"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
"The greatest history of an event that I know."
—C. L. R. James
"Justly celebrated as a towering, vivid, historically vital work."
—China Miéville, October
"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."
"I would routinely smuggle copies of Trotsky's History of the Russian Revolution into the USSR—so our colleagues could know a little about their own political beginnings."
"This passionate, partisan and beautifully written account by a major participant in the revolution, written during his exile on the isle of Prinkipo in Turkey, remains one of the best accounts of 1917. No counter-revolutionary, conservative or liberal, has been able to compete with this telling."
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In commemoration of the 100 year anniversary of the Russian Revolution, Haymarket Books has compiled a list of essential books for those interested in learning the lessons of the first successful workers' revolution.
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."