Clica una miniatura per anar a Google Books.
Revolutionary Russia: 1891-1991
de Orlando Figes
No hi ha cap discussió a Converses sobre aquesta obra.
Good Russian history overview. Nice summary of 1910s and 1920s. Becomes quite perfunctory after that. Fine- but brief. Author frequently sets it up as "some think this" - "some thing that" .... Actually, the truth is .... Which i always find a bit annoying. ( )
Pre-review comment: I used to think that people calling Soviets “Russians” was sloppy and half-insulting, like when people call everything from Britain “English” out of laziness. I’ve changed my mind. Perhaps some of this usage has been intended to be insulting, (from the verbal inflection), but this is not a comment on its correctness; there’s something to be said for it. Soviet Russia’s history has to be considered part of the greater thing of Russian history. (Soviet Ukraine is part of a greater Ukrainian history, but consists of when it was absorbed into Russia, like Ireland into Britain in old times.)
I think with Germany it’s different. Despite the roots of anti-Semitism in medieval German/European history, the Nazi period is so unlike what came before and after for the Germans, and a Nazi German book so different from other books, from general German history, that for me, in my classification system, the two have to be separated. [German and French anti-Semitism may have been similar in the 1300s, probably, but I understand that classifying is on some level like playing a silly game. It is mere habit.] I think that the Nazis were worse than the Stalinists (who were obviously much bloodier than other Soviet eras)—if we’re going to play this silly Worst Dictator game, but I admit that I play like everybody else. Hitler killed babies; he tried to exterminate races. The Stalinist Soviets were bloody minded tyrants, to be sure, but they were more an exaggerated version of the Praetorian Guard married to the Robespierre/Napoleon Guard, just bloodier. (Hitler killed many of the people who died on Stalin’s watch, but not all of them, obviously.) But, pace Eugene Kogon, (writing in 1950), the Nazis were not the Praetorian Guard or the Mahdi’s people; I do not know who they are.
But despite the seedier side of German political opinion and reactions to immigration, Angela Merkel is not Trump, whereas Russia has this super-Trump that’s not only not going away, but has started a large-scale shooting war in Europe, the first one in a long time. Yes, part of this is colored by current events for me, which is probably unscientific. Yes, bloodier wars are fought in Africa—the Congo, Darfur. But I’ll say what I say anyway. There’s much more continuity in Russian imperialism and government. They wanted an empire before they were Marxist-Leninists; they (despite everything!) wanted an empire while they were Marxist-Leninists, and, despite eventually being defeated and “changing” and doesn’t it seem impossible, but they still want an empire now that they’re not Marxist-Leninists anymore. They still want Ukraine; they want to be a superpower. They being, that is, the Russian government. Russian people on some level are like all people, all life. I still like Tolstoy, whose late life project was this revolution that eventually came full circle. But sometimes we admire Europeans; sometimes we are cynical about the West; sometimes we put them together with Russia. So it helps to remember that Russia’s government has been totally crazy and chauvinistic for centuries, and has remained so despite changing several times. That’s where this book comes in, showing the continuity across the different Soviet periods, and indeed between what went before and after 1917.
Additional comment: Of course I suppose the obvious difference is that Hitler’s was a right-dictatorship, and Stalin’s was a left-dictatorship; despite both being products of modern times there was that obvious difference. (Conservatives who think that Hitler was a liberal are almost arguing that there’s no room for calling anything right-wing if it’s modern.) Hitler’s the standard cartoon character villain, the reason man persecutes God, the reason that man is going to hell. (You can only push God so far.) But wait! Stalin is evil too! Wait up, middle-aged middle-class white man stigma, Stalin stigma is catching up! Maybe the people who like Black-led politics are gulag people, and we should lock them up before it’s too late! What do we do with that? After all, a cat can be skinned in more than one way. (I don’t mean to say that the above Fox News headline sort of populism is the studied opinion of this guy or any other professional student of Russian history, but Fox News is part of the world, and you know that eventually you’d have to address it somehow.)
For me, I think the answer is what many social workers (especially gerontologists) already say—not, indeed, that people in prison now are to blame for the mistakes of the people in power now, or any possible catastrophe in the future. No, indeed. (And it should be noted that while it’s good to understand risk factors, fantasizing about Bad Things That Might Happen Someday, especially if you have it better than many other people you don’t care about, is a dubious exercise.) But it is true that sometimes people have reasons to fear, not so much their neighbors or foreigners or even the poor, as their own children. Hitler killed whole races, but too many times in Soviet history tyrants killed their old friends and children killed their aging parents. So if from Russian revolutionary history we learn not to call the old or the middle-aged ugly names, or blame older adults for being less diverse racially than the young, (as if some sixty year old teacher can change by will that he is white and his student is Black), or, more troublesome, of course, but even more conventional, sometimes, in their opinions, since it is hard for the average person to change her mind, although the young can be conventional too, albeit in a more sexed-up way…. If we can remember some of that, then perhaps we have profited and not deluded ourselves from history.
…. To summarize, three points:
1. I don’t like the Russian government. They always seem to be skull-crackers. (Writing love letters to the oppressor clique is unhelpful.)
2. I don’t like “good white people”. “Good white people” are just like all white people, and all white people are just like all people who aren’t white: so there’s no category of “good white people”.
3. It can’t be easy to live in a country where there’s a clique of skull-crackers calling themselves the government; it’s also not easy to leave your home—country and zone of linguistic comfort, and possibly your family.
But I’m not sure I’m going to write about every little subsequent catastrophe. Already with people plotting against the czar things are dicey, and I know that they’re only going to get worse.
…. I guess I forgot that there are periods of lawlessness in Russian history too, like the Civil War—which I guess makes sense because the country was quite unsettled in the 90s, too.
Plato would have loved the phrase ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’. “…. And after anarchy comes the dictatorship of the proletariat, such as in Russia, or else a dictatorship characterized more by….”
Corrupt government, followed by excess of anarchy, followed by even more unconscionable tyranny. Do you not agree that it is so?
I do, Socrates.
…. It is funny though, because there is kinda a czarist or whatever reading of Russian history. What do you do with post-unfree labor? Punish it before it rebels!
So History asked them again, What do you want me to do with the one called Post-Unfree Labor? And shouted back, Punish it! Why? asked History. What evil has it done? But they shouted back all the louder, Punish it!
I really don’t know what else to say to this particular reading of history. I have it good, because I’m hurting you. My behavior possibly puts me or my people’s status in risk down the road, and you unquestionably suffer now, and probably also in any rebellion you might stage. What do I do?
I lash out! Because when people at the top act out, that’s acting the right way. ^^
…. It was a real vicious circle, and at every step along the way, from the czar to the White Guards to the Nazis, opposition and war just kept driving the commies deeper and deeper into insanity.
…. Lenin at various times, (New Economic Policy, Testament) realized that core parts of Leninism didn’t work, and that this is Lenin at his best is sad. Stalin wasn’t even loyal to his first country, Georgia, but purged and Russified it, something I never knew. Trotsky was a Jew, so I guess that was part of what made him such a convenient villain. Trotsky himself, the man, however, would not have been different, as he was basically just another militarist.
This is why I wasn’t going to talk about it; the more mud you muck through, the more bodies you find. I suppose this is what I like, though. Not the Russian Revolution, but dukkha itself (suffering, uneasiness, Not Supposed To Be This Way). The story of people who never found their peace of mind is quite interesting, sometimes.
…. One thinks of genocide as being shooting or gassing people, like the Nazis gassing Jews or Stalin shooting generals and army officers. There’s a sort of humanistic prejudice here, I’m not sure how to describe it, but anti-natural world. Hitler looks at a Jew funny, or Stalin his father, and then they order an execution. But most of the people that died in the USSR during that time—although the Nazis were surely shooting Ostjuden and Leninists the old men—died in famines. Urban Russian prejudice against the peasants and rural minorities translated into a violent offensive to gain control over agriculture, which damaged the food production system and led to people starving to death—which was fine as long as urban Russians got to have lunch at the factory.
…. And after all that blood and driving-Stalin’s-wife-to-suicide, after going to war against society Twice, 1917-1921, and 1928-1932, they decide…. As long as I’m the Tsar, Tsarism’s good! All that killing, for what? I’m not a Leninist, or even a Marxist really, but that’s just *erratic*. What exactly were they trying to accomplish?…. What are these people good at?
…. In a way Stalin’s grand strategy was a partial failure; the USSR ended the war much more scarred and weaker than they had anticipated.
It is notable that the country went through various periods of war against society (1917-21, 1928-32, 1937), and Russophile phases, but, I don’t know, on the whole they were pretty trigger happy. Even at its best it seems like it was more livable during certain periods only in the context of people being used to the ‘cold’, and putting up with ‘cold’.
…. Red-baiting, meet un-red-baiting
“There’s one more thing I have to do to make sure I get into hell….” (Stalinist anti-Semitism).
…. (general history-malice) I wonder why we torture each other, and why it’s such good sport to read.
“Your story doesn’t seem true.”
“You’re right—all the money went back to Mark.”
~ “The Informant!” (movie quote)
…. “Things are shit, but you’ve got to keep yourself safe.”
“(long quote about fighting corruption or whatever).”
“Maybe AA is the revolution.”
…. Gorbachev was probably the best Soviet leader, ironically—probably better than I would be if I inherited that dragon…. Obviously it still led to societal collapse, which underlines the paradox of reality, which is basically the (at least sometimes) unreality of Louise Hay’s way of looking at things—Stop thrashing and lashing out and hating and making things worse! Then, you’ll feel better!
That, or the ground will collapse beneath your feet, for the sake of an at least partially-wasted opportunity for those who come after….
…. Gorbachev was probably the only honest Soviet leader…. Lenin, I don’t know, the only intelligent one. ^^
[Plato’s Republic quote here]
…. I don’t know if I should say this politely, but, whatever. If you don’t like Gorbachev better than Lenin, (and not the other way around, or even—I don’t know), then politically speaking there is probably something wrong with you.
…. Although obviously that’s setting the bar low, and Russia is still Russia, where it’s ‘cold’. It’s cold, inside.
…. There could be something after capitalism; probably there is—although perhaps it’ll be some form of spiritual monarchy, probably with socialist and capitalist elements. After capitalism, something, but never a Soviet economy, never Leninism after, or as a substitute, or even, you know, before.
…. I thought that maybe half of Russia didn’t like Stalin, like how the US is divided over Trump. It sounds like at least 80% of the country likes him. They never really divested themselves of their imperialism….
Yeltsin: Get kudos from the West for standing-on-tank bravado, and support from Russians for soft-balling democratic reform. And the West didn’t care, because at least the big banks were making big bucks…. Follow that? Man, there’s not wanting to be a militant and then there’s the Ultimate Pragmatist—Making money is great; capitalism, communism…. Just make money! The blind led the blind, and Russia fell into a pit.
Putin: Forget about economics, comrades—socialism is national chauvinism! We’re—National, socialists!
This is a short and sweet history of Russia. It's a great starting point to understanding how Russia got to where it is today. Due to the length, it obviously leaves a lot unsaid or said too briefly. if you want that, I believe the author has written longer works. This book was perfect for me because I wasn't interested in all the details. I just wanted a quick overview, and this book successfully delivered. Most importantly, I have a much greater understanding for why Putin is in power even though Putin is only really talked about in the last chapter.
This was a rather easy read and was useful to fill a great deal of gaps in my knowledge. At the same time, the period after World War II seems to receive less attention than the period up until immediately after Stalin's death,so it is far from a complete history. Nonetheless, for an airport read, it was certainly time well spent.
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .A stunning and definitive history of the period by one of the leading authorities on Russian history. He has written several other books on Russian history that are worth a look. The fall of the royal family and their eventual murder and the Revolution and the subsequent rise of Communism is well documented in this history. A must book for those interested in Russia.
Es mostren 1-5 de 12 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Referències a aquesta obra en fonts externes.
Wikipedia en anglès (1)
Presenting a new perspective on the Russian Revolution, a noted historian traces three generational phases to show how the revolution, while it changed in form and character, retained the same idealistic goals throughout In this elegant and incisive account, Orlando Figes offers an illuminating new perspective on the Russian Revolution. While other historians have focused their examinations on the cataclysmic years immediately before and after 1917, Figes shows how the revolution, while it changed in form and character, nevertheless retained the same idealistic goals throughout, from its origins in the famine crisis of 1891 until its end with the collapse of the Soviet regime in 1991. Figes traces three generational phases: Lenin and the Bolsheviks, who set the pattern of destruction and renewal until their demise in the terror of the 1930s; the Stalinist generation, promoted from the lower classes, who created the lasting structures of the Soviet regime and consolidated its legitimacy through victory in war; and the generation of 1956, shaped by the revelations of Stalin's crimes and committed to "making the Revolution work" to remedy economic decline and mass disaffection. Until the very end of the Soviet system, its leaders believed they were carrying out the revolution Lenin had begun. With the authority and distinctive style that have marked his magisterial histories, Figes delivers an accessible and paradigm-shifting reconsideration of one of the defining events of the twentieth century. -- Publisher description
No s'han trobat descripcions de biblioteca.
Autor amb llibres seus als Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing
El llibre de Orlando Figes Revolutionary Russia, 1891-1991 estava disponible a LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Amazon Kindle (0 edicions)
Audible (0 edicions)
CD Audiobook (0 edicions)
Project Gutenberg (0 edicions)
Google Books — S'està carregant…
Classificació Decimal de Dewey (DDC)947.084 — History and Geography Europe Russia and eastern Europe [and formerly Finland] Russian & Slavic History by Period 1855- 1917-1953 ; Communist period
LCC (Clas. Bibl. Congrés EUA)
Fes-te Autor del LibraryThing.