“I think that A People’s Tragedy is the most readable and illuminating history of the Russian revolution to be written, using material that only became available to historians following the Soviet Union’s collapse. Its scope is immense….Figes is basically a social historian. He’s interested in how historical events of the magnitude of the Russian revolution developed out of a number of different social trends. One of the great things about this book is that he combines a number of general theses about the revolution with personal narratives. He chooses five very different characters: Prince Lvov, who was the prime minister in the provisional government that was formed after the February revolution in 1917; General Brusilov, the tsar’s most gifted general who later joined the Red Army; Dmitri Oskin, a peasant soldier; the author Maxim Gorky; and Sergei Semenov, a reforming peasant leader. These personal narratives allow him to look at this period from all points of view – the grand political perspective, the grassroots perspective, a literary perspective, a military perspective.” Read more...
The best books on The Russian Revolution