A panoramic account of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and its aftermath animated by the lives, ideas and experiences of workers, peasants, intellectuals, artists, and revolutionaries of diverse persuasions October Song vividly narrates the triumphs of those who struggled for a new society and created a revolutionary workers state. Yet despite profoundly democratic and humanistic aspirations, the revolution is eventually defeated by violence and authoritarianism.
October Song highlights both positive and negative lessons of this historic struggle for human liberation.
Chapter 1 Nothing Can Ever Be the Same 1. Corroboration and Contrasts 2. Multiple Insurgencies 3. Revolutionary Party 4. What Went Wrong? 5. Framing Questions
Chapter 2 Pre-Revolutionary Russia 1. The Crisis of Russian Capitalism 2. The Russian Working Class
Chapter 3 Revolutionary Triumph 1. Revolutionary Vanguard 2. The Road to Power 3. Soviet Democracy
Chapter 4 Proletarian Rule and Mixed Economy 1. Workers’ Democracy and Mixed Economy 2. Twists and Loops 3. Beyond the Mixed Economy 4. Workers, Peasants, Cadres
"October Song is wonderful -- a vivid account of the Revolution, moving beyond the merely defensive to thoughtful consideration of not only external challenges but also internal problems among the revolutionaries, critical-minded yet at the same time deeply sympathetic." -China Miéville, author of October
"October Song is an important and timely contribution at a moment when large numbers of young people are turning to socialist politics and beginning to grapple with the lessons of the Russian Revolution. Combining a sharp analytical focus with illuminating anecdotes from political practice and daily life, Le Blanc provides a sweeping and engaging account of the revolution, the Bolsheviks, and their strengths and weaknesses. For all those seeking to make sense of this inspiring but ultimately tragic history, October Song is an essential read." -Eric Blanc, author of Anti-Colonial Marxism: Oppression & Revolution in the Tsarist Borderlands
"Excellent in every respect ... the writing is extraordinarily clear and interesting and the coverage of different interpretations is fair and thoughtful. ... The use of the commentary by early participants and witnesses of these years makes the text original in many ways. ... A strikingly effective synthesis of various sources provides a ‘richness’ that I regard as really extraordinary." -Jonathan Harris, Professor of Political Science, University of Pittsburgh