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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 May 2017

Exhibition review: 'Russian revolution - hope, tragedy, myths'

Rare opportunity to see Russian revolution lifted off the page

Leon Trotsky, Vladimir Lenin and Lev Kamenev (left to right)

Leon Trotsky, Vladimir Lenin and Lev Kamenev (left to right)   (Click to enlarge)

Mark Milligan, East London Socialist Party

This new exhibition at the British Library draws on an extensive collection to take visitors through the key events of the Russian revolution.

Following a straightforward chronology, it starts at the end of the nineteenth century, with the graphic images Nikolai Rubakin used to demonstrate the extreme inequality of Russian society under the Romanov dynasty.

Historic documents bring to life the struggles of the peasants and the newly urbanised working class to overthrow the yoke of feudalism.

The fast-changing situation is illustrated by reports of the 1905 mutiny on-board the battleship Potemkin, and records showing the Tsar's failed attempt to introduce a sham democracy in his 'October Manifesto' the same year.

Placards and proclamations hastily printed on hidden presses show the competing platforms of the political parties. And contemporary paintings and cartoons show the horrors of the 1914-17 imperialist war with Germany.

Red banners faded to white, and iconic Red Army uniforms and arms, lift the drama of the 1917 revolutions and ensuing civil war off the page.

The opportunity to see documents hand-written by Leon Trotsky and annotated by Vladimir Lenin - the co-leaders of the Bolshevik revolution - is rare, and the context is well-established by the exhibition's layout.

I would suggest that more than two hours are needed to read all the commentary and exhibits written in English.

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In The Socialist 3 May 2017:


What we think

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Socialist Party news and analysis

Jeremy Corbyn's workers' charter

Corbyn pledges a million homes and landlord regulation

McDonnell promises reversal of Tories' tax cuts for the super-rich

Corbyn pledges end to uni fees and school cuts

Corbyn government would lift NHS pay cap

Support for socialist programme in Labour Liverpool rally


Social care in crisis

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International socialist news and analysis

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Trump's policies hit a wall


Socialist Students

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Workplace news and analysis

Unison health conference: fury over leadership's feet dragging

Union leadership and Labour right challenged at shop workers' conference

McDonald's forced to back down on zero-hours

PCS elections - vote Democracy Alliance

Transport union protests against driver-only operation outside parliament


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Rare opportunity to see Russian revolution lifted off the page


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Mersey metro-mayor TV debate

'Socialist Steve' takes on the robots

TUSC's south Wales challenge to pro-cuts parties


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Buy your ticket now for the political event of the year: Socialism 2017

Housing association workers' and tenants' alternative awards ceremony

Sheffield mental health campaigner: "austerity kills"


 

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