October. March 26, 2020

This is an interesting angle on the Russian revolution, where instead of a bird’s eye view with a long list of historical antecedents, we get the daily development of the revolution, from February to October 1917. Instead of the “inevitable wave of history” feeling I often get when reading history, with October I felt a real connection to the time and place of the revolution. Besides the fact that this makes for a more compelling story, it also helps dispel the notion that there’s anything inevitable or uniquely Russian about how the revolution ultimately panned out.

The book suffers a bit from having to include so many actors and separate interest groups in a single narrative. There are just too many names to remember. (There’s a glossary, which given that I was reading this on a Kindle was not much help.) The reading is probably more enjoyable to those who already have some decent knowledge of the revolution, which prior to reading this I did not.