Few countries have had as dramatic a history as Russia’s in the twentieth century. The country as such disappeared for some seven decades during the Soviet period, only to re-emerge at the end of the century. For seventy-four years from 1917 the country was ruled by a party that claimed to be building some version of communism. This book is an essay on the experience of communism in those years. It is not a history of Russia over the last century, and neither is it a full-scale analysis of communism. The aim of the work is to examine the origins of the communist idea in Russian political thought and practice, the various forms that revolutionary socialism took in the pre-revolutionary period, and the resistance to these ideas. The nature of the revolutionary socialist challenge will be discussed, together with an examination of why a particularly virulent form came to power in Russia in 1917. The debates within the new communist regime will then be analysed, together with the failure of the alternatives to Leninist closure. The experience of the revolutionary society will be revealed in the light of various theories of Stalinism and totalitarianism.
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
To get access to this content you need the following product:
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number