1905 in St. Petersburg : labor, society, and revolution /
Gerald D. Surh.
Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 1989.
xvii, 456 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. --
0804714991 (alk. paper) :
More Details
Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 1989.
0804714991 (alk. paper) :
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
Bibliography: p. [429]-448.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1989-12:
A "deliberately and self-consciously revisionist" effort to evaluate the political development of the labor movement in Russia apart from its relationship to the Social Democratic Party and the Bolshevik faction. Based on an array of Soviet archival materials and secondary works, Surh (North Carolina State University) succeeds wonderfully, beginning with his evocative first chapter. Following a masterful synthesis on strike movements in St. Petersburg from 1896 to 1904, chapters are devoted to the emergence of a true labor self-consciousness in the months between January and October of 1905. However, Surh concludes with a necessary corrective, pointing out that worker consciousness and militancy were not unaided; that the Social Democrats cannot be said to have led the working classes in this period, but that they did play an important role in steering and shaping these newly radicalized workers. Informative maps and more than a dozen informative tables. Upper-division undergraduates and above. -G. E. Snow, Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, December 1989
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Main Description
This account of the St. Petersburg labor movement during the First Russian Revolution focuses on the sources and meaning of the extraordinary explosion of labor militancy in 1905 - a year that saw more striking workers than ever before in Russian history, almost a quarter of them in the capital. In contrast to earlier works, which have explained this militancy by stressing the political leadership of the Social Democratic party, the author offers a more complex and balanced picture that takes account of not only the moderate sectors of the opposition, but the initiative of the workers themselves. Situating the labor movement within the social and political ferment of early-twentieth-century Russia, he analyses the reshuffling of relations between workers and the intelligentsia that stood at the gateway of the entire revolutionary period. The result is an account of the revolution that takes a fresh look at the interaction of workers, the educated opposition, and the revolutionary parties, yielding a new appreciation of the role of each. The analytical narrative on 1905 is preceded by several chapters establishing the precedents for the mass strikes that erupted in that year and documenting the long- and short-term reasons for the workers' rapid turn to political protest. The study treats both the indispensable contribution of the revolutionary parties to the political education of the Petersburg labor force and their failure to reach the vast majority of workers. The great events of 1905 itself are framed and elucidated from a number of vantage points in detailed studies of strike actions and worker leaders, factory and union organizing initiatives, liberal overtures to the labor movement, and the incipient and actual breakdown of public order in the capital. The narrative culminates in the October General Strike, when workers organized the first Soviet of Workers' Deputies, a unique fusion of their own autonomous militancy with the ideas and leadership of their socialist and liberal allies.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Prefacep. xiii
The City and the Workersp. 1
Strike Movements and the Rising Political Tide, 1896-1904p. 51
1904p. 99
The January Strikep. 154
The Workers' Movement in Februaryp. 200
The Unity and Diversity of the Opposition, March-September 1905p. 252
The First Revolution in Octoberp. 304
The November Strike and the Eight-Hour Dayp. 350
Conclusionp. 406
Reference Matterp. 415
The Industrial Crisis and St. Petersburg Laborp. 417
The Petersburg Printersp. 421
Bibliographyp. 429
Indexp. 449
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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