Reviewed by Michael C. Hickey (Bloomsburg Universty)
Published on H-Russia (October, 2003)
An Emotional Revolution
An Emotional Revolution
Voices of Revolution, Mark D. Steinberg's contribution to the admirable Yale University Press "Annals of Communism" series. The book presents stimulating interpretive essays on 1917, along with texts of 132 documents that allow readers to "hear" the aspirations, concerns, demands, and criticisms of ordinary men and women during the revolution.
The volume represents a high level of scholarship. Steinberg's introductory essay on "The Language of Popular Revolution" carefully distills recent monographic literature and the author's own astute reading of the documentary evidence. Steinberg has divided the documents into three chronological sections, each preceded by a lengthy narrative in which he explains key elements of the historical context. In the volume's afterword Ekaterina Betekhtina offers an interesting interpretive essay on "Style in Lower-Class Writing in 1917." Steinberg's book should join the (happily long) list of "must read" volumes on the revolution.
Like all contributions to the Annals of Communism series, this volume also is designed to be of interest and service to students and general readers. For the most part, Steinberg avoids academic jargon. There are interesting illustrations. The documents are appended with explanatory notes, and the book includes a useful general chronology, a map of European Russia, a fine glossary (of personal names, institutions, terms, and periodical publications mentioned in the documents), and a selected list of further readings in English. And, like other entries in this series, it is nicely laid out and very affordable.
For all my enthusiasm, I do have some minor criticisms regarding both Steinberg's essays and the organization of the volume as a whole. I will return to these after summarizing at greater length the contents of this important volume.
Steinberg has organized the documents more or less by chronological period (February-June 1917; July-October 1917; November 1917-January 1918), each subdivided according to the reputed social origins of their authors ("workers," "soldiers," and "peasants"). As Betekhtina points out in her afterword, these documents can be grouped into five categories: resolutions from meetings of workers, soldiers, or peasants; petitions and appeals to government or soviet leaders; personal letters to key government and soviet leaders; letters from common people to Izvestia and to various socialist newspapers; and poems by plebeian writers (p. 309). Steinberg and his colleagues culled more than half of these from holdings in central archives. Most are letters, petitions, and demands sent either to the VTsIK (All-Russian Central Executive Committee of Soviets) or to the Provisional Government (to the Office of the Minister-President and the Main Land Committee). The remaining documents Steinberg drew from various socialist newspapers or picked from previously published collections.
The documents vividly present the voices of men (and to a much lesser extent women) caught in the excitement, promise, and the agony of revolutionary times. They allow us to hear a wide range of concerns and represent a broad spectrum of hopes and fears as well as the class-based anger that infused so much revolutionary rhetoric. We get a strong sense of the promise that the revolution held for ordinary people, like Petrograd munitions worker Maria Kutsko, who in a 25 June letter to a Bolshevik newspaper wrote that "to make this life more beautiful, pure, and bright for ourselves, for our children, and for the whole working class&it seems to me, is the real beauty and meaning of life" (p. 106). We get an even stronger sense of the frustration and impatience that increasingly dominated lower-class public life. Often this is carefully articulated in "formal" statements, like that of the 27 July workers' meeting in Petrograd, which resolved that "The new coalition 'combination' of the Provisional Government is frankly doomed to failure and to a new downfall in the near future, as four months of a chronic crisis of authority have shown fully the entire senselessness of the democracy's appeasement with the counter-revolutionary imperialist bourgeoisie" (p. 189).
But perhaps more fascinating are resolutions and letters that set decorum aside in favor of rough and frank language. Almost all such examples in this collection are criticisms hurled at the new Soviet regime, like a January 1918 letter from soldier F. Petrov asking the VTsIK "How long are you aggressors going to go on crucifying freedom," a 6 January letter from a Petrograd soldier to Lenin that begins "Bastard! What the hell are you doing?" or a 15 January letter to Lenin from a Siberian soldier that quickly slips into a stream of "pure Russian" mother curses (pp. 113, 291, 292-93). Marian Schwarz renders all of these in fine English translation (Russian texts are accessible through Yale University Press at http://www.yale.edu/annals/Steinberg/Steinbergtitlepage.htm).
Of the volume's explanatory text, the most important and original element is Steinberg's thirty-five-page introductory essay, "The Language of Popular Revolution." Here Steinberg seeks to explain what revolution "meant to ordinary Russians"(p. 2). This essay might easily stand alone, but for the purposes of this volume it provides a key to interpreting the documents that follow. Steinberg notes that reading such documents poses methodological problems. We often cannot be sure who is speaking and know little of the specific context for their utterances. Those who wrote such documents represent a minority of the lower-class population, and their words do not express the entire universe of lower-class beliefs. Such documents focus on the (largely male) public domain and tell us little of personal lives. Moreover, in addition to the "normal instabilities and ambiguities of language," such texts represent not only the authors' own social experiences but their various literary influences (p. 7).
Steinberg's major statement regarding these texts is that "emotion was central to the construction of meaning and argument in 1917" (p. 8). Ordinary people comprehended their experience primarily through emotion and used emotive language filled with moral fervor to describe and shape that experience.
He situates this reading in the context of "revisionist" and "post-revisionist" historiography, and in particular of recent studies of revolutionary language, ritual, and symbolism by Boris Kolonitski and Orlando Figes. Like Figes and Kolonitski, Steinberg focuses on plebeian understandings of terms such as "freedom," "liberty," "authority," and "democracy" in 1917. In its positive constructions, freedom meant the promise of redemption and rebirth and the creation of a new life based upon dignity. Resurrection is one of the most common tropes in these documents, though Steinberg explains that religious language was "less a literal expression of Christian belief" than employment of metaphor for its emotive power (p. 30).
Steinberg explains that in the first weeks after the February Revolution common people associated freedom and liberty with the promise of unity, joy, happiness, and light. At the same time, lower-class conceptions of freedom and unity were informed by a broad sense of class difference and hostility. The lower classes defined the privileged elite and "bourgeoisie" as "Others," outside the "nation," not meriting the happy future, and threatening Russia's renewal. Their own social experience, their years of insult and injury, constant violations of their dignity and honor, had fostered seething anger and resentment. The emotion that stands out above all others in Steinberg's account of lower-class feelings is anger.
By late spring and early summer 1917, plebeian anger and fear of the internal enemy overshadowed early references to revolutionary unity. Steinberg examines this shift by tracing changes in plebeian conceptions of democracy and state authority. Here he subtly modifies Figes and Kolonitski (both of whom have emphasized the lower classes' "traditional authoritarianism" and "patriarchal culture"), and lays stress on the revolutionary association of "resolute authority" with a class-exclusionary conception of power "that served the interests of the poor against the rich" (p. 16). Democracy, like socialism, was a flexible term of exclusion in a political culture built around identifying friends and enemies. Already by late spring 1917 the language of lower-class politics was the language of "difference and opposition, of opposition and subordination" (p. 18).
Steinberg argues that common people took state and political party leaders' failure to satisfy the revolution's bright promises as betrayal by enemies; they articulated this sense of betrayal through "the language of moral, social, and political demonization"(p. 21). Understanding this morally and emotionally driven demonization requires consideration of popular notions of honor, individual dignity, and shame. Honor and dignity shaped plebeian understandings of justice and the "positive" aims of the popular revolution; workers and soldiers, for instance, famously demand that foremen and officers treat them with respect and dignity. By late spring, the emphasis on dignity had shifted to its underside - shame. Steinberg points out that some of the most devastating criticisms of lower-class violations of public decorum and shameful behavior came from workers and soldiers themselves. Lower-class criticisms of the bourgeoisie often emphasized the elite's own immoral behavior and the shameful source of their wealth. Moreover, in the political realm, common people interpreted "bad" policies as the "shameful" work of "bad" people. In summer and fall, as social conditions deteriorated, ever larger numbers of workers, soldiers, and peasants insisted that state power must exclude the "elites" and "bourgeoisie."
Thus the emotional-moral aspects of popular political culture help explain the collapse of popular support for Kerensky's government. But Steinberg also points out that lower-class moral criticisms "reached a peak of intensity" after the Bolshevik seizure of power (p. 29). In the eyes of many ordinary men and women, the Bolsheviks had committed a great sin by portraying themselves as friends in the struggle against the bourgeoisie, only to reveal themselves as betrayers of the people once in power.
Steinberg's introduction lays out many of the interpretive themes of the three long narrative essays that precede each group of documents. While in some regards these follow narrative and interpretive patterns familiar from the "standard" secondary literature, Steinberg's underlying organization seems to reveal a more idiomatic purpose: his ordering and emphasis of topics pushes the ideological positions and organizational efforts of the revolutionary parties (particularly the Bolsheviks) away from the narrative's center.
Of the three narrative essays, the first, "Liberty, Desire, and Frustration: The First Months of the Revolution," most closely follows the path laid down by the introduction. Here Steinberg best weaves his arguments about the emotional-moral basis of plebeian political culture into a framework of political and social history. His de-emphasis of revolutionary party politics begins with this chapter's early pages, where he introduces the revolution's background not with the history of the revolutionary movement or of the intelligentsia, but with the state of flux in plebeian identities and popular cultures at the turn of the century. Steinberg devotes as much space to discussion of Nicholas II as "conservative exemplar" as he does to the positions taken by all the leftist parties combined. His very interesting discussion of fin-de-siecle culture stresses themes raised in the introduction, such as popular notions of justice and the recurrence of apocalyptic currents in the lower-class imagination. He follows these themes through a very interesting brief discussion of World War One, where the radicalization of the lower classes shares space with analysis of the liberals' dilemma--how to force the tsarist regime to accept political change without provoking a popular rebellion.
Steinberg provides a solid and detailed summary of events in Petrograd on 23 February/2 March 1917, with considerable emphasis on the violence of the crowds that filled the capital's streets. He sums up the collapse of the old regime and the birth of the Provisional Government by stating that "power&was less transferred than dropped," adding that "the rest of the story of 1917 (and beyond) was partly about who would (or could) pick up power and hold on to it" (p. 56). He pithily describes the most salient feature of the new Provisional Government as its "spirit of political hesitation" and explains the Petrograd soviet's relationship to the new government as that of a "popular democratic lobby" (pp. 57, 59). But the heart of this narrative section is analysis of popular response to the February Revolution as a "festival of Liberty and Fraternity" that briefly veiled lower-class "struggles for everyday power."
Steinberg's discussion of the symbols, rituals, and language of February draws heavily from the work of Kolonitski and Figes. Here again, though, he introduces an element that shifts our center of attention--an interesting brief analysis of Prince L'vov as symbol of the revolution's early "spirit of revolutionary unity and joy" (p. 61). L'vov thus functions as a sort of touchstone in this and subsequent narrative chapters. Steinberg's discussions of power struggles on the factory floor, in the trenches and barracks, and in the village generally follow the interpretive line of major social historical works. Other than Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, though, no social historian has stressed the popular anger and violence that underlay these conflicts so forcefully as has Steinberg. February was about "groups and individuals challenging established hierarchies of power and honor" fueled by a desire to "avenge insults of the past" (p. 72). In this section in particular, Steinberg demonstrates how lower-class distrust of and anger at elites related to their growing frustration with and alienation from the Provisional government and moderate socialist leadership, and how this political disenchantment raised the Bolsheviks' stock.
The narratives preceding parts two and three of the book present less analysis of lower-class "voices" and focus more heavily on "high politics." In Part Two, "Crisis and Upheaval," Steinberg, rehearses the story of the June demonstrations and the July Days with special detail given to high-level political machinations and decisions. His analysis of lower-class activity, in comparison, largely highlights violence and looting; lower-class protests in this period, he concludes "gave expression to a good deal of clearly directed anger and hatred" (p. 152). Among Steinberg's many insightful points in this chapter is that the far left, the moderate socialists, Kerensky, and the resurgent right all understood "firm order" as the only solution to Russia's perceived disintegration. Steinberg's emphasis again suggests a conscious effort to move Bolshevism away from the narrative's center; he devotes more attention, for instance, to the Moscow State Conference, the creation of Kerensky's Directory, and the Democratic Conference, than to the emergence of a Bolshevik (or more properly, left socialist) majority in the soviets and the October seizure of power. Steinberg carefully sets the October revolution into the context of social breakdown and crisis and explains that the popular revolution in October was still about ordinary people establishing power over the circumstances of their own daily lives. His analysis in this section, though, gives less attention to the rationality of such efforts than to their "emotional and expressive intent," and in particular to lower-class desire for revenge against social elites (p. 176). The Bolsheviks "reaped the benefits" of this anger and hatred.
Social history and analysis of lower-class rhetoric all but drops out of the narrative introduction to Part Three, "Soviets in Power: From the October Revolution to the Closing of the Constituent Assembly." Steinberg examines the mixture in early Bolshevik state policy of utopian and libertarian tendencies with brutal coercion and authoritarianism. He notes that while some recent historians of the revolution (Orlando Figes and Richard Pipes, for instance) have described the more libertarian aspects of Lenin's rhetoric and policy as a cynical manipulation, "Bolshevism was not yet identical with Leninism" and that "even Lenin may have been a less monolithic and consistent thinker than he has been commonly portrayed as being" (p. 253). Still, Steinberg dwells most on Lenin's more ruthless and disciplinarian manifestations. He also makes the very important point that popular support for Soviet power generally meant support for an all-socialist coalition and that many ordinary workers, soldiers, and peasants therefore took Bolshevik steps towards one-party rule as a betrayal. He provides a good account of failed efforts to pressure the Bolsheviks into a broader socialist coalition, of the hopes that the moderate socialist placed in the ill-fated Constituent Assembly, and of early Bolshevik steps to silence their opponents.
Steinberg ends his narrative by posing the question of why was there no mass popular revolt against the Bolsheviks after they disbanded the Constituent Assembly. His answer is twofold: too great an ideological gap existed between the leaders of the moderate socialist opposition and the conservative/nationalist White movement; and the lower classes in any case would have rejected any such united opposition. The lower classes, Steinberg concludes, may have opposed the Bolsheviks, but they were still wedded to class-based notions of democratic power and would not take up arms against a "socialist" state.
In her afterword, "Style in Lower-Class Writing in 1917," Ekaterina Betekhtina explains differences between rhetorical styles employed in the different types of documents, including (but not limited to) matters of organization and syntax, grammatical constructions (such as heavy use of gerunds), borrowings from Old Church Slavic and the Bible, and the use of folk expressions and metaphors. Workers and soldiers, she notes, were more prone to a convoluted literary style that borrowed from bureaucratic and official sources, newspapers, and party agitational materials; peasants more commonly used plain language laced with folk expression and simple, direct constructions. In the revolution's early months, petitions and letters to state and soviet leaders employed a language of supplication that emphasized the author's humility. Supplication, though, soon gave way to more direct demands and a tone of insistence. By late October, demands often came along with curses and rough language. Her general point is that all these authors, from the most sophisticated to the least literate, saw themselves as builders of a new world and creatively manipulated language so as to heighten the emotional charge of their words.
The final section of Betekhina's afterword is a literary analysis of the volume's fifteen workers' poem that might be entitled "Purifying Fire and Redemptive Blood." Betekhina's presents a close reading of the poetic construction of collective identities; the use of religious metaphors, particularly of resurrection, rebirth, and salvation; and the metaphoric/symbolic use of fire, blood, and of the color red. Her point is not that these are good poems, but that they reveal "creative rethinking" of poetic language in "adaptation to the new revolutionary mythology."
Steinberg's fine volume, like the excellent recent work of Boris Kolonitski and of Orlando Figes, seeks not merely to introduce to the study of the revolution a more sophisticated understanding of lower-class languages, culture, and mentalities, but to weave cultural history into a narrative fabric that also includes analysis of social and political history. Steinberg's emphasis on emotions (which also figure heavily in Figes's narrative account), might be welcomed as a corrective to earlier "bloodless" (p. 170) analyses of social polarization that portrayed common people as rational actors, which itself was a corrective to depictions of the lower classes as inchoate "dark masses" manipulated by the Bolsheviks. Steinberg reminds us, quite rightly, that the authors of these documents often seem confused, ill-informed, and inconsistent.
I wonder, though, if this emphasis on the emotional basis of lower-class language and political behavior--and in particular on anger, hatred, and the desire for revenge--might obscure one of the major points of earlier social histories: that common people could and often did act in what they perceived as their own best interests on the basis of "rational" decision making. Perhaps, as Steinberg seems to suggest at points, the very terms in which we sometimes caste this discussion force us into oversimplification; perhaps we should state even more clearly that language, perception, and behavior are products of the interplay of emotions, values, and rational consideration. Certainly Steinberg's stress on emotion begs some questions. Here are two of many. Petitions and supplicants in earlier periods of Russian history used emotive language as a rhetorical strategy; to what extent must we consider this legacy in discussing uses of language of 1917? In his notes, Steinberg makes a few references to the historiography on ritual in the French Revolution; would it be useful to consider emotional upheaval as an aspect of revolutionary experience in explicitly comparative terms?
We might raise a few criticisms of specific interpretive points in Steinberg's essays. For instance, he argues that Russia's liberals "de-emphasized the state as a key force in transforming the country and placed their confidence instead in the workings of an active citizenry behaving responsibly in a society based on law" without explaining how the revolution altered this view (p. 15, again on p. 62, and passim). He discusses the centrality of "nadpartiinost" and "nadklassnost" (transcending party lines and social class) to liberals, but not the concept of "gosudarstvennost" (state-mindedness), which proved so important in 1917. Steinberg's analysis of the liberals (and moderate socialists) would have benefited from greater attention to their statism, both as a reaction to the disappointment in the "masses" and as a factor in their political decline. Steinberg's review of the Kornilov affair asserts that "most of [Kornilov's] army commanders as well as a number of chiefs of staff and other senior officers" supported the mutiny (p. 164). But in examining this problem, Allan Wildman concluded that "In fact, the hard-core support for Kornilov was exceedingly slight and revealed itself only among a certain section of the general staff officers." Steinberg's narrative of the Bolshevik seizure of power seems caught between Alexander Rabinowitch's still-unsurpassed monograph and Richard Pipe's recent epic account: Steinberg argues that the events of 25 October followed a "plan worked out by Lenin" (p. 173), without considering the role of contingency, the importance of Bolshevik "neutralization" of the garrison, Kerensky's "first blow," or the failure of the Provisional Government to raise any armed support.
There are other matters of importance on which Steinberg remains silent, to the detriment of his narrative. In discussing the February Revolution, he never explains the conditional nature of the Petrograd soviet's support for the Provisional Government, which would have made his discussion of the April Crisis clearer. At several points de-emphasis of revolutionary political parties obscures matters. We hear nothing of the organizational transformation of the Bolsheviks into a mass party in spring 1917. At points Steinberg treats the Bolsheviks as the sole representatives of left socialism, rendering invisible the left wing of the PSR, the Menshevik Internationalists, left Bundists, etc., and missing one of Rex Wade's important insights: that revolutionary politics functioned more in terms of blocs than of individual parties. Also, in the section on the first months of Bolshevik rule, it is surprising that Steinberg does not offer any analysis of the relationship between the "dualism" of Bolshevism (its combination or utopian libertarianism and authoritarian violence) and the elements of lower-class political culture portrayed in earlier sections of the narrative (for instance, the relationship between lower-class attitudes towards freedom of the press and the position taken by the Bolsheviks in power).
Of course, there is only so much one can do in a short narrative, and Steinberg has packed a great deal into this book. Yet it is worth noting that his narrative makes at best passing references to ethnic and religious minorities or women in 1917. (In the section on the February Revolution, the aspirations of "national, ethnic, and religious minorities" receive a single sentence, on page 71). Steinberg's essays are about the language of "Russian" men, or rather, on certain segments of the male plebeian population, mostly in Petrograd. In a volume that includes documents from across European Russia, the significance of the "local" in the revolution somehow seems lost, in particular once we leave Petrograd's borders. Within Petrograd, the focus is on experience in the workplace and on street violence, with surprisingly little sense of workers' community life, their participation in clubs, choirs, night courses, etc., in 1917. For all of Steinberg's sensitivity to the complexity of social identity and to the danger of reifying labels like "worker," and "peasant," the men he groups into these categories become homogenized and the great diversity of the urban "lower classes" (including marginal elements) and of rural society seems obscured. And although the documents, of course, present "voices" in the form of written texts, the narrative (after the section on February) says little about other forms of "speaking" that might have bolstered Steinberg's arguments, one example being urban "samosud" (lynching).
For all this book's excellent features, there are potential problems with its organization (many of which Steinberg acknowledges in his introduction). More of the text is devoted to interpretation and narrative background than to actual documents (by my count, the introduction, afterword, and narratives alone run 171 pages, while the documents take up 169 pages). Yet the documents seem oddly disconnected from the explication (perhaps because of the length of each section). Without introductions to each document, nonspecialists may find it hard to relate each back to Steinberg's narrative. In my experience, at least, students seem to get more out of readers that provide at least some brief introduction to each document. Gregory Freeze's From Supplication to Revolution is a superb collection, but I find that Dan Kaiser and Gary Marker's Reinterpreting Russian History works better in a classroom setting. (Some Annals of Communism volumes that similarly work better than others in the classroom for this reason, a good positive example being Seigelbaum and Sokolov's Stalinism as a Way of Life .)
Moreover, we seldom learn anything of the speaker or of the specific context for their statements, so that it can be hard to access just what it actually reveals. Among the documents in Part One, for example, is a wonderful letter "To All Russian Women and Mothers" from the Smolensk Initiative Group of Women and Mothers, which appeared in Novaia zhizn on 5 May 1917 (p. 98). Steinberg has grouped this letter with documents representing "workers," but other than the letter's reference to "capitalists' inflamed greed" and the fact that it was printed in a socialist newspaper, the document contains no internal evidence that identifies it as a statement by "workers." I first read this letter in 1986, and for all my searching in local newspapers and local archives since that time, I have found no more information on this "initiative group" than is contained in Maxim Gorky's newspaper. I could not tell you who its members were, or how many they numbered, or how long they persisted in meeting--they seem to have left no other trace--and I would be hesitant to conclude that this document reveals the voice of working women.
My main objection to the book's organization, though, is that plucking documents out of their specific context focuses readers' attention primarily on Steinberg's main concern, the emotionality of the rhetoric. As a result, rhetoric and style can completely overshadow the importance of content for readers who are not immersed in the history of 1917. (I have the impression that this was true, for instance, of Betekhina's reading of these documents.)
All criticisms aside, I found this an exciting, interesting volume and I would strongly recommend it to specialists as well as students and general readers.
. Most documents are from the State Archive of the Russian Federation (GARF), but Steinberg has also gathered material from the Russian State Archive of Sociopolitical History (RGASPI, formerly RTsKhIDNI), the Russian State Military-Historical Archives (RGVIA), and the Central State Archives of St. Petersburg (TsGA SPb).
. See, for instance, Orlando Figes, A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution, 1891-1924 (New York: Viking, 1996); idem., "The Russian Revolution of 1917 and Its Language in the Village," Russian Review 56, no. 3 (1997): 323-345; Orlando Figes and Boris Kolonitski, Interpreting the Russian Revolution: The Language and Symbols of 1917 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999); Boris Kolonitski, "Antibourgeois Propaganda and Anti-'Burzhui' Consciousness in 1917," Russian Review 53, no. 2 (1994): 183-196; and idem, "'Democracy' in the Political Consciousness of the February Revolution," Slavic Review 57, no. 1 (1999): 95-106. Kolonitski has further expanded his important analysis of revolutionary political culture in Simvoly vlasti i bor'ba za vlast': k izucheniiu politicheskoi kul'tura Rossiiskoi revoliutsii 1917 goda (St. Petersburg: Dmitrii Bulanin, 2001). Steinberg also makes excellent use of now standard works on the social history of 1917 by Marc Ferro, Orlando Figes, Ziva Galili, Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, Diane Koenker, David Mandel, William Rosenberg, Steve Smith, Rex Wade, Allan Wildman, etc. And he has relied rather heavily at points on Richard Pipes, The Russian Revolution (New York: Vintage, 1991), without necessarily resolving the tensions that exist between Pipes' interpretation and that of the social historical literature.
. For a recent analysis that emphasizes "emotional content" as a discursive strategy in supplications during the Nicholean era, see Madhavan K. Palat, "Regulating Conflict through the Petition," in M. Palat, ed., Social Identities in Revolutionary Russia (Basingstoke: Palgrave/St. Martins, 2001), 86-112.
. See, for instance, chapter 5 of William Rosenberg's The Liberals in the Russian Revolution: The Constitutional Democratic Party, 1917-1921 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1974).
. Allan K. Wildman, "The General Staff and the Kornilov Movement," in Revolution in Russia: Reassessments of 1917 ed. by Edith Rogovin Frankel, Jonathan Frankel, and Baruch Knei-Paz (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 98.
. Pipes, The Russian Revolution; Alexander Rabinowitch, The Bolsheviks Come to Power: The Revolution of 1917 in Petrograd (New York: Norton, 1976). On the importance of contingency, see also Robert Daniels, Red October: The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 (New York: Scribners, 1967).
. Rex A. Wade, The Russian Revolution, 1917 (New York: Cambridge, 2000). Similarly, Steinberg would have done well to consider Wade's argument that the early measures of the Bolshevik regime had rendered the Constituent Assembly largely irrelevant in the minds of most workers, soldiers, and peasants, and that this helps explain their failure to rise en masse in January 1918.
. Gregory L. Freeze, From Supplication to Revolution: A Documentary Social History of Imperial Russia (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988); Daniel H. Kaiser and Gary Marker, Reinterpreting Russian History: Readings, 860-1860s (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994); Lewis Siegelbaum and Andrei Sokolov, Stalinism as a Way of Life. A Narrative in Documents (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000).
Copyright 2003 by H-Net, all rights reserved. H-Net permits the redistribution and reprinting of this work for nonprofit, educational purposes, with full and accurate attribution to the author, web location, date of publication, originating list, and H-Net: Humanities & Social Sciences Online. For other uses contact the Reviews editorial staff: email@example.com.
If there is additional discussion of this review, you may access it through the list discussion logs at: http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/logbrowse.pl.
Michael C. Hickey. Review of Steinberg, Mark D., Voices of Revolution, 1917.
H-Russia, H-Net Reviews.
Copyright © 2003 by H-Net, all rights reserved. H-Net permits the redistribution and reprinting of this work for nonprofit, educational purposes, with full and accurate attribution to the author, web location, date of publication, originating list, and H-Net: Humanities & Social Sciences Online. For any other proposed use, contact the Reviews editorial staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.