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After ProgressAmerican Social Reform and European Socialism in the Twentieth Century$
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Norman Birnbaum

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195158595

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195158595.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 December 2021

The Russian Revolution—and After

The Russian Revolution—and After

(p.49) 3 The Russian Revolution—and After
After Progress

Norman Birnbaum

Oxford University Press

The Bolshevik Revolution, and the Soviet society and state that it engendered, the world Communist movement whose leadership the Soviet party expropriated, have served as screens—on which exalted hopes and bitter fears have been projected, frequently with not quite sublime disregard of historical reality. The Mikhail Gorbachev reforms, the collapse of Communism in the Soviet Union, the total loss of whatever model function the Revolution once claimed and in some parts of the world exerted have intensified an argument that has been going on since 1917. The Revolution was not merely a coup d'état in a very backward society devastated by military defeat. The projects of the new Soviet state were not simply desperate expedients by an increasingly cynical ruling elite, determined to sanctify their profane grip on power by proclaiming an end no less sacred than the creation of a new society.

Keywords:   Bolshevik Revolution, Soviet Union, society, Mikhail Gorbachev, reforms, Communism

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