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.

Following the July days, Russia entered a period of reaction. The Bolsheviks were arrested in the hundreds and the advanced workers were under attack. Meanwhile the bourgeoisie regained its confidence and took an ever more open counterrevolutionary position. This mood began to galvanise around the commander-in-chief, general Kornilov, a cossack general determined to drown the revolution in blood.

On 21 August 1940, Leon Trotsky, the great revolutionary leader of the October Revolution, died in Mexico, murdered by a Stalinist agent. Today we publish his autobiography with a foreword by his grandson, Esteban Volkov.

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.

The Russian Revolution of 1917 didn’t just change Russia, but all of world history. Denmark too was not left unchanged. In Denmark, the revolution resulted in the labour movement splitting into reformists and revolutionaries, and almost turned Denmark into a republic.

''If the words “Liberty, Equality and Fraternity” are written on a factory, as in America, the factory does not thereby cease to be a hell for the workers and a paradise for the capitalists. And so we have to think of what to do further...''

Published in Izvestia June 7, 1917

''Comrade workers! Let us all get down to work, canvassing all the poorest homes, awakening and enlightening the domestic servants, the most backward workers. Let us campaign against the capitalists and the Cadets...'' Published in Pravda No. 64, June 6 (May 24), 1917.

R.H. Bruce Lockhart was a British Government agent in Russia before and after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. He met all the main leaders of the Tsarist regime, the Provisional Government as well as the Soviet leaders, Lenin and Trotsky. His first-hand experiences and lucid observations were published in his remarkable book entitled Memoirs of a British Agent in 1932. It became an instant best-seller in Britain and America. Although it presents things from the standpoint of a staunch supporter of the British establishment, it is nevertheless a fascinating account.

Written June 5 (May 23), 1917.

In criticising other parties we should not forget to criticise ourselves. The published lists of candidates for members of the Petrograd District Councils have revealed two short comings in our Party organisation and Party work.

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