The Revolution at One Hundred: Issues and Trends in the English Language Historiography of the Russian Revolution of 1917

in Journal of Modern Russian History and Historiography
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This essay tracks the evolution of English-language writing on the Russian Revolution breaking it down into three broad periods: up to the 1960s, the 1960s–1980s, and the post-Soviet era, with special stress on the latter period. It discusses trends and issues in writing on the history of the revolution and traces changes in the focus—political history, social history, cultural history, regional and nationality history, and other themes.

The Revolution at One Hundred: Issues and Trends in the English Language Historiography of the Russian Revolution of 1917

in Journal of Modern Russian History and Historiography



 See Rex A. Wade“The Revolution at Ninety (One): Anglo-American Historiography of the Russian Revolution of 1917,” Journal of Modern Russian History and Historiography 1 (2008): 1–42.


Leopold H. Haimson“The Problem of Social Stability in Urban Russia,” Slavic Review 23 no. 4 (1964): 619–42and vol. 24 no. 1 (1965): 1–22.


Peter Stearns“Introduction,” Encyclopedia of European Social History from 1350 to 2000Ed. Peter Stearns (New York: 2001) vol. i: xix.


Paul Avrich“Russian Factory Committees in 1917,” Jahrbucher fur Geschichte Osteuropas 11. (1963): 161–82; Paul Avrich “The Bolshevik Revolution and Workers’ Control in Russian Industry” Slavic Review 22 (1963): 47–63; Wilson R. Augustine “Russia’s Railwaymen July–October 1917” Slavic Review 24 no. 4 (December 1965): 666–79.


Rex A. Wade“The Rajonnye Sovety of Petrograd: The Role of Local Political Bodies in the Russian Revolution,” Jahrbucher fur Geschichte Osteuropas 20 (1972): 226–40; Teddy J. Uldricks “The Crowd in the Russian Revolution: Towards Reassessing the Nature of Revolutionary Leadership” Politics and Society 4 no. 3 (1974): 397–413; Ronald Grigor Suny The Baku Commune 1917–1918; John L. H. Keep The Russian Revolution Rosenberg Liberals.


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Michael C. Hickey“Discourses of Public Identity and Liberalism in the February Revolution: Smolensk, Spring 1917,” The Russian Review 55 no. 4 (1996): 615–37and Michael C. Hickey “The Rise and Fall of Smolensk’s Moderate Socialists: The Politics of Class and the Rhetoric of Crisis in 1917” in Donald J. Raleigh ed. Provincial Landscapes: Local Dimension of Soviet Power 1917–1935 (Pittsburgh 2001) 14–35.


Matthew Rendle“The Symbolic Revolution: The Russian Nobility and February 1917,” Revolutionary Russia 18 no. 1 (2005): 23–46; Matthew Rendle Defenders of the Motherland: The Tsarist Elite in Revolutionary Russia (Oxford 2010).


Aaron B. Retish“Creating Peasant Citizens: Rituals of Power, Rituals of Citizenship in Viatka Province, 1917,” Revolutionary Russia 16 no. 1 (June 2003): 47–67; Aaron B. Retish Russia’s Peasants in Revolution and Civil War: Citizenship Identity and the Creation of the Soviet State 1914–1922 (Cambridge 2008).


Diane Koenker“Scripting the Revolutionary Worker Autobiography: Archetypes, Models, Inventions, and Markets,” International Review of Social History 49 no. 3 (2004): 371–400.


Ian Thatcher“Memoirs of the Russian Provisional Government,” Revolutionary Russia 27 no. 1 (June 2014): 1–21; Ian Thatcher “Scripting the Russian Revolution” in Keith Michael Baker and Dan Edelstein Scripting Revolution (Stanford 2015) 213–27 399–402.


Steve Smith“Russian Workers and the Politics of Social Identity,” The Russian Review 56 no. 1 (January 1997): 1.


William G. Rosenberg“Representing Workers and the Liberal Narrative of Modernity,” Slavic Review 55 no. 2 (Summer 1996): 245–69; Michael C. Hickey “Discourses of Public Identity and Liberalism in the February Revolution: Smolensk Spring 1917” The Russian Review 55 no. 4 (1996): 615–37.


Vera Kaplan“A Dress Rehearsal for Cultural Revolution: Bolshevik Policy towards Teachers and Education between February and October, 1917,” History of Education 35 nos. 4–5 (2006): 427–52.


Murray Frame“Theatre and Revolution in 1917: The Case of the Petrograd State Theatres,” Revolutionary Russia 12 no. 1 (June 1999): 84–102; Murray Frame et al. eds. Russian Culture in War and Revolution.


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Melissa Stockdale“‘My Death for the Motherland is Happiness’: Women, Patriotism, and Soldiering in Russia’s Great War, 1914–1917,” American Historical Review 109 no. 1 (2004): 78–116.


Sarah Badcock“Women, Protest, and Revolution: Soldiers’ Wives in Russia during 1917,” International Review of Social History49 (2004): 47–70; Badcock Politics and the People.


Christopher Read“The Russian Revolution after the Fall of Communism,” The Historical Journal 40 no. 4 (December 1997): 1127.


Rex A. Wade“The Revolution in the Provinces: Khar’kov and the Varieties of Response to the October Revolution,” Revolutionary Russia 4 no. 1 (1991): 132–42; Rex A. Wade “Ukrainian Nationalism and Soviet Power: Kharkiv 1917” in Ukrainian Past Ukrainian Present ed. Bohdan Krawchenko (New York 1993): 70–83.


John-Paul Himka“The National and the Social in the Ukrainian Revolution of 1917–1920, The Historiographical Agenda,” Archiv fur Sozialgeschichte 34 (1994): 95–110; Vladyslav Verstiuk “Conceptual Issues in Studying the History of the Ukrainian Revolution” Journal of Ukrainian Studies 24 no. 1 (1999): 5–20.


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Mark Baker“Beyond the National: Peasants, Power, and Revolution in Ukraine,” Journal of Ukrainians Studies 24 no. 1 (1999): 39–67 (quotation on p. 44); Mark Baker Peasants Power and Place: Revolution in the Villages of Kharkiv Province (Cambridge ma 2016).

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