Reading Guides

No set of ideas has been pronounced dead more frequently than that of Marxism. Yet, 200 years after the birth of Karl Marx, his ideas stand as vibrant as ever, while bourgeois thought is at an impasse, unable to truly grasp the events that are shaking up the world of our time.

We publish here a series of essential texts on the subject of women and the Russian Revolution by the likes of Lenin, Trotsky and leading female Bolsheviks like Krupskaya and Kollontai.

The following series of articles provides in-depth analyses and first-hand accounts of the events immediately preceding, during and after the greatest event in human history: the October Revolution, in addition to reflections on its aftermath.

Below are various texts informing the dramatic events of the July-September period. Kornilov’s failed coup brought the direct action of the masses into play again, and proved to them once and for all that they were the only force in society capable of transforming their own living conditions. For the first time, the mass insurrection of October came into focus. Stay tuned for the October reading guide, coming soon.  You can find our general reading guide on the Russian Revolution here.

From the June Days of the Revolution it became clear that the Bolsheviks had won over a decisive section of workers and soldiers in the Russian capital Petrograd. They also commanded considerable support in Moscow, the provinces and even among soldiers on the front.

After Lenin returned to revolutionary Petrograd in April 1917, events themselves quickly took several decisive turns. By the end of the month, Alexander Kerensky, the only workers’ representative in the bourgeois Provisional Government, was reporting to the Soviet Executive Committee that the government had effectively ceased to function amid ongoing economic crisis and Soviets around the country were taking matters into their own hands.

When the Russian Revolution broke out in early 1917, Vladimir Ilych Ulyanov – better known as Lenin – the leader of the Bolshevik faction of the RSDLP, was exiled in Zurich, Switzerland. As the first reports arrived of these extraordinary events, Lenin’s excitement was coupled with exasperation that he himself was separated from them by thousands of miles. “I am beside myself that I cannot go to Scandinavia!!” he complained bitterly, in a letter to his friend Inessa Armand. “I will not forgive myself for not risking the journey in 1915!”

The February Revolution:On February 23rd the revolution begins as strikes and protests in Petrograd erupt into a mass movement involving hundreds of thousands of workers; within 5 days the hated and seemingly omnipotent Tsarist Monarchy is overthrown.

"No matter what one thinks of Bolshevism, it is undeniable that the Russian Revolution is one of the greatest events in human history, and the rule of the Bolsheviki a phenomenon of worldwide importance." John Reed, 1st January 1919. (J. Reed, Ten Days that Shook the World)