A Brief History of 1917: Russia's Year of Revolution; Roy Bainton
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Russia's Bolshevik Revolution began in 1917 and has remained a controversial political and academic battleground, fought over for almost a century. It has been demonized—its more sinister aspects used as an anti-Communist battering ram throughout the Cold War—and glorified, as exemplified by John Reed's classic Ten Days That Shook the World. Much has been written about the key figures—Lenin, Trotsky, Kerensky, and the rest—while the various political movements have been relentlessly analyzed. Yet there is another side to it, a more human story. What was life like for a peasant or a manual worker in Petrograd or Moscow in 1917? How much did a tram driver, his wife, or a common soldier know or understand about Bolshevism? What was the price of a loaf of bread or a pair of boots? Who kept the power stations running, the telephone exchanges, bakeries, farms, and hospitals working? These are just some of the details historian Roy Bainton brings to life, not through memoirs of politicians and philosophers, but in the memories of ordinary working people. As witnessed on the streets of Petrograd, Bainton brings us the indelible events of the most momentous year in Russian history.