History of the Russian Revolution

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
History of the Russian Revolution
History of the Russian Revolution.jpg
AuthorLeon Trotsky
TranslatorMax Eastman
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardcover, Paperback)

The History of the Russian Revolution by Leon Trotsky is a three-volume book on the Russian Revolution of 1917. Trotsky finished writing it in Russian in 1930 and was then translated into English by Max Eastman in 1932[1].

Concept and creation[edit]

The Russian Revolution of 1917 was a major event in history that changed the world[2]. It was first time in the history that the toiled masses had successfully established their own rule. After the revolution the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was born, which eliminated poverty, established free medicine and highly subsidized housing, free education and job security.[3] Famous American journalist John Reed described the Russian Revolution in the following words in his famous Ten Days That Shook the world book:

No matter what one thinks of Bolshevism, it is undeniable that the Russian Revolution is one of the great events of human history, and the rise of the Bolsheviki a phenomenon of world-wide importance. Just as historians search the records for the minutest details of the story of the Paris Commune, so they will want to know what happened in Petrograd in November, 1917, the spirit which animated the people, and how the leaders looked, talked and acted[4].

Leon Trotsky was a leading leader of the Bolshevik Revolution along with Lenin. He was expelled from the party and exiled by Stalin. He tried to take refuge in different countries and was able to take refuge in Mexico but was finally murdered in 1940[5]. During his exile period in Turkey, Trotsky wrote this book on the isle of Prinkipo[6].

The History of Russian Revolution recreates the story of the Bolshevik revolution. The important quality of this book is its ability to be a memory and an account of major historical event by a participant and theorist.[7]

Leon Trotsky, Author of Book

The book is divided among three volumes which are: "The Overthrow of Tzarism", "The Attempted Counter-Revolution" and "The Triumph of the Soviets". Their brief description is as below[8];

  • Volume one deals with the overthrow of the Tsar
  • Volume two covers the period from the 'July Days'
  • Volume three deals with the national question, the preparation of power, and the October insurrection

It is considered an important and unique work as a history of a major event written by someone who took a leading role in it[9].


The basic motivation of Trotsky behind writing this piece was to translate the experience of the revolution into both a teaching tool and a weapon in revolution[10].Isaac Deutscher, Trotsky's biographer, described The History of the Russian Revolution as Trotsky's,

"Crowning work, both in scale and power and as the fullest expression of his ideas on revolution." Trotsky himself says "The history of a revolution, like every other history, ought first of all to tell what happened and how. That however is, little enough. From the very telling it ought to become clear why it happened thus and not otherwise."[11]

In his note about the author in the first English translation, Eastman wrote that

"this present work [...] will take its place in the record of Trotsky's life [...] as one of the supreme achievements of this versatile and powerful mind and will".[12]

In 2017, on centenary of Russian Revolution famous writer Tariq Ali wrote about book that

This passionate, partisan and beautifully written account by a major participant in the revolution, written during his exile on the isle of Prinkipo in Turkey, remains one of the best accounts of 1917. No counter-revolutionary, conservative or liberal, has been able to compete with this telling[6].

History of Russian Revolution Urdu Edition[edit]

On centenary of Russian revolution; a 1,200-page translation of Leon Trotsky’s classic work has been published into Urdu language by Tabqati Jeddo Jehed group[13]. It is the first time that the book has been translated to any South Asian language. This translation has been done by Imran Kamyana[14].

All three parts are available free online at the Trotsky Internet Archive or can be purchased as a single book published by Haymarket Books (ISBN 9781931859455), Pathfinder Press (ISBN 0-913460-83-4), or Penguin Publishing (ISBN 9780241301319).[15][16] The book can also be purchased in three volumes from WellRedBooks (ISBN 1-9000-07-26-6).


  1. ^ "History Russian Revolution by Leon Trotsky Max Eastman - AbeBooks". www.abebooks.com. Retrieved 2018-08-27.
  2. ^ "What was the Russian revolution? - CBBC Newsround". Retrieved 2018-08-27.
  3. ^ "100th Anniversary of the Russian (Bolshevik) Revolution - Daily Times". Daily Times. 2017-11-08. Retrieved 2018-08-27.
  4. ^ "Ten Days That Shook the World — Preface". www.marxists.org. Retrieved 2018-08-27.
  5. ^ Reporter, A (2017-12-11). "Urdu translation of Trotsky's book launched". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2018-08-27.
  6. ^ a b Ali, Tariq (2017-04-12). "Top 10 books about the Russian Revolution". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-08-27.
  7. ^ "Book Review: History of the Russian Revolution". Retrieved 2018-08-27.
  8. ^ Trotsky, Leon. "Leon Trotsky: The History of the Russian Revolution (1930)". www.marxists.org. Retrieved 2018-08-27.
  9. ^ "History From Below". Retrieved 2018-08-27.
  10. ^ "History of the Russian Revolution (part 2) | International Socialist Review". isreview.org. Retrieved 2018-08-27.
  11. ^ "Why Read The History of the Russian Revolution? | Socialist Review". Socialist Review. Retrieved 2018-08-27.
  12. ^ Trotsky L. The History of the Russian Revolution, Introduction page xii (1992) Pathfinder
  13. ^ Rehman, I.A. (2017-11-09). "Soviet revolution's impact". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2018-08-27.
  14. ^ Reporter, A (2017-12-11). "Urdu translation of Trotsky's book launched". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2018-08-27.
  15. ^ History of the Russian Revolution on penguin.co.uk
  16. ^ History of the Russian Revolution on takealot.com

External links[edit]