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Learning the lessons of Red October

April 13, 2018
detail from 1921 Russian propaganda posterThis Soviet poster is dedicated to the 5th anniversary of the 1917 October Revolution. (Wikicommons photo)

One-hundred years ago, as the Russian Empire collapsed following World War I, Bolshevik activists seized power in the capital St. Petersburg in what later became commonly known as the October Revolution.

“Lessons of October: The Fate of Democracy and Socialism in the Age of Revolution and Counter-Revolution” is the title of a talk by Ronald Grigor Suny, the William H. Sewell Jr. Distinguished University Professor of History at the University of Michigan, and emeritus professor of history and political science at the University of Chicago. Suny, who is one of the preeminent historians of the Soviet Union, ethnic conflict, and nationalism, will speak on the Rochester River Campus on Thursday, April 26 at 7:30 pm in Dewey Hall.

Rochester historian Matt Lenoe argues that the October Revolution was not what Karl Marx had had in mind.

Suny’s talk, which is part of the Russian Studies program’s commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, focuses on what the revolution can teach us about democracy and socialism in the past, present, and future. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Suny is the author of The Revenge of the Past: Nationalism, Revolution, and the Collapse of the Soviet Union (Stanford University Press, 1993) and numerous other books on the history of the Soviet Union, the South Caucasus, and the Armenian genocide.

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Category: Society & Culture

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