Alexander II, Alexander III, and the last tsar—the ill-fated Nicholas II—each attempted to forestall the forces of revolution. This eyewitness history is based on exclusive access to the original manuscript memoirs of Count Loris-Melikov, Tsar Alexander II's chief minister, and by the author's personal experience in Tsar Nicholas II's government as Secretary-in-Chief of the Duma.
Appendix: Interview with Count Leo Tolstoy
Edited and with an introduction by Irene Vartanoff
Michael N. Kalantar, L.L.D., was a graduate of the University of St. Petersburg, Heidelberg University, and the Sorbonne. He was secretary-in-chief of Tsar Nicholas II's Imperial Senate, the Duma.
In the years between 1903 and 1917, it was the ideas of Trotsky, rather than Lenin, which shaped the nascent Bolshevik Party and prepared it for the overthrow of the Tsar.
During the autumn of 1917 workers supported Trotsky’s idea of an insurrection carried out by the soviet, rather than Lenin’s demand for a party orchestrated coup d’etat.
During the Russian Civil War, Trotsky persuaded a sceptical Lenin that the only way to victory was through the employment of officers trained in the Tsar’s army.
As well as examining Trotsky’s critique of Stalin’s Russia in the 1930s, this seminar reader probes deeper to explore the ideas which drove Trotsky forward during his years of influence over Russia’s revolutionary politics, exploring such key concepts as how to construct a revolutionary party, how to stage a successful insurrection, how to fight a revolutionary war, and how to build a socialist state.
At last students of modern Russian studies have access to a multi-volume work that not only presents the most important Communist Party resolutions and decisions in English, but also amplifies the standard Soviet anthology in important respects and provides editorial explanation that is independent of Kremlin politics. The rich store of materials in these four volumes ranges from the formation of the party to the fall of Khrushchev, and it deals with a wide range of issues. The clearly organized volumes each contain a major introductory essay as well as shorter background essays on each party congress, conference or Central Committee plenum. The documents approved by these meetings are often fundamental in importance, but the centralist operation of the party in power has been such that many of the most vital decisions have been issued in the name of the Central Committee when there was no meeting of that body at all. It is one of the signal achievements of these volumes that the selection of materials included was based on a list of all known part decisions, whether or not they have been included in the main Soviet reference work.
The four volumes in this series are edited as an integral set. Each contains a subject index in which Russian abbreviations and acronymic names are translated. Tables summarizing the personnel of the main party executive bodies since 1917 are also provided. At the same time each of the volumes is built around a coherent period in the development of Russian Communism, and each reflects the special features of its time.
Volume 2 deals with the period from the October Revolution to the establishment of Stalin's regime. Documents from this period emphasize the transformation of the party into a new kind of bureaucratized authority, controlling such areas as the press, trade unions, armed forces, and youth organization. Factionalism within the party and its suppression are a major theme. The volume opens with the documents (previously unavailable in English) concerning Lenin's crisis of control within the Central Committee shortly after the seizure of power, and it goes on to provide extensive material on both Lenin's and Stalin's suppression of critical groups within the party.
From a critique of Marx, through to an examination of Soviet practice under Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin as a factor in the disillusionment of the left with the methods of the Russian Revolution, Gombin’s study examines the concepts of ‘workers’ councils’ as they emerged in several countries after the First World War. This comparative study develops the idea of a ‘council communism’ as opposed to a ‘party communism’ which, he suggests, is the fundamental concept in the criticism of orthodox Communism from the left.
Vicky, Alice, Helena, and Beatrice were historically unique sisters, born to a sovereign who ruled over a quarter of the earth's people and who gave her name to an era: Queen Victoria. Two of these princesses would themselves produce children of immense consequence. All five would curiously come to share many of the social restrictions and familial machinations borne by nineteenth-century women of less-exulted class.
Victoria and Albert's precocious firstborn child, Vicky, wed a Prussian prince in a political match her high-minded father hoped would bring about a more liberal Anglo-German order. That vision met with disaster when Vicky's son Wilhelm-- to be known as Kaiser Wilhelm-- turned against both England and his mother, keeping her out of the public eye for the rest of her life. Gentle, quiet Alice had a happier marriage, one that produced Alexandra, later to become Tsarina of Russia, and yet another Victoria, whose union with a Battenberg prince was to found the present Mountbatten clan. However, she suffered from melancholia and died at age thirty-five of what appears to have been a deliberate, grief-fueled exposure to the diphtheria germs that had carried away her youngest daughter. Middle child Helena struggled against obesity and drug addition but was to have lasting effect as Albert's literary executor. By contrast, her glittering and at times scandalous sister Louise, the most beautiful of the five siblings, escaped the claustrophobic stodginess of the European royal courts by marrying a handsome Scottish commoner, who became governor general of Canada, and eventually settled into artistic salon life as a respected sculptor. And as the baby of the royal brood of nine, rebelling only briefly to forge a short-lived marriage, Beatrice lived under the thumb of her mother as a kind of personal secretary until the queen's death.
Principally researched at the houses and palaces of its five subjects in London, Scotland, Berlin, Darmstadt, and Ottawa-- and entertainingly written by an experienced biographer whose last book concerned Victoria's final days-- Victoria's Daughters closely examines a generation of royal women who were dominated by their mother, married off as much for political advantage as for love, and finally passed over entirely with the accession of their n0 brother Bertie to the throne. Packard provides valuable insights into their complex, oft-tragic lives as daughters of their time.