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October: The Story of the Russian Revolution

China Miéville book tour: see all launch events here 

Award-winning author China Miéville plunges us into the year the world was turned upside down
Award-winning writer China Miéville has long been inspired by the ideals of the Russian Revolution and here, on the centenary of the revolution, he provides his own distinctive take on its history.

In February 1917, in the midst of bloody war, Russia was still an autocratic monarchy: nine months later, it became the first socialist state in world history. How did this unimaginable transformation take place? How was a ravaged and backward country, swept up in a desperately unpopular war, rocked by not one but two revolutions?

This is the story of the extraordinary months between those upheavals, in February and October, of the forces and individuals who made 1917 so epochal a year, of their intrigues, negotiations, conflicts and catastrophes. From familiar names like Lenin and Trotsky to their opponents Kornilov and Kerensky; from the byzantine squabbles of urban activists to the remotest villages of a sprawling empire; from the revolutionary railroad Sublime to the ciphers and static of coup by telegram; from grand sweep to forgotten detail.

Historians have debated the revolution for a hundred years, its portents and possibilities: the mass of literature can be daunting. But here is a book for those new to the events, told not only in their historical import but in all their passion and drama and strangeness. Because as well as a political event of profound and ongoing consequence, Miéville reveals the Russian Revolution as a breathtaking story.

Reviews

  • “An intriguing march to revolution, told here with clarity and insight.”
  • “Miéville is an ideal guide through this complex historical moment, giving agency to obscure and better-known participants alike, and depicting the revolution as both a tragically lost opportunity and an ongoing source of inspiration.”
  • “Readers will be satisfied that October gives them the literary equivalent of bearing witness to world history.”

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Upcoming Events

  • October-rev1a-450x330-max_141

    May 02, 2017

    London, United Kingdom

    London Review Bookshop @ St George's Church

    The Russian Revolution: Tariq Ali, China Miéville, Helen Rappaport and Alex von Tunzelmann

    On the centenary of the Russian Revolution, Tariq Ali, China Miéville, Helen Rappaport and chair Alex von Tunzelmann explore the stories and the voices that shaped the seismic events of 1917 – the year that turned the world upside down.
  • New-planet-1921-max_141

    May 03, 2017

    Liverpool, United Kingdom

    Liverpool: WoWFest

    Revolution!

    China Miéville, John Rees and Kate Evans bring you ... revolution!
  • China-mieville-at-his-letter-box-max_141

    May 04, 2017

    Manchester, United Kingdom

    Manchester: HOME

    China Miéville: October

    On the centenary of the Russian Revolution, China Miéville provides his own distinctive take on its history.

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