Russian Studies

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9780140093766: Russian Studies

European Studies, Russian Studies, Judaism

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From Publishers Weekly:

"Shortcuts to freedom" taken by various Russian revolutionaries are examined in this miscellany of articles, reviews and essays by a well-known cultural, political and literary historian. Schapiro argues that Lenin was "a man in a hurry" who applied elitist practices to Russia's labor movement much as prerevolutionaries had done with the peasants; this shortcut led directly to Stalin's totalitarian regime. One essay, "Trotsky, As He Really Was," pinpoints Leon Trotsky's failure to admit that Stalinism was a perversion of Marxism and no longer socialism at all. Karl Marx himself was skeptical about whether his theories could be applied to backwards Russia, so Schapiro looks at the group of "legal Marxists" led by Petr Struve who stressed Russia's immediate need to evolve into a capitalist society that would nurture liberal freedoms. An incisive portrait of poet Alexander Blok claims he was drawn to the revolutionary mystique because of its destructive aspects.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Schapiro, a historian of Russian political thought, taught at the London School of Economics. The thread binding these posthumously collected essays is his conviction that Russia's tragedy lies in her failure, due to her radicals' impatience as well as her obtuse autocracy, to develop a contract between state and citizen to respect civil freedom. With this in mind Schapiro examines the intellectual baggage of men as diverse as the shapers of revolution like Bakunin, Lenin, Trotsky, Plekhanov, and Bukharin; Stolypin (Prime Minister 1906-1911); the politician and theorist Struve (1870-1944); and writers from Turgenev and Herzen to Blok and Solzhenitsyn. This book belongs on the Russian history shelves as a thoughtful counter to the facile view of Marxism that still clouds our understanding of the U.S.S.R. today.Mary F. Zirin, Altadena, Calif.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Leonard Shapiro, Ellen Dahrendorf (Editor), Harry Willetts (Introduction)
Published by Penguin (1988)
ISBN 10: 0140093761 ISBN 13: 9780140093766
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Leonard Shapiro
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