In this extract from his History of the Russian Revolution, which Haymarket is republishing to mark the centenary of 1917, Trotsky describes the final days of Imperial Russia. Incompetent, vain, and stobbornly ignorant of all around them, the royal family and decrepit aristocracy appear utterly divorced from reality, powerless to prevent their imminent overthrow.
Skobelev Square during the February Revolution, by A.M. Gerasimov. Open Source.
The dynasty fell by shaking, like rotten fruit, before the revolution even had time to approach its first problems. Our portrayal of the old ruling class would remain incomplete if we did not try to show how the monarchy met the hour of its fall.