The Russian Revolution of 1917 — strange though it may appear, is not yet completely studied, nor understood. This event constantly stimulates politically motivated debates and remains one of the key research themes for professional historians of the 20th century. The “аnniversary”, of the Revolution spans well into the year 2018, and our academic periodical is glad to make a contribution to the study of the causes and consequences of this — undoubtedly fateful — period of Russian and World History.
The Russian Revolution, in spite of all its inner specifics, was part of a broader global tendency, defined to a large extent by the all-too-common external factors…
Clearly, the romantic hopes of radical revolutionaries, who came to power in October 1917 and yearned for a global revolution, were realized. The global revolution did take place, but it was quite different from what was envisaged by the instigators of the coup d’etat in Petrograd. Its core and the outcome was the simultaneous collapse of four great empires, which in turn led to drastic, if not fatal, consequences, changing the European and world order. The directors and financial sponsors of the act tuned the world according to the new industrial standards, and the leading figures on the European stages with their own hands destroyed the “old”, “anachronistic” practices of their nations. The merciless mechanism of revolutionary transit was set in motion.
Russia was not an exception. The weakness and incapability of Russian liberals, who had brought down the autocratic government, led the country to the edge of a national catastrophe , paving the way to far more radical and daring revolutionary forces. They became the grave-diggers of the Revolution with its liberal democratic values. Putting an end to the Russian “Imperial Age” they died themselves, but as a result, the Imperial path was brought back within Stalin’s remodeled variation.
The external factors definitely shouldn’t be demonized, but their role in manipulating Russian political forces, as noted by Olga V. Pavlenko, has not yet been fully studied or analyzed. European Social Democracy, the German Intelligence, American, English and French political establishments — all of them sought to influence the course of events in Russia, especially after World War I had started. The desire to guide and pre-estimate the revolutionary activities according to their own needs indicates that the foreign institutions were sometimes better informed about the political activity within the country than Nicolas II.
The Russian Revolution has deep roots, seen both in the history of our state and in the global socioeconomic context. It had been fiercely and at times carelessly rushed by everyone, starting with Duma opposition and liberal-minded generals, to radical intellectuals, hailing from both the nobility and the lower classes. They were assisted by the inert tsarist bureaucracy and the court circles, who strove to slow and block Stolypin’s reforms. The famous words of Talleyrand come to mind — “Revolution is everybody’s fault”. However, finding the “right”, and the “wrong” is not the role of historical research. Therefore, we see our goal in the creation of an objective picture of those, not so distant years.
The 23rd issue of the Historical Reporter is published under supervision of two famous Russian historians — Olga V. Pavlenko and Victoria I. Zhuravleva. Thanks to their efforts, the issue offers a significant impact to the study of the Russian Revolution and is virtually a group monograph. One of the key themes of the issue is the problem of U.S. and British perception of the Russian Revolution, which is highlighted in the articles by Victoria I. Zhuravleva and Evgeny Yu. Sergeev. The theme of international context of revolutionary ideology is revealed and analyzed in the article by Grigoriy N. Lanskoy. Related to the topics marked above are the articles by Vadim A. Ermakov and Larisa V. Baibakova, which are dedicated to the ideological and practical activities of Lev Trotsky. The problem of internal challenges in the context of external threats is highlighted in the corresponding section by Sergey A. Romanenko, Boris L. Khavkin and Igor V. Kryuchkov. Of considerable interest is the publication of documents from “Azbuka”, the Intelligence of the White Armed Forces of South Russia. They offer a new viewpoint on the events, which took place in Ukraine at that time, specifically the falsification of history, which is widely, and officially, taking place in modern-day Ukraine.
The Editorial Board of the journal expresses gratitude to colleagues from the Russian State University for Humanities, who participated in creation of the current issue, and is proud to specifically note our journal’s collaboration with the Historical Memory Foundation (Moscow).
Alexey E. Titkov
THE PHENOMENOLOGY OF REVOLUTION AND SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION
Olga V. Pavlenko. Catastrophe of 1917 .Russian Marseillaise. and its Reflection in Modern Historiography
Mark Kramer. Revolutions and their Aftermaths: а Framework for Analysis
Brian Grodsky. Human Dignity and Democratic Revolution
WAR AND REVOLUTION: IN-HOUSE CHALLENGES IN TERMS OF EXTERNAL THREATS
Sergey A. Romanenko. Russia and Austria-Hungary in 1917: Two Types of the Revolution. The Materials of the Russian Press
Boris L. Khavkin. Money Transit of the Revolution: Germany–Russia, Russia–Germany. 1914–1918
Igor V. Kryuchkov. Prisoners of War of the Quadruple Alliance Countries on the Territory of Stavropol Province in Conditions of the Political Cataclysm (February–November 1917)
REVOLUTION FOR EXPORT: BETWEEN HOPE AND DISMAY
Victoria I. Zhuravleva. American Journey into the Russian Revolution: Images and Myths (1905—1917)
Evgeny Y. Sergeev. Russian Revolution of 1917 in the Public Discourse of Great Britain: from Euphoria to Disappointment and Fear
Grigory N. Lanskoy. International Context of Revolutionary Ideology in Russia at the beginning of XX century
Vadim A. Ermakov. Permanent Revolution of the Trotsky: Global Revolutionary Transit or Utopia?
Larisa V. Baibakova. The Influence of Leon Trotsky’s Ideological and Political Activity on Radicalization of the Left-Wing Section of the Socialist Party of America (January — March 1917)
Irina Y. Berezhanskaya. The Russian Revolution Impact to the Zionist Organizations Cultural Educational Work in Russia
Salavat M. Iskhakov. Ufa Governorate Revolutionary Committee (1917–1920)
Vasily Zh. Tsvetkov. A.V. Lubov. Personality. Time. Education: Articles and Public Speeches
“The Great October and Civil War”: Discussion of the Plan of Work of Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1988)
Ukraine depicted in Documents of Volunteer Army Intelligence (“Azbuka”)