The October Revolution of 1917
A seven-week overview featuring China Miéville’s October
Mondays, October 9 through November 20, 7:30 to 9:30 pm
The Revolutions Study Group
Few historical events have been as widely misrepresented as the Russian Revolution of November, 1917 (called the “October Revolution”, according to the old Russian calendar). Especially since the collapse of the USSR in 1991, defenders of the capitalist order, including respectable academic scholars, have attempted to portray it as a coup d’état by a small minority of revolutionary zealots, bent on imposing an authoritarian regime. These falsehoods have the aim of discrediting not only this revolution and its leaders, but the idea of revolution in general. The Revolutions Study Group—which has recently taken an in-depth look at the events that brought Lenin and the Bolsheviks to power—is marking the centennial of the October Revolution by offering an eight-week course for anyone interested in finding out what actually happened at this defining moment of the twentieth century, and beyond.
We will read Verso Books’ recently published October, by China Miéville, along with other short readings, where appropriate.
The Revolutions Study Group (originally at the Brecht Forum) has been meeting since 2008. Individual participants have come and gone. However the group has held together, studying in depth a wide range of history including the French Revolution, the Russian Revolutions of 1905 and 1917, the Mau-Mau Revolt in Kenya, the Haitian Revolution, the European Revolutions of 1848, the May movement in France of 1968 and the Hot Autumn of Italy in 1969, the Spanish Civil War, the Mexican Revolution, the Socialist (2nd) International, and Russian Social Democracy prior to World War I. The group has just this past June completed a year-long examination of the German Revolutionary period of 1918-1924.