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History of the Russian Revolution
The definitive account of the Russian Revolution, by Leon Trotsky, its leader and key historian.
“During the first two months of 1917 Russia was still a Romanov monarchy. Eight months later the Bolsheviks stood at the helm. They were little known to anybody when the year began, and their leaders were still under indictment for state treason when they came to power. You will not find another such sharp turn in history especially if you remember that it involves a nation of 150 million people. It is clear that the events of 1917, whatever you think of them, deserve study.”
--Leon Trotsky, from History of the Russian Revolution

Regarded by many as among the most powerful works of history ever written, this book offers an unparalleled account of one of the most pivotal and hotly debated events in world history. This book reveals, from the perspective of one of its central actors, the Russian Revolution’s profoundly democratic, emancipatory character.

Originally published in three parts, Trotsky’s masterpiece is collected here in a single volume. It serves as the most vital and inspiring record of the Russian Revolution to date.

“[T]he greatest history of an event that I know.”
—C. L. R. James

"Justly celebrated as a towering, vivid, historically vital work.”
—China Miéville, October

“In Trotsky all passions were aroused, but his thought remained calm and his vision clear.... His involvement in the struggle, far from blurring his sight, sharpens it.... The History is his crowning work, both in scale and power and as the fullest expression of his ideas on revolution. As an account of a revolution, given by one of its chief actors, it stands unique in world literature.”
—Isaac Deutscher

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  • The Russian Revolution Reading List from Haymarket Books



    In the first in a series of articles commemorating the centenary of the Russian Revolution, the New York Times tremulously wondered whether today’s economic anxieties might lead to a resurgence of interest in communism. We at Haymarket Books have often wondered this ourselves, but for altogether different reasons than the good folks at the Times.

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

    Tsar Nicholas II of Russia abdicated a hundred years ago today, bringing to an end three centuries of Romanov rule. In this extract from his History of the Russian Revolution, Trotsky describes the final days of Imperial Russia. Incompetent, vain, and almost comically ignorant of the historic events unfolding around it, the Tsarist regime fell, in Trotsky's words, "like rotten fruit."

      
    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.

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  • How Women Workers in Russia Sparked a Revolution

    International Women’s Day in 2017 is the most politicized in years, with marches and strikes organized around the world. Haymarket’s Dana Blanchard looks back to when, a century ago today, such action set off a chain of events that would culminate in the world’s first proletarian revolution.


    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 Leon Trotsky

  • 100 Years Since the Russian Revolution

    A stirring, passionately argued defense of the continued importance of the Russian Revolution for today’s struggles.
  • Trotsky on Lenin

    Combining Young Lenin and On Lenin in one volume, this is a fascinating political biography by fellow revolutionary Leon Trotsky.
  • Lessons of October

    An critical examination of the key actors and larger social movements that led to the rise of the Bolsheviks.
  • 1905

    1905 chronicles the key developments lead to revolution and the unsuccessful attempt at overthrowing the Tsar of Russia.
  • Literature and Revolution

    A new, annotated edition of Leon Trotsky's classic study of the relationship of politics and art.