This book gives voice to Russian communists who participated in the 1917 revolution, but found themselves at odds with the Communist party as it consolidated its rule in the early 1920s. One Red army veteran demands action against corrupt officials; another mourns the dashed hopes of 1917 and the loss of friendship and solidarity. A “collectivist” group aspires to new cultural and technological revolutions; other oppositionists denounce material inequalities, the return of workplace exploitation and creeping state authoritarianism. The five documents in the book are published in English for the first time, with an introduction and notes.
“We hear in this small but diverse selection of largely forgotten communist voices great uncertainty and determination, disillusionment and hope, desire and despair. These voices offer critical viewpoints on ideology and politics, but also richly textured feelings about the condition of the revolution in these key years” - Mark Steinberg, author of The Russian Revolution, 1905-1921 (Oxford, 2017) and Russian Utopia: A Century of Revolutionary Possibilities (Bloomsbury, 2021).