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1917: The Grassroots Russian Revolution - That Was Crushed By Lenin

Join PN editor Milan Rai for a look at the Russian Revolution from a grassroots perspective.

7pm, Thursday 5 October, Torriano Meeting House, 99 Torriano Avenue, London NW5 2RX

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Many left-wing accounts of the Russian Revolution - such as Neil Faulkner's recent book A People's History of the Russian Revolution - distort the course of the revolution. Anarchists tend to fall in with the mainstream picture of a coup by a tightly-controlled Bolshevik Party. Trotskyists such as Faulkner see the October Revolution as an ultra-democratic uprising of 'the people' (Boris Grigoriev's painting of The People's Land, pictured above, was completed in 1917.) Scholars such as Alexander Rabinowitch have built up quite a different, complicated picture of both the Bolshevik Party and the October Revolution.

In this event, PN editor Milan Rai, author of a new booklet on the Russian Revolution, will explain how the Bolsheviks rode to power on a wave of popular outrage (benefiting from crucial mistakes by their Menshevik and SR opponents) and then crushed the grassroots workers' revolution that had been one of the most important engines of social transformation. They were aided in their work by the radical wings of the Mensheviks and the SRs, and by quite a few anarchists.

Milan Rai is an anarchist and radical activist, and the author of Chomsky's Politics (Verso, 1995) and War Plan Iraq (Verso, 2002) among other books. He is working on The Anarchist Reader for Verso.

Step free access but no wheelchair accessible toilet.