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Social Histories of the Russian Revolution

Social Histories of the Russian Revolution is a monthly series of talks, timed to take place during the run-up to the centenary of Russia’s revolutions of 1917.

Each discussion will be opened by historians who have spent extensive time studying the revolution in the Russian archives. But these are not academic seminars – they are open to all who share our interest in the history of the Russian revolution as a landmark struggle for social liberation. At each discussion there will be an opening talk of about 30 minutes, followed by open debate.

The emphasis in the discussion meetings will be on the social histories of the revolution – that is, how it was experienced by the mass of working people who participated.

By taking this approach we aim not to brush aside the role of political leaders, and their disputes and decisions, but rather to move beyond these well-known debates and reach a deeper understanding of the revolution as the active participation of millions of people in changing history.

We hope that by developing our theme over a year of meetings, we will be able collectively to engage in serious thinking and re-thinking about the revolution and its significance for our past and present.