Interpreting the Russian Revolution: The Language and Symbols of 1917

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9780300081060: Interpreting the Russian Revolution: The Language and Symbols of 1917

This is the first book in any language to offer a comprehensive analysis of the political culture of the Russian Revolution. Orlando Figes and Boris Kolonitskii examine the diverse ways that language and other symbols including flags and emblems, public rituals, songs, and codes of dress were used to identify competing sides and to create new meanings in the political struggles of 1917. The revolution was in many ways a battle to control these systems of symbolic meaning, the authors find. The party or faction that could master the complexities of the lexicon of the revolution was well on its way to mastering the revolution itself.

The book explores how key words and symbols took on different meanings in various social and political contexts. Democracy,” the people,” or the working class,” for example, could define a wide range of identities and moral worlds in 1917. In addition to such ambiguities, cultural tensions further complicated the revolutionary struggles. Figes and Kolonitskii consider the fundamental clash between the Western political discourse of the socialist parties and the traditional political culture of the Russian masses. They show how the particular conditions and perceptions that colored Russian politics in 1917 led to the emergence of the cult of the revolutionary leader and the culture of terror.

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About the Author:

Orlando Figes is the author of eight books on Russia that have been translated into twenty-seven languages; they include "The Whisperers", "A People s Tragedy", "Natasha s Dance", and "Just Send Me Word". A professor of history at Birkbeck, University of London and a frequent contributor to "The New York Review of Books", Figes is the recipient of the Wolfon History Prize, the W. H. Smith Literary Award, the NCR Book Award, and the" Los Angeles Times" Book Prize, among others.

Kolonitskii is senior researcher at the Institute of History of the Academy of Sciences.

From Kirkus Reviews:

An original but not very successful attempt to illuminate the political culture of the Russian Revolution by looking at its language and symbols. The book purports to be about ``the ways in which language was used to define identities and create new meanings in the politics of 1917,'' but much of the text relates to subjects only peripherally connected with this definition. The initial chapter, for example, deals with the ways in which the tsar was undermined by the rumors that the tsarina was pro-German, or that Rasputin was running the government, or that Russian defeats were caused by treason in high places. Similarly, the semireligious cult of revolutionary leaders, first Kerensky, and then Lenin and Kornilov, seems only marginally a linguistic phenomenon. More relevant is the discussion of what was meant by class. Figes (History/Birkbeck Coll., England; A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution 18911924, 1997) and Kolonitskii (a researcher at the Institute of History of the Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg) argue that the concept of class didnt exist until it was defined by language. There was instead a strong sense of Russians as laboring people united by a common sense of injustice and exclusion from society. The authors argue convincingly that class was a term flexible enough to unite diverse groups in a common struggle for human rights. They also believe that the terminology of revolution was foreign to most peasants but that they were not monarchists. The authors' most original argument may be that the peasantry shared a strong belief in socialism, and that hatred of the bourgeoisie had a strange mass appeal. They conclude that the symbolic language of revolution came from the socialists, and ``theirs was not a discourse of compromise.'' Perhaps that helps us explain, they suggest, why the Russian Revolution was so violent. Not a bad idea, but still a theme in search of evidence. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Figes, Orlando;Kolonitsk II, Boris
Editorial: Yale University Press, U.S.A. (1999)
ISBN 10: 0300081065 ISBN 13: 9780300081060
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Descripción Yale University Press, U.S.A., 1999. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Estado de la sobrecubierta: New. 1st Edition. New first edition hardcover in new dust jacket. Nº de ref. de la librería 045809

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Orlando Figes; Boris Kolonitsk II
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Descripción Yale University Press, 1999. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería 0300081065

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Orlando Figes, II Boris Kolonitskii
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Descripción Yale University Press, United States, 1999. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This is the first book in any language to offer a comprehensive analysis of the political culture of the Russian Revolution. Orlando Figes and Boris Kolonitskii examine the diverse ways that language and other symbols - including flags and emblems, public rituals, songs, and codes of dress - were used to identify competing sides and to create new meanings in the political struggles of 1917. The Revolution was in many ways a battle to control these systems of symbolic meaning, the authors find. The party or faction that could master the complexities of the lexicon of the revolution was well on its way to mastering the revolution itself. The book explores how key words and symbols took on different meanings in various social and political contexts. Democracy , the people , or the working class , for example, could define a wide range of identities and moral worlds in 1917. In addition to such ambiguities, cultural tensions further complicated the revolutionary struggles. Figes and Kolonitskii consider the fundamental clash between the Western political discourse of the socialist parties and the traditional political culture of the Russian masses. They show how the particular conditions and perceptions that coloured Russian politics in 1917 led to the emergence of the cult of the revolutionary leader and the culture of the Terror.Orlando Figes was Professor of History at Birkbeck College, London. He is the author of Peasant Russia , Civil War and A People s Tragedy: The Russian Revolution 1891-1924 .Boris Kolonitskii was Senior Researcher at the Institute of History of the Academcy of Sciences in St. Petersburg. Nº de ref. de la librería FLT9780300081060

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Orlando Figes, II Boris Kolonitskii
Editorial: Yale University Press, United States (1999)
ISBN 10: 0300081065 ISBN 13: 9780300081060
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Descripción Yale University Press, United States, 1999. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This is the first book in any language to offer a comprehensive analysis of the political culture of the Russian Revolution. Orlando Figes and Boris Kolonitskii examine the diverse ways that language and other symbols - including flags and emblems, public rituals, songs, and codes of dress - were used to identify competing sides and to create new meanings in the political struggles of 1917. The Revolution was in many ways a battle to control these systems of symbolic meaning, the authors find. The party or faction that could master the complexities of the lexicon of the revolution was well on its way to mastering the revolution itself. The book explores how key words and symbols took on different meanings in various social and political contexts. Democracy , the people , or the working class , for example, could define a wide range of identities and moral worlds in 1917. In addition to such ambiguities, cultural tensions further complicated the revolutionary struggles. Figes and Kolonitskii consider the fundamental clash between the Western political discourse of the socialist parties and the traditional political culture of the Russian masses. They show how the particular conditions and perceptions that coloured Russian politics in 1917 led to the emergence of the cult of the revolutionary leader and the culture of the Terror.Orlando Figes was Professor of History at Birkbeck College, London. He is the author of Peasant Russia , Civil War and A People s Tragedy: The Russian Revolution 1891-1924 .Boris Kolonitskii was Senior Researcher at the Institute of History of the Academcy of Sciences in St. Petersburg. Nº de ref. de la librería FLT9780300081060

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Dr. Orlando Figes, Boris Kolonitsk II
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Descripción Yale University Press, 1999. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0300081065

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Descripción Yale University Press, 1999. HRD. Estado de conservación: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days.THIS BOOK IS PRINTED ON DEMAND. Established seller since 2000. Nº de ref. de la librería IP-9780300081060

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