The Petrograd Workers in the Russian Revolution

February 1917-June 1918


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).
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EUR €123.00USD $141.00

Biographical Note

David Mandel, PhD. (1977), Columbia University, is a professor of political science and a labour activist. He has authored monographs and articles on politics and labour in revolutionary Russia, the Soviet Union, and in post-Soviet Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

Table of contents

List of Tables and Maps Glossary Introduction 1 Types of Political Culture in the Industrial Working-Class of PetrogradThe Skilled WorkersUnskilled WorkersThe ‘Worker Aristocracy’The Generational Factor 2 The Social Composition of the Industrial Working Class of Petrograd and its DistrictsThe Social Composition of Petrograd’s DistrictsThe Vyborg DistrictPetergof and Narva DistrictsVasilevskii ostrovPetrograd DistrictMoskovskaya zastavaNevskii-Obukhovskii DistrictKolomna DistrictSecond City DistrictFirst City DistrictRozhdestvenskii DistrictOkhta and Porokhovskii Districts 3 The Honeymoon Period – From the February to the April DaysThe Labour Movement during the WarThe February Revolution – The Birth of Dual PowerCensus SocietyDual Power in Light of Attitudes before the RevolutionWhy Dual Power? 4 The February Revolution in the FactoriesThe Eight-Hour DayWagesThe Press Campaign against ‘Worker Egoism’Worker-Management Relations: ‘Democratisation of Factory Life’Purge of the Factory AdministrationsThe Factory Committees 5 From the April to the July DaysThe April DaysThe First Coalition GovernmentThe Break with Census SocietyUnderlying Causes of the Shift to Soviet Power 6 The Struggle for Power in the Factories in April–June 7 The July DaysThe Workers and the Menshevik-SR Soviet MajorityThe July DaysReaction Unleashed 8 Rethinking the Revolution: Revolutionary Democracy or Proletarian Dictatorship?Census Society on the OffensiveFinal Rejection of ‘Conciliationism’The Question of ‘Revolutionary Democracy’ 9 From the Kornilov Uprising to the Eve of OctoberThe Kornilov UprisingThe Democratic ConferenceSetting Course for Soviet Power 10 Class Struggle in the Factories – September–OctoberThe Factory Committees under AttackThe Struggle for Production – Workers’ Control CheckedFrom Workers’ Control and towards Workers’ ManagementFactory Committees under Pressure ‘from Below’The Struggle for Production and the Question of State PowerQuiet on the Wage Front 11 On the Eve 12 The October Revolution and the End of ‘Revolutionary Democracy’Workers’ Attitudes towards the InsurrectionThe Question of a ‘Homogeneous Socialist Government’Unity from Below 13 The Constituent Assembly and the Emergence of a Worker OppositionThe ElectionsDissolution of the Constituent AssemblyThe Chernorabochie and the Upsurge of Anarchist InfluenceThe Lines Harden 14 The October Revolution in the Factories‘Active’ or ‘Passive’ Control?Towards NationalisationManagement in Nationalised Enterprises 15 Summon Up Every Last Ounce of Strength or Accept Defeat!Dispersal of Petrograd’s Working ClassThe ‘Obscene Peace’Rise and Failure of the Opposition Conclusion Bibliography Index


Anyone interested in the social and political history of the Russian Revolution, the history of socialism, labour history, the sociology of revolutions and social movement.