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Year One of the Russian Revolution
Serge exposes the heart of the vital first year of the most important working class revolution in history.
Brimming with the honesty and passionate conviction for which he has become famous, Victor Serge’s account of the first year of the Russian Revolution—through all of its achievements and challenges—captures both the heroism of the mass upsurge that gave birth to soviet democracy, and the crippling circumstances that began to chip away at its historic gains. Year One of the Russian Revolution is Serge’s attempt to defend the early days of the revolution against those, like Stalin, who would claim its legacy as justification for the repression of dissent within Russia.
Reviews
  • “[T]he re-issuing of this remarkable work, by a truly remarkable individual, is so timely, and welcome...For all its faults (and Peter Sedgwick, who translated this work, is unsparing in his criticisms of some of Serge’s analyses), this work is a tribute to an outstanding, and unyielding revolutionary who told it as he saw it, was a fearless opponent of Stalin, and an intransigent revolutionary to his dying day. More importantly, it gives the reader an ability to comprehend the hard choices facing revolutionaries at a time when no one knew the outcome, when the very revolution itself was facing defeat...All of which makes this an heroic work.”
    —Richard Allday, Counterfire


    “He was an eyewitness of events of world historical importance, of great hope and even greater tragedy. His political recollections are very important, because they reflect so well the mood of this lost generation . . . His articles and books speak for themselves, and we would be poorer without them.”
    Partisan Review

    “I know of no other writer with whom Serge can be very usefully compared. The essence of the man and his books is to be found in his attitude to the truth. There have of course been many scrupulously honest writers. But for Serge the value of the truth extended far beyond the simple (or complex) telling of it.”
    –John Berger

    “A witness to revolution and reaction in Europe between the wars, Serge searingly evoked the epochal hopes and shattering setbacks of a generation of leftists…Yet under the bleakest of conditions, Serge’s optimism, his humane sympathies and generous spirit, never waned. A radical misfit, no faction, no sect could contain him; he inhabited a lonely no-man’s-land all his own. These qualities are precisely what make him such an inspiring, even moving figure.”
    —Book Forum

    “The novels, poems, memoirs and other writings of Victor Serge are among the finest works of literature inspired by the October Revolution that brought the working class to power in Russia in 1917. . . . His articles—like the work of John Reed, his American friend—let us follow revolutionary events as they unfold, as seen through the eyes of an exceptionally alert journalist.”
    —Scott McLemee

    "Victor Serge is one of the unsung heroes of a corrupt century."
    —Adam Hochschild, author of King Leopold's Ghost

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  • The Death Agony of the Monarchy: Russia on the Eve of Revolution

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    Skobelev Square during the February Revolution, by A.M. Gerasimov. Open Source.

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    One of the greatest lessons the Russian state learned on March 8, 1917 was never to underestimate the women of Petrograd. On that fateful morning, International Women’s Day, women workers threw down their tools and walked out of the factories and into the streets. They were met by thousands more women, many of them soldiers’ wives tired of watching their children slowly starve, who were protesting the endless war and the long bread lines that had been a feature of the city since the war began in 1914. This was a powerful economic and political statement—women workers were 47 percent of the workforce in Petrograd at the time—and inspired male workers to walk off the job too, effectively shutting down the city’s economy and putting the government of Tsar Nicholas II on notice that the women and the workers wanted fundamental change.

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Other books by Victor Serge

  • Life and Death of Leon Trotsky

    Translation of the combined memoir and tribute by Trotsky's widow and his close friend, first published in France in 1951.
  • Witness to the German Revolution

    In 1923 history stood at a cross roads. Serge unapologetically lent his pen to those fighting for international workers' revolution.
  • Revolution In Danger

    Assailed by counter-revolution from within and without, Victor Serge brings to life the unwavering revolutionary commitment of red Petrograd.