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.
Paul Avrich“Russian Factory Committees in 1917,”Jahrbucher fur Geschichte Osteuropas11. (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 Osteuropas20 (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.
Michael C. Hickey“Discourses of Public Identity and Liberalism in the February Revolution: Smolensk, Spring 1917,”The Russian Review55 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 Russia18 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 Russia16 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).
Ian Thatcher“Memoirs of the Russian Provisional Government,”Revolutionary Russia27 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.
William G. Rosenberg“Representing Workers and the Liberal Narrative of Modernity,”Slavic Review55 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.
Michael C. Hickey“Moderate Socialists and the Politics of Crime in Revolutionary Smolensk,”Canadian-American Slavic Studies35 nos. 2–3 (2001): 189–218; Tsuyoshi Hasegawa “Crime Police and Mob Justice in Petrograd during the Russian Revolutions of 1917” in Religious and Secular Forces in Late Tsarist Russia. Essays in Honor of Donald W. Treadgold ed. Charles E. Timberlake (Seattle 1992): 241–71; Hasegawa is preparing a book-length work on crime in Petrograd in 1917 and early 1918.
Catherine Evtuhov“The Church in the Russian Revolution: Arguments for and against Restoring the Patriarchate at the Church Council of 1917–1918,”Slavic Review50 no. 3 (1991): 497–511; Catherine Evtuhov “The Church’s Revolutionary Moment: Diocesan Congresses and Grassroots Politics in 1917” in Frame et al. eds. Russian Culture Book 1: Popular Culture and Pavel Rogoznyi “The Russian Orthodox Church during the First World War and Revolutionary Turmoil” in the same volume.
Rex A. Wade“The Revolution in the Provinces: Khar’kov and the Varieties of Response to the October Revolution,”Revolutionary Russia4 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 Sozialgeschichte34 (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.
Mark Baker“Beyond the National: Peasants, Power, and Revolution in Ukraine,”Journal of Ukrainians Studies24 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).