What was the significance of the international situation to the unfolding of the ‘Great Terror’?

The 1930s were an increasingly precarious time internationally for the Soviet Union. Hostility towards the regime had been commonplace in the previous decade; but the rise of the Nazis in 1933, who were outwardly and aggressively hostile to the USSR both in its anti-communism and in its pursuit of Anschluss (expansion eastwards), intensified the uncertain […]

Did the ‘Great Terror’ reflect the ‘Self-Destruction of the Bolsheviks’, as J. Arch Getty has asserted?

J. Arch Getty is one of the leading historians of the Great Terror. In The Road to Terror, published in 1999, one of his fundamental arguments is that the Terror was a part of the the Bolshevik Party’s own self-destruction. This is tied into Getty’s overarching ‘revisionist’ argument, in which he argues that the Soviet […]

Winston Churchill and the Rise of Bolshevism 1917–1927

Winston Churchill and the Rise of Bolshevism 1917–1927 The period 1917 to 1927 was one of significant social and political upheaval and revolution across the world, but nowhere so much as in Russia, when on 7 November 1917, the Bolshevik Revolution took place. Power was transferred to the soviets across the country, ousting the Provisional […]

The October Revolution: A Coup D’état?

(Initially written around October 2013) The October Revolution of 1917 was the most significant event of the twentieth century. It saw the transfer of power in Russia from the Provisional Government to the soviets led by the Bolshevik Party, creating the world’s first socialist state. However it’s commonly referred to as a coup d’état, particularly by anticommunist historians […]