1917: the year a series of rebellions toppled three centuries of autocratic rule and placed a group of political radicals in charge of a world power. Here, suddenly, was the first modern socialist state, “a kingdom more bright that any heaven had to offer”. But the dream was short-lived, bringing in its wake seventy years of conflict and instability that nearly ended in nuclear war.
How could such a revolution take place and what caused it to go so very wrong? Presenting a uniquely long view of events, Abraham Ascher takes readers from the seeds of revolution in the 1880s right through to Stalin’s state terror and the power of the communist legacy in Russia today. Original and shrewd, Ascher’s analysis offers an unparalled introduction to this watershed period in world history
Abraham Ascher is Distinguished Professor of History at the Graduate School of the City University of New York. A highly respected scholar, he is the recipient of numerous awards, and the author of seven books and over thirty articles.
‘this book has much to offer… interesting and engaging’
– Russian Review
"In this erudite and engaging volume, Abraham Ascher manages to combine a comprehensive and managable guide to its complex subject, which will appeal to beginners, with gems of insight -- drawn from his lifetime of engagement with the subject -- that will make it also required reading for all students of the Russian Revolution."
– Jonathan D. Smele, Senior Lecturer, Queen Mary University of London
"The best, most concise and most reliable introduction."
– Walter Laqueur - Emeritus Professor, Georgetown University
"Perfect for the general reader. Original and insightful. Highly recommended."
– Guenter Lewy - Emeritus Professor of Political Science, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
"Erudite and engaging. Ascher's gems of insight will make it required reading for all students of the Russian Revolution."
– Seymour Becker - Professor Emeritus of History, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey