Why did Lenin’s Bolsheviks take power in October 1917? The earlier (February) revolution and the hopes it raised, the complex realities of power, and the political and social history of Russia leading up to the coup will be explored, asking why liberal or parliamentary government already appeared unrealistic.
Why was Lenin’s role so crucial? Who were his supporters, and what did they make of his plans? How, as a Marxist, did he justify the seizure of power and would the October Revolution have been possible without him? How in this centenary year, are these events being commemorated in Putin’s Russia?
Catherine Merridale is an acclaimed writer and historian with a special interest in Russian history. Her books include Red Fortress: The Secret Heart of Russia's History and Lenin on the Train.
Her book Red Fortress: The Secret Heart of Russia's History won the Wolfson History Prize and the Pushkin House Russian Book Prize.