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1905
1905 chronicles the key developments lead to revolution and the unsuccessful attempt at overthrowing the Tsar of Russia.
In January of 1905, thousands of Russian workers, led by a priest on the payroll of the Tsar himself, marched to the gates of the Winter Palace with the intention of humbly petitioning their ruler for an eight hour work day. They were met by an intransigent detachment of royal guards who opened fire, killing hundreds of demonstrators. This massacre was the spark that set off an uprising that would shake the Russian Empire to its very foundation before the year’s end.

At the very center of this movement stood the newly created Soviet of Workers Deputies. Formed to coordinate the wave of mass strikes that stretched from St. Petersburg to Warsaw, this council became the de-facto voice of Russia’s revolutionary workers, who chose Leon Trotsky as their elected leader.

1905 is Leon Trotsky’s account of these events. With his characteristic combination of elegant, beautifully written narrative and incisive, insightful analysis, Trotsky’s book—despite long being out of print—has remained the central point of reference for those looking to understand the rising of workers, peasants, and soldiers that would later become known as ‘the Great Dress Rehearsal.’ Originally written in 1908 for revolutionaries in and outside of Russia to better understand the dynamics and forces at play in order to better apply them to their own circumstances, this new edition reclaims these lessons for today’s radicals

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  • The Death Agony of the Monarchy: Russia on the eve of revolution

    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.

    Continue Reading

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.
  • History of the Russian Revolution

    The definitive account of the Russian Revolution, by Leon Trotsky, its leader and key historian.
  • Literature and Revolution

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