Talk: Interpreting the Russian Revolution
  • Theatre 2, Plymouth University

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Professor Geoffrey Swain is Emeritus Professor at the University of Glasgow and holds the Alexander Nove Chair of Russian and European Studies.  Professor Swain has written extensively on the history of Russia and Eastern Europe during the twentieth century, focusing most recently on the following themes: Latvia during the first years of Soviet rule; Russia during the Civil War; and the career of Josip Broz Tito. He is author of 'A Short History of the Russian Revolution'.

In this talk Professor Swain explores two major ways in which the October Revolution has been interpreted. One approach saw it as the culmination of the revolutionary ambitions of the Russian masses, first shown in the failed 1905 revolution. After the Tsar had been overthrown in February 1917, a provisional government had been set up, but there was then a popular uprising that restored the revolution to the path it had been on when the Tsar was overthrown.

A second interpretation suggests Bolshevik concepts of discipline and ideology guided the masses to the October revolution, but then directed them to the unnecessary path leading to dictatorship and terror.

Date: Tuesday 17 October 
Time: 19:00-20:30
Location: Theatre 2, Plymouth University

£6/£4.20/Friends free
Discounts available via the Artory App and free to Plymouth University students via SPiA.

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Today's events

'Revolutions' season at Peninsula Arts

This year marks the centenary of the Russian Revolution; a period that still generates controversy. Such a tumultuous political time also heralded a revolution within art, music, theatre and film – unleashing a period of radical experimentation and innovation that had an enduring impact throughout the 20th century.

Taking 1917 as an example of a major turning point within society, the programme identifies a number of points across history and within the present where culture has undergone a major shift. The resulting programme might surprise you as to what we have chosen as being revolutionary and in some places may present a challenge, with previous radical ideas now being viewed as problematic from current perspectives.

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