The Petrograd Workers in the Russian Revolution is a study of the Russian Revolutions of 1917 and of the first months of Soviet power as viewed and experienced 'from below', by the industrial workers of Petrograd, Russia’s capital and the centre of its revolutionary movement. Based largely on contemporary sources, it lets the workers speak for themselves, showing them as conscious, creative subjects of the revolutionary process, indeed, as the leading force of the revolution. In doing so, it sheds light on the nature and role of the Bolshevik party as an authentic workers’ organization that by the summer of 1917 had become the leading political force among workers.
Revised and expanded edition of two books published in English, namely:
The Petrograd Workers and the Fall of the Old Regime (Macmillan, 1983) and
The Petrograd Workers and the Soviet Seizure of Power (Macmillan, 1984).
Much has been written about the activity of Lenin and his colleagues on the editorial board of the
Iskra newspaper, whereas little has been said about the opponents of Leninism, who unsuccessfully fought for control of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party during the
Iskra period. To redress the balance, Richard Mullin has translated 25 documents from this period, most of which express an anti-Lenin view. They include articles from
Rabochee Delo, the Jewish
Bund's Poslednie Izvestiia and the post-Lenin
Iskra, pamphlets by Plekhanov and Martov, the resolutions of Party meetings and some very revealing private correspondence. However, the result is not an anti-Bolshevik polemic: through these documents a clearer, and curiously flattering picture of Lenin's thought and activity is obtained.