The 1905-07 Russian Revolution as a ‘Moment of Truth’: An Overlooked Contribution from Menshevism

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This article is the first exposition of a projected five-part Menshevik study of social forces in the Russian Revolution of 1905, only four volumes of which appeared in 1907 covering reaction, the proletariat, the peasantry, and the liberal and democratic bourgeoisie. This collective effort marked perhaps the first attempt to present an overall analysis of the revolution from within one perspective, that of the Menshevik variety of Russian Marxism. Despite the centrality of perceptions of revolution to participants and future historians of Russian socialism and of 1905, this project has been largely overlooked. This is to be regretted, for the volumes contain interpretations now familiar on the nature of the 1905 revolution and why it failed. Furthermore, there is continuity between the works and authors of 1907 and the subsequent (1909–14) much more famous Menshevik history of social movements in Russia at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-195
Number of pages21
JournalRevolutionary Russia
Issue number2
Early online date4 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 29 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
For comments on previous drafts, the author is grateful to two anonymous reviewers, the editors, and to Erik van Ree and James D. White.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • 1905 Russian Revolution
  • Menshevism
  • Reaction
  • Liberalism
  • Peasants
  • Workers


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