The Russian Revolution after 100 Years
This is the Inaugural Hansen Chair History Lecture.
On 25 October 1917, the Bolsheviks took power in Petrograd. For the following 74 years this date would mark one of the foundational events of global history: the establishment of the world's first socialist state. Red October inspired high hopes in some and terrible dread in others. For better and for worse it shaped the twentieth century in fundamental ways. But what does the revolution mean over a quarter century after the breakdown of the Soviet Union? In this lecture, historian Mark Edele argues that in order to understand the significance of the Russian revolution today, we need to broaden our view well beyond the events in Petrograd in 1917. The October uprising was but one moment in a larger, violent process of destruction and reforging of empire. The results continue to shape the region, and indeed the world.