Radiating the Revolution: Agitation in the Russian Civil War 1917-21


By Richard Taylor, published 1st March 2004

When the Bolsheviks seized power in what was essentially a carefully organised coup d’état in October 1917, they seized control only of the levers of central power in the then capital, Petrograd, which had already become the centre of working-class discontent. What they most emphatically did not do was to seize control over the whole vast territory of the Russian Empire. Even at the centre, their task was far from easy. Many civil servants who had loyally supported the ancien régime were reluctant to work for these dangerous radicals, whom they regarded as usurpers [zakhvatchiki]...

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