New book by history prof looks at socialist revolutionaries

A groundbreaking study by Professor Scott Smith reveals a complex picture of the struggle for power in Russia after the revolution of 1917.

Captives of Revolution: The Socialist Revolutionaries and the Bolshevik Dictatorship, 1918–1923 demonstrates that the Civil War in Russia laid the foundation for the Bolshevik party and the Soviet state.

In his perceptive historical analysis, the Linfield history professor places the Socialist Revolutionaries at the center of political and military developments, and conveys the complexity of the challenges they faced in trying to defend the revolution from Bolshevik usurpation.

Smith reveals the idealistic but doomed efforts of the Socialist Revolutionaries to expose the fantastic fictions at the heart of Bolshevik revolutionary discourse, says Cathy Frierson, a history professor from the University of New Hampshire.

Erik Landis, from Oxford Brookes University, says the carefully researched book presents a nuanced portrait of the complex and dynamic political environment of revolution and civil war in Russia. “It is exceptionally well-written and insightful for students and specialists alike,” Landis says.