Russian Rev Historiography_Revs Network
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Historian's NameQuotationBook / Date publishedKeyword / topicRelevant month / yearHistoriography schoolMeet the Historian
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Service “Lenin, Trotsky and Dzerzhinsky believed that over-killing was better than running the risk of being overthrown”.Revisionisthttp://alphahistory.com/russianrevolution/historian-robert-service/
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Service “In particular, he [Lenin] had little foresight about what he was doing when he set up the centralised one-party state. One of the great malignancies of the 20th century was created more by off-the –cuff measures than by grandiose planning.”Revisionisthttp://alphahistory.com/russianrevolution/historian-robert-service/
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Service “…how new was the world being built by Lenin and Sovnarkom? The RSFSR had facets reminiscent of the tsarist order at its worst. Central power was being asserted in an authoritarian fashion. Ideological intolerance was being asserted and organised dissent repressed. Elective principles were being trampled under foot”.History of Modern Russia: From Nicholas Two to Vladimir Putin / The Penguin History of Modern Russia: From Tsarism to the Twenty-first Century - pg 98LeninRevisionisthttp://alphahistory.com/russianrevolution/historian-robert-service/
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Service “The soviet order was extremely disorderly for a great deal of the time. Yet the movement towards a centralised, ideocratic dictatorship of a single party had been started. Neither Lenin nor his leading comrades had expressly intended this; they had few clearly elaborated policies and were forever fumbling and improvising. Constantly they found international, political, economic, social and cultural difficulties less tractable than they assumed. And constantly they dipped into their rag-bag of authoritarian concepts to help them survive in power…and they felt that the ruthless measures were being applied in the service of a supreme good”.History of Modern Russia: From Nicholas Two to Vladimir Putin - pg 99Revisionisthttp://alphahistory.com/russianrevolution/historian-robert-service/
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Service “The basic compound of the Soviet order had been invented by Lenin and his fellow communist leaders within a couple of years of the October Revolution. There had been created a centralized, one-ideology dictatorship of a single party which permitted no challenge to its monopoly of power…Civil war had added to the pressures which had resulted in the creation of the compound. On taking power in 1917, the communist leaders had not possessed a preparatory blueprint. Nevertheless they had come with assumptions and inclinations which had predisposed them towards a high degree of state economic dominance, administrative arbitrariness, ideological intolerance and political violence”.History of Modern Russia: From Nicholas Two to Vladimir Putin - Page 123Revisionisthttp://alphahistory.com/russianrevolution/historian-robert-service/
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Service “Despite all the problems, the Soviet regime retained a vision of political, economic and cultural betterment. Many former army conscripts and would-be university students responded enthusiastically. Many parents, too, could remember the social oppressiveness of the pre-revolutionary tsarist regime and gave a welcome to the Bolshevik party’s projects for literacy, numeracy, cultural awareness and administrative facility”.History of Modern Russia: From Nicholas Two to Vladimir Putin - Page 141Revisionisthttp://alphahistory.com/russianrevolution/historian-robert-service/
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Service “Most Bolshevik leaders had never liked the NEP, regarding it as an excrescent boil on the body politic and at worst a malignant cancer”.History of Modern Russia: From Nicholas Two to Vladimir Putin - Page 150Revisionisthttp://alphahistory.com/russianrevolution/historian-robert-service/
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Service “Bolshevik leaders, unlike tsars, strove to identify themselves with ordinary people…central party leaders tried to present themselves as ordinary blokes with un-flamboyant tastes…interest in fine clothes, furniture or interior décor was treated as downright reactionary. A roughness of comportment, speech and dress was fostered”.Revisionisthttp://alphahistory.com/russianrevolution/historian-robert-service/
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Service The masses had not taken leave of their senses. War, economic dislocation and administrative breakdown meant that their everyday needs were not being met. The sole alternative was for the people to preside over their own affairs; and as the situation worsened, so the workers, soldiers, and peasants took to direct political action…”Revisionisthttp://alphahistory.com/russianrevolution/historian-robert-service/
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General note about the provenance of these quotes. They come from a document which seems to have been orginally created by Camberwell Grammar in Melbourne, in 2006. Names that have been connected to this document are Lucy Ryan, Lucy Rodgers Wilson and Scott Sweeney. They must have created this document in the context of VCE Unit 3&4 History. My students (IB History, Paper 3, Topic 5) have checked the quotes and provided context where possible. More work is needed.
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http://alphahistory.com/russianrevolution/russian-revolution-historiography/
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Conservative liberal historians:
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Richard Pipes
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Adam Ulam
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Martin Malia
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Robert Conquest
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John Keep
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Soviet Marxist Historians:
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G.D. Obichkin
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P. Golub
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B. Ponomarev
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History of CPSU (b) short-course
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Trotsky...though he is not an orthodox, Stalinist historian.
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Western Marxists:
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Isaac Deutscher
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John Reed
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Christopher Hill
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Social/revisionist historians
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Sheila Fitzpatrick
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William Rosenberg
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Steve Smith
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Ron Suny
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Beryl Williams
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Contempory historians - hard to apply a label:
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Orlando Figes
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Robert Service
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Chris Read
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Peter Kenez
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