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» » Kronstadt 1917-1921: The Fate of a Soviet Democracy (Cambridge Russian, Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies)
Kronstadt 1917-1921: The Fate of a Soviet Democracy (Cambridge Russian, Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies) e-book

Author:

Israel Getzler

Language:

English

Category:

Politics

Subcategory:

Politics & Government

ePub size:

1180 kb

Other formats:

mobi doc txt mbr

Rating:

4.9

Publisher:

Cambridge University Press (May 16, 2002)

Pages:

308

ISBN:

0521894425

Kronstadt 1917-1921: The Fate of a Soviet Democracy (Cambridge Russian, Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies) e-book

by Israel Getzler


This is the first major study of revolutionary Kronstadt to span the period from February 1917 to the uprising of March 1921.

This is the first major study of revolutionary Kronstadt to span the period from February 1917 to the uprising of March 1921. This book focuses attention on Kronstadt's forgotten golden age, between March 1917 and July 1918, when Soviet power and democracy flourished there. For an American readership that thinks of socialism and the Russian Revolution in cold war cliches, Getzler's work could be an eye-opener - were its insights more widely disseminated. Such was (and is) not the case: both the Soviet/Communist state and its enemies had a vested interest in suppressing the true meaning of this era to those who participated in it.

Download Now. saveSave Israel Getzler Kronstadt 1917-1921 the Fate of. . saveSave Israel Getzler Kronstadt 1917-1921 the Fate of a .Israel Getzler Kronstadt 1917-1921 the Fate of a Soviet Democracy Cambridge Russian, Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies 1983. Uploaded by. Pablo Polese. Israel getzler professor of history and russian studies, hebrew university of jerusalem. Cambridge university press. But this book is the first attempt to reconstruct and record the evolution and demise of Kronstadt's Soviet democ- racy and its accompanying perennial debate on power. A wonderful book! I first saw a copy when a comrade managed to steal a copy from the library of a prestigious academic institution. Now, thanks to the internet, we no longer have to indulge in such outrageous criminal acts. But seriously, this is the book to read about the history of the Kronstadt soviet, from its creation to its extinction at the hands of Trotsky and his mates.

Kronstadt 1917-1921: The Fate of a Soviet Democracy (Cambridge Russian, Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies). 052124479X (ISBN13: 9780521244794).

book by Israel Getzler. This is the first major study of revolutionary Kronstadt to span the period from February 1917 to the uprising of March 1921.

Vlasov and the Russian Liberation Movement: Soviet Reality and Emigre Theories (Cambridge Russian, Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies). Vlasov and the Russian Liberation Movement: Soviet Reality and Emigré Theories (Cambridge Russian, Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies) .

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GETZLER, ISRAEL (Author) SOVIET AND EAST EUROPEAN STUDIES (Author) Cambridge University . The Commissariat of enlightenment Soviet organization of education and the arts under Lunacharsky, October 1917-1921. Anglo-Soviet relations, 1917-1921.

GETZLER, ISRAEL (Author) SOVIET AND EAST EUROPEAN STUDIES (Author) Cambridge University Press (Publisher). whole: Dimensions: 23cm. Pagination: xii, 296p. The Ukraine, 1917-1921 a study in revolution.

Cambridge Russian, Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies. iii) The Armed Forces, 1914-21. This item appears on. List: HI317: The Russian Revolution 1914-1921 (Bibliography). Section: (iii) The Armed Forces, 1914-21. Previous: Military writings. Library availability.

This is the first major study of revolutionary Kronstadt to span the period from February 1917 to the uprising of March 1921. It focuses attention on Kronstadt's forgotten golden age, between March 1917 and July 1918, when Soviet power and democracy flourished there. Professor Getzler argues that the Kronstadters' 'Third Revolution' of March 1921 was a desperate attempt at a restoration of that Soviet democracy which they believed had been taken from them by Bolshevik 'commissarocracy'. Pointing to continuity in personnel, ideology and institutions linking the 1917-18 Kronstadt experiment in Soviet democracy with the March 1921 uprising, the author sees that continuity reflected in the Kronstadt tragedy's central figure, the long-haired, dreamy-eyed student Anatolii Lamanov. Chairman of the Kronstadt Soviet in 1917 and chief editor of its Izvestiia, Lamanov became the ideologist of the 1921 uprising and was soon after executed as a 'counter-revolutionary'.
Dammy
For an American readership that thinks of socialism and the Russian Revolution in cold war cliches, Getzler's work could be an eye-opener - were its insights more widely disseminated. Such was (and is) not the case: both the Soviet/Communist state and its enemies had a vested interest in suppressing the true meaning of this era to those who participated in it. Getzler shows that the Bolsheviks gained ascendancy because, in a nutshell, Russia's "democrats" were afraid of real democracy. We see this in his recounting of Irakli Tseretelli's visit to "Red Kronstadt." The Provisional Government's social democrat minister was revolted by the unwashed masses clamoring for the revolutionary order to live up to its promise; the good minister's one regret in his memoirs was "democracy's unwillingness, if not inability, to repress" (p. 254). Like the rest of Russia's February democrats, he was undone by the class prejudices of a Russian professional man hoping to create a Western middle class democracy in a nation without a middle class demographic. There should be little wonder why this abandonment empowered the rise of Lenin's party in Kronstadt and on the mainland.

The one issue that Getzler does not address (and neither does Paul Avrich, in his more focused account pf the 1921 uprising) is whether Kronstadt's egalitarian socialist democracy was replicable on the mainland. As Getzler shows, there was not much counter-revolutionary opposition on the island; this was quickly suppressed and removed. There was no civil war to speak of on Kronstadt, but in cities and regions where opposing forces were more evenly matched the revolution ran into hard stalemate almost immediately, like the trench warfare of the era. Kronstadt served as a battering ram against the discredited old order in February of 1917; against the trapped "bourgeois" democrats in October; but in 1921 it ran into the Bolshevik wall that was willing and able to impose "order" - with the revolutionary tide, not against it, as Tseretelli hoped. The Bolshevik elite, having survived a ruthless civil war (which it couldn't have won without the transcendent faith of Kronstadt), banded together and permitted no sympathetic division in its ranks. With no outside comrades in high places to help, Kronstadt's isolation was easily exposed and its revolutionary light snuffed.

A related issue Getzler brushes on, but leaves rather unexplored, is the party opposition to Bolshevism in post-October Kronstadt. This is not to suggest that the anti-Bolshevik sentiment during the Kronstadt rising was *merely* the product of party resentment, specifically of professed anarchists and Left SRs excluded from "soviet power." But opening political space to all soviet parties was second place to workers vitally concerned with survival. Lenin's NEP satisfied this raw edge of mass discontent, while Kronstadt's call for war on Communists has a distinct partisan flavor; perhaps explaining why it stood at arms to the bitter end.

Lenin may well have been right, that the either-or of civil war left no room for third options; that the Kronstadters would have been but a Trojan horse for the Whites, in spite of their best intentions, as they proved for the Bolsheviks in 1917, serving only to weaken power but unable to wield it themselves. The Kronstadters preached a new round of civil war in 1921 that a weary, hungry, and peace-seeking population could hardly have won. And no government will allow a camp of armed opposition to exist on its territory, nor countenance much democracy in its military ranks. Yet all that said, was it really necessary to abandon *all* of the soviet democracy preached and practiced in this brief little utopia? Despite the temporary lesson that birthed the shortlived New Economic Policy, the Communist state collapsed in no small measure in 1991 - like Tseretelli's provisional government - precisely because it could find no accommodation for *some* measure of grass-roots self-government, even in the benign form of a New England town council.

With all my ponderments, this remains a good and necessary read for all those truly wishing to understand the Russian revolution of 1917, and the real relation of socialism to democracy - a lesson that seems increasingly relevant as the cold war recedes into history. We may yet see - and participate in - new Kronstadts under regimes that have lost their way.
Binar
'Red Kronstadt,' a town and naval base outside St. Petersburg (aka Petrograd, Leningrad), was a center of revolutionary activity throughout the Russian Revolution. In February 1917 its workers, sailors and soldiers overthrew its Tsarist authorities and invested power in a revolutionary Soviet. In July 1917 a delegation of Kronstadters traveled to Petrograd to join the 'July Days' demonstrations in an unsuccessful attempt to force the Petrograd Soviet to take power as the Kronstadt Soviet had. Kronstadters took part in the October 1917 coup that brought the Bolsheviks to power. In January 1918 Kronstadters shut down the Constituent Assembly on Lenin's orders. And, most famously, in March 1921, the Kronstadters rebelled against Lenin's Bolshevik dictatorship, proclaiming that it had betrayed the Revolution and degenerated into a tyrannical despotism.
Much has been written about the 1921 Kronstadt mutiny and its brutal suppression by the Bolsheviks. However, not much was written about Kronstadt itself, about the new society that the revolutionaries tried to create in 1917, until Israel Getzler's "Kronstadt 1917 - 1921: The Fate of a Soviet Democracy" was first published twenty years ago. Unlike most books about Kronstadt, which focus on the 1921 mutiny, Getzler concentrates on Kronstadt's 'golden age' from February 1917 to the early months of 1918. He investigates in great detail the events at the base and in Petrograd in that year, and takes a long look at the new social and political order constructed by the Kronstadters after February.
In brief, Getzler presents a vibrant multi-party Soviet democracy, which flourished in Red Kronstadt from the February Revolution until it was strangled by the Bolsheviks in 1918. Readers will find his lengthy and detailed descriptions of Soviet elections and sessions either tedious or fascinating; I definitely felt the latter. Getzler's account of the Civil War years (1918 - 1920) and Kronstadt's 'Third Revolution' are much shorter than his analysis of its golden age. During the civil war, the Kronstadters were willing to go along with the Bolsheviks and their dictatorship in order to defeat the Counterrevolutionary White armies. After the end of the Civil War, however, the Kronstadters judged the Bolshevik dictatorship on its own merits, resulting in their catastrophic 1921 revolt.
Getzler describes this revolt as the Kronstadters' desperate attempt to restore their Socialist democracy of 1917. His analysis of the continuity between the 1917 Revolution and the 1921 mutiny (both in terms of ideology and personnel) demolishes the Bolsheviks' dogmatic interpretations of the revolt and their claims that the Kronstadt of 1917 - the 'pride and glory of the Russian Revolution' - was not the same as the 'traitorous and counterrevolutionary' Kronstadt of 1921. Those who are looking for a more detailed history of the mutiny itself would do well to consult Paul Avrich's "Kronstadt, 1921."
In the preface to the 1983 edition, Getzler complains that his research was hampered by the unwillingness of the Soviet authorities to grant him access to their archives. I don't know whether the new 2002 edition of this book includes additional research. It would be wonderful if Getzler has been able to improve this book with new resources, but even if this is not the case, "Kronstadt 1917 - 1921" remains by far the best analysis of Kronstadt's period of multi-party Soviet Socialist democracy in existence. It should thrill all those who are interested in Socialism or the Russian Revolution.

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