This article is an extended review of the first important book published during the centenary of 1917. Stephen Smith’s Russia in Revolution. An Empire in crisis offers the general reader a broad time-frame, ranging back to the great reforms of Alexander II in the 1860s and forward to the high Stalinism of the 1930s. Seeking both to reflect the way archivally based scholarship has changed our understanding of the Russian Revolution over recent decades and to answer the big questions that interest the general reader, the book stresses continuities between late-imperial Russia and Stalinism across the revolutionary divide of 1917. It pays much attention to the economic, social and cultural changes that shaped political developments. Finally, it suggests it is too early to conclude that the implications of the 1917 Revolutions for the future are entirely exhausted.
Keywords: Russian Empire, Russian Revolutions, Bolshevism, Stalinism