Revolution in the Factories, 1917–1918
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- Author: S. A. Smith, University of Essex
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This book explores the impact of the 1917 Revolution on factory life in the Russian capital. It traces the attempts of workers to take control of their working lives from the February Revolution through to June 1918, when the Bolsheviks nationalised industry. Although not primarily concerned with the political developments of the Revolution, the book demonstrates that the sphere of industrial production was a crucial arena of political as well as economic conflict. Having discussed the structure and composition of the factory workforce in Petrograd prior to 1917 and the wages and conditions of workers under the old regime, Dr Smith shows how workers saw the overthrow of the autocracy as a signal to democratise factory life and to improve their lot. After examining the creation and activities of the factory committees, he analyses the relationship of different groups of workers to the new labour movement, and assesses the extent to which it functioned democratically.
Reviews & endorsements
' … The problem of workers' control in Russia is an essential element of the 1917 revolution, and as such has occupied generations of scholars … Smith's book, as a local study based on factory level sources (archives, newspapers, union journals) successfully cuts through the view from the top to describe what workers' control was about in Petrograd factories.' Social HistorySee more reviews
' … a most welcome addition to the rapidly growing list of major works by British and American historians on the real world of Russian during the tumultuous years of the late-imperial era … Red Petrograd is a work of meticulous scholarship and provocative argument. it deserves a wide readership.' Economic History Review
'Smith's painstaking analysis is buttressed by an admirably international and interdisciplinary range of reference.' The Times Higher Education Supplement
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- Date Published: April 2011
- format: Adobe eBook Reader
- isbn: 9780511867989
- availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
Table of Contents
1. A profile of the Petrograd working class on the eve of 1917
2. The tsarist factory
3. The February revolution: a new dispensation in the factories
4. The structure and functions of the factory committees
5. Trade unions and the betterment of wages
6. The theory and practice of workers' control of production
7. Deepening economic chaos and the intensification of workers' control
8. The social structure of the labour movement
9. The October Revolution and the organisation of industry
10. The economic crisis and the fate of workers' control: October 1917 to Junw 1918
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