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The gripping untold story of a terrorist leader whose death would catapult his brother—Lenin—to revolution. In 1886, Alexander Ulyanov, a brilliant biology student, joined a small group of students at St. Petersburg University to plot the assassination of Russia’s tsar. Known as “Second First March” for the date of their action, this group failed disastrously in their mission, and its leaders, Alexander included, were executed. History has largely forgotten Alexander, but for the most important consequence of his execution: his younger brother, Vladimir, went on to lead the October Revolution of 1917 and head the new Soviet government under his revolutionary pseudonym “Lenin.” Probing the Ulyanov family archives, historian Philip Pomper uncovers Alexander’s transformation from ascetic student to terrorist, and the impact his fate had on Lenin. Vividly portraying the psychological dynamics of a family that would change history, Lenin’s Brother is a perspective-changing glimpse into Lenin’s formative years—and his subsequent behavior as a revolutionary.
Drawing on the family archives of Vladimir Lenin, originally Vladimir Ulyanov, the author traces the transformation of the Communist leader's brother, Alexander, from a humble student to a terrorist plotting the assassination of the tsar and delves into how the failed plot and Alexander's subsequent execution shaped the ideals and motivations of Lenin.
The father of Communist Russia, Vladimir Ilych Lenin now seems to have emerged fully formed in the turbulent wake ofWorldWar I and the Russian Revolution. But Lenin's character was in fact forged much earlier, over the course of years spent in exile, constantly on the move, and in disguise. In Conspirator, Russian historian Helen Rappaport narrates the compelling story of Lenin's life and political activities in the years leading up to the revolution. As he scuttled between the glittering capital cities of Europe—from London and Munich to Vienna and Prague—Lenin found support among fellow émigrés and revolutionaries in the underground movement. He came to lead a ring of conspirators, many of whom would give their lives in service to his schemes. A riveting account of Lenin's little-known early life, Conspirator tracks in gripping detail the formation of one of the great revolutionaries of the twentieth century.
A riveting account of the last eighteen months of Tsar Nicholas II's life and reign from one of the finest Russian historians writing today. In March 1917, Nicholas II, the last Tsar of All the Russias, abdicated and the dynasty that had ruled an empire for three hundred years was forced from power by revolution. Now, on the hundredth anniversary of that revolution, Robert Service, the eminent historian of Russia, examines Nicholas's life and thought from the months before his momentous abdication to his death, with his family, in Ekaterinburg in July 1918. The story has been told many times, but Service's deep understanding of the period and his forensic examination of previously untapped sources, including the Tsar's diaries and recorded conversations, as well as the testimonies of the official inquiry, shed remarkable new light on his troubled reign, also revealing the kind of Russia that Nicholas wanted to emerge from the Great War. The Last of the Tsars is a masterful study of a man who was almost entirely out of his depth, perhaps even willfully so. It is also a compelling account of the social, economic and political ferment in Russia that followed the February Revolution, the Bolshevik seizure of power in October 1917 and the beginnings of Lenin's Soviet socialist republic.
On the centenary of the Russian Revolution, Tariq Ali paints an illuminating portrait of Lenin “Without Lenin there would have been no socialist revolution in 1917. Of this much we can be certain.” Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, leader of the October 1917 uprising, is one of the most misunderstood leaders of the twentieth century. In his own time, there were many, even among his enemies, who acknowledged the full magnitude of his intellectual and political achievements. But his legacy has been lost in misinterpretation; he is worshipped but rarely read. On the centenary of the Russian Revolution, Tariq Ali explores the two major influences on Lenin’s thought—the turbulent history of Tsarist Russia and the birth of the international labour movement—and explains how Lenin confronted dilemmas that still cast a shadow over the present. Is terrorism ever a viable strategy? Is support for imperial wars ever justified? Can politics be made without a party? Was the seizure of power in 1917 morally justified? Should he have parted company from his wife and lived with his lover? In The Dilemmas of Lenin, Ali provides an insightful portrait of Lenin’s deepest preoccupations and underlines the clarity and vigour of his theoretical and political formulations. He concludes with an affecting account of Lenin’s last two years, when he realized that “we knew nothing” and insisted that the revolution had to be renewed lest it wither and die.
Lenin is a colossal figure whose influence on twentieth-century history cannot be underestimated. Robert Service has written a calmly authoritative biography on this seemingly unknowable figure. Making use of recently opened archives, he has been able to piece together the private as well as the public life, giving the first complete picture of Lenin. This biography simultaneously provides an account of one of the greatest turning points in modern history. Through the prism of Lenin's career, Service examines events such as the October Revolution and the ideas of Marxism-Leninism, the one-party state, economic modernisation, dictatorship, and the politics of inter-war Europe. In discovering the origins of the USSR, he casts light on the nature of the state and society which Lenin left behind and which have not entirely disappeared after the collapse of the Soviet regime in 1991. 'Immensely scholarly but also vivid and readable. This is a splendid book, much the best that I have ever read about Lenin ...I was overwhelmed by the power and vividness of this portrait.' Dominic Lieven, Sunday Telegraph 'He has managed skilfully to depict the surreal life of an obsessive, brilliant and stubborn individual' Guardian 'Lenin's life was politics, but Service has succeeded in keeping Lenin the man in focus throughout . . . This book deserves a place among the best studies of one of the most fascinating figures in modern history' Harold Shukman, The Times
This history of the 1917 Bolshevik revolution in Petrograd (St. Petersburg), first published in 1976, is probably most notable in the emphasis author Rabinowitch (emeritus, Russian history, Indiana U.) places on the relationships between the Bolshevik party leadership, the rank and file of the party, and the masses. The author downplays the role of party discipline in gaining power, suggesting that the party's decentralized, democratic structure and mass character in 1917 were major factors in winning over the support of workers and, crucially, military troops.

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