The Bolsheviks - by Adam B. Ulam

The Bolsheviks - by Adam B. Ulam Censorship Civil Rights Cold War Famous Historical Events Geography Social Studies Tragedies and Triumphs Law and Politics

When the Bolsheviks came to power, during the Russian Revolution, they were led by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.  That, of course, wasn't his birth name.  His birth name was Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov.

Rarely has one person made such a difference in world history.  In this work, Adam B. Ulam explains why Lenin's influence is still felt:

...The French Revolution threw up quite a number of young, brilliant, and ambitious military commanders.  Even without Napoleon France might have made its bid for the domination of Europe, incidentally spreading the ideas of the Revolution all over the continent.

It is harder, but not inconceivable, to think that someone other than Hitler could have led to fascism a nation lacerated by the military defeat in World War I and ravaged by the Great Depression.

But count the occasions when it was Lenin and Lenin alone who propelled his followers - and history - toward what would become communism.  He was the founder of Bolshevism in 1903.  In subsequent years it was his leadership that kept what was formally but a faction of the Russian Social Democratic Party from losing its identity within the general movement. 

Arriving in Russia in April 1917, after the overthrow of tsarism, he was the only politician of stature, even among the Bolsheviks, to urge further revolutionary action and no truck with the Provisional Government.  Within weeks the Bolsheviks submitted to his leadership.  (The Bolsheviks:  The Intellectual and Political History of the Triumph of Communism in Russia, by Adam B. Ulam, at page vii.)

So ... who was Lenin?

Who were the Bolsheviks?

Was their use of terror, in the early days of the Russian Revolution, a forerunner of the use of terror during the Stalinist era?

Would Lenin have accepted the extensive use of terror during Stalin's regime?  Would he have rejected it?  Would he have endorsed Stalin's use of forced-labor on such a massive scale?

Ulam, long an analyzer of Russia's political history, tackles these questions and more.

Thanks to the publisher, and Google Books, segments of this work are available for online reading.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Feb 17, 2020

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Image online, courtesy Amazon.


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