Chapter

The Russian Revolution—and After

Norman Birnbaum

in After Progress

Published in print July 2002 | ISBN: 9780195158595
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849352 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195158595.003.0003
The Russian Revolution—and After

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The Bolshevik Revolution, and the Soviet society and state that it engendered, the world Communist movement whose leadership the Soviet party expropriated, have served as screens—on which exalted hopes and bitter fears have been projected, frequently with not quite sublime disregard of historical reality. The Mikhail Gorbachev reforms, the collapse of Communism in the Soviet Union, the total loss of whatever model function the Revolution once claimed and in some parts of the world exerted have intensified an argument that has been going on since 1917. The Revolution was not merely a coup d'état in a very backward society devastated by military defeat. The projects of the new Soviet state were not simply desperate expedients by an increasingly cynical ruling elite, determined to sanctify their profane grip on power by proclaiming an end no less sacred than the creation of a new society.

Keywords: Bolshevik Revolution; Soviet Union; society; Mikhail Gorbachev; reforms; Communism

Chapter.  11015 words. 

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