A People's Tragedy

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A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution: 1891–1924
A People's Tragedy cover.jpg
AuthorOrlando Figes
CountryUnited Kingdom
SubjectRussian Revolution
PublisherJonathan Cape
Publication date
Media typePrint (hardcover, paperback)
LC ClassDK260.5F4

A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution: 1891–1924 is a 1996 book by British historian Orlando Figes on the Russian Revolution and the years leading up to it.


The book chronicles Russian history from the famine of 1891-1892, the response to which Figes argues to have severely weakened the Russian Empire, to the death of Lenin in 1924, when "the basic elements of the Stalinist regime – the one-party state, the system of terror and the cult of the personality – were all in place". According to Figes "the whole of 1917 could be seen as a political battle between those who saw the revolution as a means of bringing the war to an end and those who saw the war as a means of bringing the revolution to an end".[1]


A People's Tragedy won the Wolfson History Prize, the WH Smith Literary Award, the NCR Book Award, the Longman/History Today Book Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. In 2008, the Times Literary Supplement listed it as one of the "hundred most influential books since the war".[2] Eric Hobsbawm, reviewing the book, called it a "very impressive piece of history-writing."[3]

Release details[edit]


  1. ^ Figes, p. 380.
  2. ^ Times Literary Supplement, 30 December 2008
  3. ^ "Out of the Great Dark Whale" by Eric Hobsbawm, London Review of Books, Vol. 18, No. 21, 31 October 1996