

A. Denikin The White Army (pp 26-35)
Lukomskii Memoirs (pp 204-207)

Seminar Reading

W.H. Chamberlin The Russian Revolution vol II
E. Mawdsley The Russian Civil War
C. Read From Tsar to Soviets (191-198)

WEEK 16 READING WEEK

WEEK 17 Seminar 11 CRISES OF SPRING & SUMMER 1918

Documents

Theses of the Left Communists (extracts pp. 152-156)

V.I. Lenin 'Left-Wing' Childishness and the Petty Bourgeois Mentality; Theses on the Present Political Situation; The Immediate Tasks of the Soviet Government (pp 645-684); Draft Plan of Scientific and Technical Work

Seminar Reading

S. Smith Red Petrograd (ch. 10)
L. Schapiro The Origin of the Communist Autocracy (chs V-IV)
R. Service The Bolshevik Party in Revolution (ch III)
E.H. Carr The Bolshevik Revolution (ch V)
J. Keep The Russian Revolution (Part IV pp 249-383)

WEEK 17/18 Seminar 12 and 13 SOVIET CONSOLIDATION - PARTY, STATE

Seminar Reading

C. Read From Tsar to Soviets (ch IX)
E.H. Carr The Bolshevik Revolution (chs 6-9 + Note A)
L. Schapiro History of the CPSU (ch 10)
R. Service The Bolshevik Party in Revolution (chs 3 & 5)
R.V. Daniels The Conscience of the Revolution (chs 4 & 5)
S. Cohen Bukharin & the Bolshevik Revolution (ch III)
N. Bukharin ABC of Communism ( a key source for weeks 13-18)

Documents

Declaration of Rights of the Working and Exploited People (Akhaphin p.76-78)
Resolutions & Decisions of the VIII Party Congress (McNeal pp. 73-83; 54-73;83-89)
Resolution & Decisions of the VIII and IX Party Conferences (McNeal pp. 90-114)

WEEK 18/19 Seminar 14 and 15 SOVIET CONSOLIDATION -DICTATORSHIP OF THE PROLETARIAT - II THE ECONOMY, SOCIETY - WAR COMMUNISM

Seminar Reading

C. Read From Tsar to Soviets (ch. X)
E.H. Carr The Bolshevik Revolution (chs 16&17)
A. Nove An Economic History of the U.S.S.R. (ch 3)
S. Malle The Economic Organisation of War Communism
O. Figes Peasant Russia, Civil War
M. McAuley Bread and Justice
S. Fitzpatrick 'Ascribing Class: The Construction of Social Identity in Soviet Russia' in Miller, M. The Russian Revolution: The Essential Readings pp. 206-35

Documents

V.I. Lenin Economics and Politics in the Era of the
Dictatorship of the Proletariat; Integrated Economic Plan

 

WEEK 19 Seminar 14 EDUCATION, PROPAGANDA, CULTURE: INTELLECTUAL LIFE AND CULTURAL REVOLUTION

Seminar Reading

S. Fitzpatrick, R. Suny & D. Orlovsky Debate on class, culture
and politics in the Early Soviet Years, Slavic Review,
p.599-626, vol 47
S. Fitzpatrick The Commissariat of Enlightenment
(chs 5 & 6 plus ch 9 pp 236-255)
C. Claudin-Urondo Lenin and Cultural Revolution
L. Trotsky Literature & Revolution (esp chs I-III & VI-VIII)
C. Read Culture & Power in Revolutionary Russia
(chs 2 & 3)
P. Kenez The Propaganda State
S. Fitzpatrick The Cultural Front: Power and Culture
in Revolutionary Russia
Figes, O & Kolonitskii Interpreting the Russian Revolution;
The Language and Symbols of 1917

Documents

Degrees on Education; Freedom of Conscience and Monuments
(Akhapkin pp 60-61, 88-89, 120, 140)
E. Zamyatin The Church of God & The Cave
Aleksandr Blok The Twelve
V.I. Lenin On Proletarian Culture

 

WEEK 20 Seminar 15 1921 - THE END OF THE REVOLUTION?

Documents

The Kronstadt Rebellion (Avrich pp 158-168)
V.I. Lenin, Speeches at the Tenth Party Congress (pp 557-582)
X Party Congress in R. McNeal Resolutions and Decisions of the Tenth Party Congress ( pp 119-130)

Seminar Reading

C. Read From Tsar to Soviets (chs 6 & 7)
I Getzler Kronstadt (chs 6 & 7)
O. Radkey The Unknown Civil War
L. Schapiro The Origin of the Communist Autocracy
(chs XIV-XVIII)
R. Service The Bolshevik Party in Revolution (chs 6 & 7)
R. Service Lenin: a political life (vol. 3)

WEEK 20 OVERVIEW SEMINAR –The historiography of the Russian Revolution

An examination of broad appraisals of the Revolution and an analysis of the main schools of interpretation. (Preparation for the third question on Paper 1)

Seminar Reading

E. Acton Rethinking the Russian Revolution
S. Smith ‘Writing the History of the Russian Revolution after the Fall of Communism’ in Miller, M The Russian Revolution: The Essential Readings pp259-81
C.Read ‘Writing the History of the Russian Revolution?’ Studies in History, Institute of Historical Research website, 1997 (http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/articles/russia.html)
C.Read ‘The Russian Revolution After the Fall of Communism’, review article, The Historical Journal vol. 40 no.4, pp.1127-1134, 1998.
C.Read ‘In Search of Liberal Tsarism: The Historiography of Autocratic Decline’ The Historical Journal 45, 1, (2002) (Cambridge)

 

SUMMER TERM

Revision / gobbet preparation seminar(s) will also be arranged.