Advance Praise for The Russian Revolution by Sean McMeekin

Some wonderful endorsements for Sean McMeekin’s ground-breaking new book.

“It is a quarter of a century since Richard Pipes published his history of the Bolshevik seizure of power in the Russian empire, and twenty years since Orlando Figes’s A People’s Tragedy. Back then, in the wake of the Soviet collapse, those seemed definitive. But now comes Sean McMeekin with a vivid new account, drawing on fresh evidence and offering an original, geopolitical perspective. The full, shocking extent to which Lenin was a German operative now becomes clear, as does the magnitude of Kerensky’s blunder in not finishing the Bolsheviks off before their “revolutionary defeatism” went viral. McMeekin writes muscular history. His Russian Revolution grips the reader.” —Niall Ferguson, senior fellow, the Hoover Institution, Stanford

“McMeekin enhances his high reputation in this comprehensively researched, persuasively developed account of the Russian Revolution as a contingent consequence of specific policies and decisions. Russia’s army, economy, and society did not collapse from the structural overstretch of World War I. Instead McMeekin emphasizes the might have beens, the roads not taken, that led to a “hostile takeover” standing as a grim warning against armed prophets promising earthly utopias.” —Dennis Showalter, professor of history, Colorado College

“This is a book that we have been waiting for. The Russian Revolution is an enormous subject, and to write a short and authoritative book on it is very difficult indeed. Sean McMeekin brings many gifts to the task, not the least of which is that he can describe crowd scenes with immediacy. It should count as a classic.” —Norman Stone, author of World War One

“In vivid colors, Sean McMeekin presents a provocative narrative of the 1917 Russian revolutions with an emphasis on the conspiracies, mutinies, and acts of treason behind the scenes of both revolutions. He shows how the revolutions were a direct result of Russia’s involvement in World War I in new ways. It is a book that will generate much debate.” —Eric Lohr, Susan Carmel Lehrman Chair of Russian History and Culture, American University

“The Tsar didn’t fall, he wilted, and this briskly written, fresh take on the revolution sketches the process in poignant detail—orgies, vodka, Rasputin, pogroms, plots, and war on the Eastern Front. McMeekin’s Lenin is more seedy than heroic, his Bolshevik victory an act of treason engineered by a German army that had stuffed a billion dollars in Lenin’s pockets before the bourgeois exile mounted his first barricade in Petrograd.” —Geoffrey Wawro, author of A Mad Catastrophe: The Outbreak of World War I and the Collapse of the Habsburg Empire

“Sean McMeekin’s new history of the Russian Revolution is, as always with his work, dynamic, compelling, and revisionist, telling the familiar story with vigour, accessibility, and elan but ornamented with fascinating new archival revelations on, amongst other things, German funding of the Bolsheviks.” —Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of The Romanovs

About article author

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Sean McMeekin

Sean McMeekin was born in Idaho, raised in Rochester NY, and educated at Stanford and UC Berkeley. He has been fascinated by modern history ever since playing Winston Churchill in a school reenactment of the Yalta Conference at age 15, and Joseph McCarthy in an even more outlandish reenactment o...More about Sean McMeekin