A History of the Soviet Union by Peter Kenez

By Peter Kenez

An exam of political, social and cultural advancements within the Soviet Union. The e-book identifies the social tensions and political inconsistencies that spurred radical swap within the govt of Russia, from the flip of the century to the revolution of 1917. Kenez envisions that revolution as a situation of authority that posed the query, 'Who shall govern Russia?' this query was once resolved with the construction of the Soviet Union. Kenez strains the advance of the Soviet Union from the Revolution, in the course of the Nineteen Twenties, the years of the hot monetary regulations and into the Stalinist order. He indicates how post-Stalin Soviet leaders struggled to discover how one can rule the rustic with no utilizing Stalin's equipment but in addition with out overtly repudiating the previous, and to barter a calm yet antipathetic coexistence with the capitalist West. during this new version, he additionally examines the post-Soviet interval, tracing Russia's improvement as much as the current day.

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Because of this inaction the peasants ever more decisively turned against the provisional government. The government’s foothold in the villages was never strong, even at the outset. In tsarist times the main agents of govern- The Revolution, 1917–1921 23 mental power were the land captains – appointed officials who supervised judicial and police agencies. The land captains had been unpopular, and the provisional government had abolished the office. According to the reform plan, the functions of the land captains were to be taken over by elected district committees.

German withdrawal increased the scope of the fighting. Bolsheviks and anti-Bolsheviks rushed into the vacuum, hoping to take advantage of the opportunity. The greatest threat to Bolshevik rule in the first months of 1919 came from the East. As Kolchak marched West, it seemed that he might be able to link up with Denikin in the South. The Red army managed to turn the tide on the Eastern front in June 1919, but the Bolsheviks could not yet relax. That summer Denikin occupied Ukraine, and in October he reached Orel, about 250 miles from Moscow.

By 1920 it was fairly certain that the Reds would ultimately win. In the spring of 1920, Denikin once again was restricted to the Kuban. He succeeded in getting his troops to the Crimea, but then went into exile. Petr Wrangel, the last commander, an able and charismatic figure, could pin his hopes only on outside circumstances. Poland, which became an indepen- The Revolution, 1917–1921 37 dent country at the end of the war, had great territorial ambitions at Russia’s expense. The Polish leader, Joseph Pilsudski, believing he could get a better deal from the Bolsheviks than from the victorious Whites, waited until the defeat of the main White forces and then started his campaign.

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