Want to know what books Roland Chambers recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Roland Chambers's favorite book recommendations of all time.
--Leon Trotsky, from History of the Russian Revolution
Regarded by many as among the most powerful... more
Roland ChambersI chose this book because almost everything that people read about the Russian revolution is written by Westerners, partly because the official histories written under Stalin were incredibly boring and predictable. That all changed when the archives opened up after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but there’s a gap all the same, which Trotsky tried to fill. (Source)
Roland ChambersI chose this book because it’s a work of fiction, and fiction is sometimes better at giving you a sense of the man than fact. Lenin, though a historical figure, is also a mythical figure. For many, he was not really a human being. His statue was in every town in the Soviet Union. He became a cult. Whether you love him or hate him he’s a sort of god, and as such he’s very difficult to recover... (Source)
Roland ChambersThe Debate on Soviet Power is important because the sheer scale of the revolution made it difficult to get at the principle players and what they were up to. Of course, the revolution came out of World War I, but in some ways its political and cultural significance exceeded the war. It was the most important political event of the 20th century – the beginning of the modern age. (Source)
Roland ChambersThere are only a couple of well-known eyewitness accounts of the revolution. The best known is probably John Reed’s Ten Days That Shook The World, but I’ve gone with Ransome’s book because Ransome is my man, and because whereas Reed’s book is a highly imaginative view of the 1917 revolution, Ransome’s is an equally stylised version of the revolution a little way down the road. (Source)
‘A modern masterpiece’ Andrew Marr
‘The most moving account of the Russian Revolution since Doctor Zhivago’ Independent
Opening with a panorama of Russian society, from the cloistered world of the Tsar to the brutal life of the peasants, A People’s Tragedy follows workers, soldiers, intellectuals and villagers as their world is consumed by revolution and then... more
Thomas KeneallyWell, I’ve chosen this because, from what I remember, it’s the book I most admired while I was writing about Russia because it gives the tremendous overall sweep of the entire catastrophe up to the end of the civil war in 1922 and the famine. Figes has the capacity to focus on people you’ve never heard of and show them as representatives of ideologies competing for control of the Russian state,... (Source)
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