Reconsidering the Russian Revolution a century later.
Reflecting on the fate of the Russian Revolution one hundred years after October, Ronald Grigor Suny—one of the world’s leading historians of the period—explores the historiographical controversies over 1917, Stalinism, and the end of “Communism” and provides an assessment of the achievements, costs, losses and legacies of the choices made by Soviet leaders. While a quarter century after the disintegration of the USSR, the story usually told is one of failure and inevitable collapse, Suny reevaluates the promises, missed opportunities, achievements, and colossal costs of trying to build a kind of “socialism” in the inhospitable environment of peasant Russia. He ponders what lessons 1917 provides for Marxism and the alternatives to capitalism and bourgeois democracy.
Ronald Grigor Suny is Professor Emeritus of Political Science and History at the University of Chicago. His previous books include The Soviet Experiment: Russia, the USSR, and the Successor States and A State of Nations: Empire and Nation-making in the Age of Lenin and Stalin.