Month: February 2017

From Waging War to Winning the Peace

Victorious in the Civil War, the Bolsheviks faced a series of challenges as they moved to secure the peace, consolidate their gains on the home front, and advance their agenda for transforming society. This week’s posts engaged many of these issues, from the ideologically compromised but politically necessary New Economic Policy, to the campaign against the church, and grand plans to bring electrification to the entire country. The cultural front was similarly fraught, which made the twenties a vibrant decade for literature and for the Cinema, which Lenin considered the “most important” of the arts. Our student’s choice award goes to the wonderfully titled, “All of Russia Do the Electric Slide.”

Enjoy this weekly edition while we get through mid-terms. We’ll back in a couple of weeks!


In February 1920 the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of the Soviets announced the formation of a State Electrification Commission (GOELRO), starting the first major economic project of the Bolsheviks. This program would be led under the chairmanship of the Bolshevik electrical engineer, Gleb Krzhizhanovskii. The task would call for a general plan for electrifying the … Continue reading ALL OF RUSSIA DO THE ELECTRIC SLIDE

Trotsky’s Train: Railway to Victory

The Red Sotnia, which translates to Red One hundred was Leon Trotsky’s elite personal body guard and were the early twentieth century equivalent of the Secret service and manned what can be considered the early twentieth century equivalent of Air Force One. The train acted as an early version of a mobile Pentagon allowing Trotsky to go …

Continue reading “Trotsky’s Train: Railway to Victory”

A Feast for A Famine

The famine that plagued Russia from 1921 to 1923 is widely noted as one of the largest disasters of the 20th century. The quick succession of World War I by the Bolshevik Revolution and the Russian Civil War created a… Continue Reading →

Doing Away With Religion

Communism and religion have always been at odds with one another. This antagonistic relationship started with Karl Marx when he famously wrote, “It [Religion] is the opium of the people” (Marx 1844). Religion was seen as a tool with which the ruling class used to suppress and control the working class. However, with the seizure … Continue reading Doing Away With Religion

Terror Against Men of God

The Bolsheviks did all that they could to seize power, even if that meant killing thousands to get what they wanted.  The Bolsheviks conducted the Red Terror, a campaign of mass arrests and executions. The Red Terror resulted in tens

Revolutionary Power Couple

After seizing control of the Russian government, the Bolsheviks were tasked with maintaining control over the country. Although they were outnumbered at times and lacked veteran military leadership, by 1921 the Bolsheviks had gained complete control. Fortunately for the Bolsheviks, throughout the civil war they were led by Lenin and Leon Trotsky. In his leadership … Continue reading Revolutionary Power Couple