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French and Russian Revolutions

АвторДАТА ПУБЛИКАЦИИ: 04 сентября 2007
АвторОПУБЛИКОВАЛ(а): Администратор
АвторРУБРИКА: - Soviet Russia (1917-53)
Источник (source)ИСТОЧНИК: http://russia.by (c)



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Are there useful comparisons to be made between the French Revolution of 1789 and the Russian Revolution of 1917?

Viewpoint: Yes. The violent use of state power to achieve order after revolutions displaced incompetent governments, common to both the French and Russian Revolutions, is a meaningful study with applications to contemporary situations.

Viewpoint: No. The French and Russian Revolutions had fundamentally different ideologies, and comparisons between them are inaccurate.

____________________

When revolution erupted in Russia in 1917, many of its leaders self- consciously identified their situation with the turbulent era of the French Revolution (1789). Events, trends, individuals, groups, and ideologies either took on or were assigned identities that mirrored previous occurrences in revolutionary France. Bolshevik war commissar Lev Trotsky was compared to French revolutionary general and later emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. Trotsky's great rival, Josef Stalin, who was accused of reversing revolutionary ambitions as he rose to power, was said to have ushered in a "Thermidorian Reaction," an allusion to the restrained period that followed the most radical phase of the French Revolution.
Are these comparisons valid, and do the two revolutions represent a case of history repeating itself? One argument agrees with the self-conscious interpretation endorsed by members of the early Soviet government. France before 1789 and Russia before 1917 shared many of the same problems: governments of questionable competence, wide social divisions, turbulent capitalist economies replacing stagnant agrarian ones, and ambitious middle groups that felt entitled to greater power. It was only natural that these similarities of cause should lead to similarities of result: a period of limited reform followed in turn by a radical phase of terror; a restrained climb down; and a relatively stable period of authoritarian rule, albeit worse in both cases than what had come before.
To other scholars these comparisons seem self-fulfilling and overstated. No matter what Russia's revolutionary leaders thought, their ideology was fundamentally different from that of their French predecessors, as were their attitudes toward law and order, economics, foreign policy, military affairs, and a host of other issues. The causes of 1917 seem more rooted in World War I, while the causes of the French Revolution were rooted in state financial crisis and contentious disputes over modernization. Accordingly, the two revolutions were different and are too complex to be subject to the simplifications of a general comparison.



Viewpoint: Yes. The violent use of state power to achieve order after revolutions displaced incompetent governments, common to both the French and Russian Revolutions, is a meaningful study with applications to contemporary situations.

Historians of the twentieth century have been intrigued by the links between the French Revolution (1789) and the Russian Revolution (1917). At first glance, visions of the French and Russian people fighting to overthrow unjust, corrupt monarchies dominate the imagination. However, this simple interpretation fails to explain why some historians have insisted (until the fall of communism in 1989) that the Russian Revolution marked the continuation, if not the fulfillment, of the democratic and egalitarian promises of 1789. At the same time, other scholars perceived 1789 as an unfortunate blueprint for 1917, in that regicide, coupled with violence on the part of the masses, led to a tearing of the social and political fabric of Russia that paved the way for Josef Stalin's dictatorship, much in the same way that excesses of the French Revolution allowed Napoleon Bonaparte to usurp power. In addition, historians in the tumultuous twentieth century remained divided over several key questions: why did the legacy of 1789 inspire Vladimir Lenin and Lev Trotsky; were they trying to complete the "unfinished" work of 1789; and did the French Revolution provide the foundation for the abuse of state power that marked the Russian Revolution?

A superficial analysis of the two revolutions reveals that they had certain traits in common. Revolutionaries in France and Russia attempted at first to craft moderate, democratic political orders that ultimately failed, with a resulting "radicalization." In France in 1791 a constitutional monarchy was inaugurated that forced Louis XVI to share power with the National Assembly. It failed after Louis attempted to escape from France following a lukewarm embrace of the new political order. In 1792 the revolution made a radical turn after the Jacobins took control of the legislature and declared a republic, thereby paving the way for the execution of the king. In 1917 the Provisional Government in Russia attempted to stabilize the nation and build democratic institutions. The pressure of Russia's involvement in World War I and the government's inability to quell unrest at home allowed the Bolsheviks to capitalize on these weaknesses and to seize control of the government in November 1917. The result of each radicalization was the elimination of both monarchs. Louis XVI was placed on trial and executed in January 1793, followed by his wife, Marie Antoinette, later that same year. In July 1918 the Bolsheviks executed Tsar Nicholas, his wife, Alexandra, and their children without the benefit of trial. Finally, the model for the "ruthless revolutionary," often celebrated by the Left and excoriated by the Right during the twentieth century, emerged in France with the appearance of Maximilien Robespierre and in Russia with the entrance of Lenin onto the world stage.

Many Russians in the early twentieth century, including Lenin and Trotsky, viewed their revolution as a continuation of the unfinished political and social battles of 1789. French revolutionaries wanted to build a new world based on the ideals of the Enlightenment and radical political principles of popular sovereignty, representative government, individual rights, and social and political equality. The power of their dream came from their belief that these principles were "universal." In addition, their insistence that the social and political environment of a particular nation could be reconfigured in accordance with these principles has had a great impact on revolutionary movements all over the world, including Russia, China, and Cuba. The oppressive Russian imperial state resembled the one that existed in France before the revolution and, therefore, was ready to be overthrown by force. Not only would the Bolsheviks destroy the social and political system of Russia, Lenin and Trotsky argued, they would establish a new sociopolitical order based on socialist ideology that would bring economic, political, and social equality. Their ideological mentor was German political philosopher Karl Marx, who wrote that the French Revolution was an important step toward socialist society in that it inaugurated a new world based on private property and capitalism. Therefore, Lenin and Trotsky believed that they would provide the final reckoning with capitalism, the result being the realization of the new world envisioned by the French revolutionaries.

Institutionalized violence was a pervasive part of both revolutions. Why do revolutionaries, who insist on the principle of popular sovereignty, often rely on violence to further their "democratic" goals? The Law of 22 Prairial, Year II (10 June 1793) is a good example. It prevented individuals accused of certain crimes from gaining access to an adequate defense before the courts. The creation of the Committee of Public Safety signaled the wish of the Jacobins to root out enemies, and those who were convicted were often victims of trials that were a mockery of justice. In Russia, after the Bolsheviks seized power, the Cheka, a secret police, was established, first as a means for keeping order, but soon it was employed in seeking out potential enemies of the state. In both cases countless lives were lost, or at the least, severely disrupted.

The problem of revolutionary violence profoundly affected twentieth-century French intellectual history. After Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933, intellectuals in France were forced to consider the legacy of the Russian Revolution, especially as political violence between Left and Right escalated dramatically in the 1930s. As the 150th anniversary of the French Revolution approached in 1939, intellectuals on the Left championed the violence of 1917 as necessary to bring the egalitarian promises of 1789 to fruition; those on the Right believed the success of Bolshevism marked the birth of a dangerous new dictatorship that used socialist and humanitarian ideals as an excuse to consolidate power in the hands of an elite. The Soviet defeat of the Nazis during World War II further complicated historical interpretations, as the onset of the Cold War forced historians to choose political and methodological sides.

Historians of France and Russia defined themselves in two major ways, which in some cases was driven by Cold War allegiances. Specifically, historians generally turned to either the thèse de circonstances or thèse du complot to explain the revolutions. The thèse de circonstances approach favors the view that revolutions shape the actors more than the actors shape their respective revolution, and is favored by those with leftist political views. For example, French historian Georges Lefebvre held that despite the best intentions of the revolutionaries to establish a democratic order, the fear of aristocratic plotting against the Revolution and the war with Europe distorted these goals and helped provide the mentality that produced the Reign of Terror. Revolutionaries often employed violence in reaction to real threats. Russian and Soviet scholar Moshe Lewin views the need of the Bolsheviks to stabilize the economy after years of world war and civil war as the central issue driving debates within the party and for giving the new Soviet state its bureaucratic foundation. Ideology is secondary to the revolutionaries' need to respond to internal and external events.

The thèse du complot approach emphasizes the role of ideology and how revolutionaries consciously shaped events. This view appeals to those on the political Right who view 1789 and 1917 as breeding grounds for dictatorship. François Furet and Richard Pipes, historians of France and Russia, respectively, employ this approach. For Furet, the revolutionaries of 1789 did not understand the power of the ideas they were unleashing, especially that the people, not the monarch, should form the basis of the nation. The power of this idea justified revolutionary violence and in the end distorted whatever positive outcome the revolution promised. For Pipes, Lenin and the Bolsheviks used terror to establish a Communist state and shaped the revolution to fit their own ideological ends.

Despite the polarizing effects of these two approaches, historians nonetheless opened new avenues for research into areas such as the development of the French and Soviet state in the wake of revolution and the use of political symbolism by the revolutionaries. In France, the Jacobins used state power to control grain prices in an attempt to stave off starvation and solidify their political base with the sansculottes and the poor. In addition, the French Revolution was the harbinger of modern politics, as revolutionaries sought to gauge public opinion by contrasting the Marianne (the idealized image of woman as the Republic) with the corrupt Old Regime. In the spring and summer of 1918 the Bolsheviks, faced with widespread food shortages, used state power to seize grain from the peasants, while controlling industry and financial institutions to jump-start the economy. The new Soviet regime quickly learned the power of public opinion and employed propaganda and slogans to gain support for the revolution. In the 1920s literacy campaigns and the push to bring electricity to the countryside were meant to include each Soviet citizen in the new socialist utopia.

In conclusion, the connection between the French Revolution and the Russian Revolution cannot be denied. Simple historical comparisons distract historians from determining how the two revolutions have left their imprint on twentieth-century European history. Understanding why revolutionaries use state-sponsored violence as a means to achieve "humanitarian" ideals might shed light on totalitarian movements on the Left, including the Soviet Union, and on the Right, including Nazi Germany. If historians are to understand how politics and historical methodology are related in French and Russian historiography, it is necessary to look at the connection between the two revolutions in light of World War II and the Cold War, when the thèse de circonstances and thèse du complot approaches forced historians into methodological straitjackets. Only then can one begin to understand the power that the legacies of 1789 and 1917 represent.

-- Lawrence H. Davis, Salem State College


Viewpoint: No. The French and Russian Revolutions had fundamentally different ideologies, and comparisons between them are inaccurate.

Historical comparisons are especially tricky when it comes to such important events as the French (1789) and Russian (1917) Revolutions. Much depends on what exactly is being compared, at what period of history, and for what purpose. After all, in 1917 two events in Russia merited the term revolution: first, the establishment of the Provisional Government following the Tsar's abdication in February/March and second, the overthrow of that government by the Bolsheviks in October/November. All revolutions are immensely complex events born from various factors, and they produce unforeseen and long-lasting effects. One is reminded of Chinese communist premier Zhou Enlai, who, when asked what he thought of the gains of the French Revolution, nearly two centuries afterward, answered: "It is too early to tell."

Both the French Revolution and the Russian Revolutions ran a course that can be divided into initially moderate, then radical, and finally reactionary stages. In the case of the first revolution, it is difficult to say when it ended: 1794, 1799, 1815, 1830, 1848, 1851, 1871, 1940, or 1968? It is clear, however, that in each of these years the forces set in motion in the 1790s let themselves be known. No wonder it was said in the nineteenth century: "When France sneezes, Europe catches a cold." Indeed, Russia was not immune to the French germ, and symptoms began appearing immediately after the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte as the Russian officers, almost all of them perfectly fluent in French, came back to Russia. The result was the Decembrist Uprising (1825), which failed in its immediate goals of creating a constitutional government in Russia, but was a milestone in the birth of the Russian intelligentsia and marked the first serious rift between society and the tsarist government on the issue of reforms. With the exception of the Polish uprising (1830-1831) and Russia's intervention in the Hungarian uprising (1848-1849), the revolutionary events of 1830 and 1848 largely bypassed Russia. Yet, something not readily apparent, although more important, was taking place as the Russian intelligentsia internalized the clashes on the European barricades. This process greatly contributed to what later became an extremely variegated and complex tradition of opposition. In the absence of political rights, the Russian intelligentsia discussed religious, political, economic, and social problems in works of literature and, especially later in the century, in journalism. The French Revolution was a constant reference point, and the Russian opposition movement was divided in its views of it. Russian intellectuals saw what they wanted to see in the French Revolution, creating multiple versions of it. The ahistorical and highly politicized nature of Russian perceptions is a valuable reminder that the French Revolution was a mirror for thinkers and activists of almost all political shades in all countries.

In the mid nineteenth century, Slavophiles and Westerners dominated the debate regarding Russia's place in relation to Western Europe. Some of the most prominent Slavophile thinkers were Ivan Kireevskii, Konstantin Aksakov, Nikolai Danilevskii, Iurii Samarin, and Aleksei Khomiakov. They shared the belief that the French Revolution was a peculiarly Western phenomenon. Kireevskii formulated the principal tenets of Slavophilism in 1839. According to these scholars, three crucial historical periods constituted Western civilization: Christianity; the reign of the barbarians who destroyed Rome; and the classical heritage. The fall of Rome was a blessing because the Romans excelled at law but ignored the organic ties of society and made the state an abstract principle, which bound but did not unite its individual subjects. Later, the mechanism of industrial production came to govern this soulless, logico-technical civilization. According to Khomiakov, Russian Orthodoxy stood above this situation because it contained the idea of sobornost (conciliarism), individualism, and the necessity to restrain it through coercion. Aksakov regarded all forms of legal and political relations as inherently evil. Internal truth was the voice of conscience enshrined in religion, tradition, and customs that the French Revolution aimed to destroy and replace with what the Slavophiles perceived as artificial and external truth. They maintained that a rationalistic society developed much faster than a truly Christian one because material progress was always easier to achieve than spiritual purity. Hence, for the Slavophiles, Peter the Great's Westernizing reforms put Russia on a dangerous (French) track, and the country had to turn back to its native roots.

Some conservative thinkers such as Ivan Aksakov and Konstantin Pobedonostsev saw the Revolution as a potentially dangerous precedent that produced terror, anarchy, and dictatorship as a result of flawed revolutionary ideology based on rationalism, secularism, and individualism. Misguided utopianism misfired in its attempts to enthrone Man and Reason in the place of King and God. Fedor Dostoevsky, Vladimir Soloviev, and Konstantin Leontiev saw the French Revolution not just as a product of Western hubris but also as satanic delusion. According to Soloviev, the Antichrist would be the most perfect of all human beings--the universal genius combining all artistic, moral, political, and religious gifts. He would also attempt to build the kingdom of God on Earth and try to accomplish everything that Christ failed to do in his first coming: to grant material well-being and peace to humanity. This activity would inevitably result in chaos and bloodshed proving the absurdity, futility, and destructiveness of revolutions against the established order.

Liberals of the Great Reform Era (1860s and 1870s) took a more pragmatic view of Western changes and saw Russia as a potential beneficiary of Western knowledge and practices if they were adapted to native conditions. Aleksandr Herzen's ideas formed the basis of the Populist movement, but his interpretations of the Revolution were various and often contradictory. More concerned with socialism than with a bourgeois revolution, he identified the Russian peasant commune as the model of the future society and saw Russia as the birthplace of the freedom, equality, and brotherhood that the French pursued but failed to achieve. For radical Russian revolutionaries such as Petr Zaichnevsky, Petr Tkachev, and members of the radical People's Will, the Reign of Terror was a lesson in the moral value, necessity, and cathartic qualities of political violence.

Moderate liberals such as Petr Struve and Pavel Miliukov depicted the French Revolution as the unfortunate result of Bourbon resistance to overdue reforms and implied that the revolution's main lesson for the tsarist government was that it should reconcile itself with its liberal opponents and cooperate with them in developing and implementing reforms. Some moderate leftists such as Evgenii Tarle and Georgii Plekhanov argued that French and Russian societies were uncannily similar and that a Russian revolution would repeat the main stages of its historical predecessor, while other moderate leftists such as Aleksandr Amfiteatrov claimed that Russia would not follow the French path because the Russian bourgeoisie, unlike the French, was too weak to confront the autocracy.

The political group that paid most attention to the French precedent was the Bolshevik faction of the Social Democratic Party, but even here the interpretations were widely divergent. However, they are well worth examining in some detail since the Bolshevik interpretation of the French Revolution left the deepest impression on both sides of the Iron Curtain as a result of the ideological battles of the Cold War.

For Vladimir Lenin and other Marxist leaders, power struggles within the Jacobin hierarchy paralleled their own competition for influence in the Social Democratic Party, which split into two factions (Bolshevik and Menshevik) in 1903. The Jacobin dictatorship anticipated the Bolsheviks' centralized organization, and Lenin greatly appreciated French revolutionary leader Maximilien Robespierre's manipulation of ideology for personal ambition and power.

Yet, the Bolsheviks did not always see the French Revolution as directly relative to the Russian situation and were more than willing to use it as a tool in the political struggle when it suited their purposes. Lenin saw the French Revolution through the prism of Marxism, of course, which he modified into Marxism-Leninism to validate the Bolshevik coup, even though it did not fit into the Marxist framework. Lenin realized the differences between the French situation of the 1790s and the Russian circumstances of the 1910s. The collapse of the Jacobin government yielded valuable lessons on how to retain political power and prevent a rollback of revolutionary gains. Lenin wrote in a letter to a German socialist in July 1918: "Despite the worst weeks, we will not allow the 'usual' (1794 or 1849) path of revolutions and will win over the bourgeoisie." In Lenin's mind, the Russian Revolution would be successful because of the new international, or rather transnational, atmosphere in which it was expected to happen. In the closing speech of the Russian Socialist Democratic Workers' Party (RSDWP) Congress in 1906, he said that the Russian Democratic Republic had only one reserve--the socialist proletariat in the West--which was "in arms on the eve of the last engagement with the bourgeoisie." Since Russia was not surrounded by feudal or semifeudal states, the news of a Russian Revolution would cause the workers of Europe to rise against their own bourgeoisie. In a brochure published the same year, Lenin argued that small-scale business and trade were the reserves of a Russian reaction. He feared that the Revolution, even if victorious, risked losing its fruits and its inertia. Thirteen years later, in 1919, in a speech at the Soviet Congress of Unions, Lenin congratulated the Russian proletariat for holding out until the awakening of the West European workers: "In this sense, comrades, we can already say that we are many times more fortunate than the figures of the French Revolution, which was defeated by an alliance of monarchical and other countries."

Of course, the most common use of French Revolutionary rhetoric was to defend the political violence of the Red Terror. Lenin's attitude toward his political opponents among the Social Democrats and Liberals and his intransigence toward the tsarist and Provisional governments anticipated his views on violence as a method of persuasion. No other subject inspired such vociferous rhetoric from him as the application of the Jacobin Terror to the Russian situation. He wrote that proletarian historians saw in Jacobinism, not a fall, but one of the "highest upsurges of an oppressed class in their struggle for liberation." The Jacobins gave France its "best examples of a democratic revolution."

Contrary to Marx, Lenin also believed that the peasantry, which Marx believed to be an essentially traditional and conservative class, could be a political force if properly indoctrinated and mobilized. Indeed, the French example demonstrated that insufficient consideration and misuse of the peasantry could derail an otherwise successful urban revolution: "All European revolutions ended in failure precisely because the village did not know how to deal with its enemies. The workers in the towns of England and France executed their tsars a hundred years ago (we are the ones who fell behind with our Tsar); nevertheless, old ways were established again after a while."

In the end, Lenin's views of the French Revolution were so contradictory that it is simply impossible to coherently answer "How did Lenin conceive of the French Revolution?" Every supposition meets with several exceptions. Lenin clearly looked to the French example as a test case--but how and what did he learn from it? Codifying his conclusions yields little in the way of structure, but the nature of his learning process and how he applied his conclusions give a clearer answer. One prominent feature of Lenin's thinking was the pervasive desire to go "beyond" the French Revolution. He read appropriate meanings and values into it, always with the intention of exceeding what had been "achieved" by it. This approach was completely different from the conservatives' desire to avoid it altogether or the moderate liberals' intention of studying it in order to avert its most egregious excesses.

In the memory of Western liberals and Russian moderate reformers, the excesses of the French Revolution were suppressed in favor of the gains of the bourgeoisie. The Bolsheviks emphasized the failure of the Jacobins to establish the democracy they had pursued. They posed as "heirs" to the French Revolution's ideals and as modern agents of its unfulfilled promises. During the Cold War, Soviet and Western Marxist historiography emphasized the latter view while conservative and liberal approaches focused on the former. Since facts are multifaceted in their nature, the accuracy or inaccuracy of comparison depends more often than not on the point of view from which it is made. To ask about the accuracy of comparisons between the two revolutions is to ask for a simultaneous view of a three-dimensional figure in time. The question of self-consciousness, however, is historically much more fruitful. All comparisons are self- conscious, but that does not make them inaccurate. Factual errors do. Understanding this difference forces historians to examine themselves in the process of examining facts, and once again resurrects the eternal issue of the relationship between the perceiver and the perceived, turning history back into a meditation on humanity in the world, not on the world encasing humanity.

-- Anton Fedyashin, Georgetown University


THE TASK AT HAND

In 1905 Russian Communist leader Vladimir Lenin commented on two previous major European revolutions:

In other words, are we to have a revolution of the 1789 type or of the 1848 type? (We say type in order to dispose of the preposterous idea that there can be any repetition of the irrevocably vanished social, political, and international situations of 1789 and 1848.)

That a Social-Democrat must want and work for the former, of this there can hardly be any doubt.

Yet Martynov's way of stating the issue reduces itself wholly to a tail-ender's desire for a more modest revolution. . . . In this case Social-Democracy will unavoidably remain "in opposition"--even to the revolution; this indeed is what Martynov wants--to remain in opposition even to the revolution. . . .

In favour of type I we have: (1) An immeasurably greater store of resentment and revolutionary feeling among the lower classes in Russia than there was in the Germany of 1848. With us the change is sharper; with us there have been no intermediate stages between autocracy and political freedom (the Zemstvo does not count); with us despotism is Asiatically virginal. (2) With us a disastrous war increases the likelihood of a severe collapse, for it has involved the tsarist government completely. (3) With us the international situation is more favourable, for proletarian Europe will make it impossible for the crowned heads of Europe to help the Russian monarchy. (4) With us the development, of class-conscious revolutionary parties, their literature and organisation, is on a much higher level than it was in 1789, 1848, or 1871. (5) With us the various nationalities oppressed by tsarism, such as the Poles and Finns, provide a powerful impulse to the attack on the autocracy. (6) With us the peasantry is in particularly sorry plight; it is incredibly impoverished and has absolutely nothing to lose.

Of course, all these considerations are by far not absolute. Others may be contraposed to them: (1) We have very few survivals of feudalism. (2) The government is more experienced and has greater facilities for detecting the danger of revolution. (3) The spontaneity of a revolutionary outburst is complicated by the war, which creates problems that have no bearing on the revolution. The war demonstrates the weakness of the Russian revolutionary classes, which would not have had the strength to rise without it (cf. Karl Kautsky in The Social Revolution). (4) Other countries provide no stimulus to a revolution in ours. (5) The national movements towards the dismemberment of Russia are likely to tear the bulk of the Russian big and petty bourgeoisie away from our revolution. (6) The antagonism between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie with us is much deeper than it was in 1789, 1848, or 1871; hence, the bourgeoisie will be more fearful of the proletarian revolution and will throw itself more readily into the arms of reaction.

Only history, of course, can weigh these pros and cons in the balances. Our task as Social-Democrats is to drive the bourgeois revolution onward as far as it will go, without ever losing sight of our main task--the independent organisation of the proletariat.

This is where Martynov gets muddled. The complete revolution means seizure of power by the proletariat and the poor peasantry. These classes, once in power, cannot but strive for the socialist revolution. Ergo, seizure of power, from being at first a step in the democratic revolution, will, by force of circumstances, and against the will (and sometimes without the awareness) of its participants, pass into the socialist revolution. And here failure is inevitable. If attempts at the socialist revolution are bound to end in failure, we must (like Marx in 1871, when he foresaw the inevitable failure of the insurrection in Paris) advise the proletariat not to rise, but to wait and organise, reculer pour mieux sauter.

Source: V. I. Lenin, "A Revolution of the 1789 or the 1848 Type?" in Lenin Miscellany V (1926), from Lenin Collected Works, volume 8 (Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1962), pp. 257-259; translated by Bernard Isaacs and Isidor Lasker, V. I. Lenin Internet Archive http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1905/apr/00.htm.

FURTHER READINGS


References


Marvin R. Cox, ed., The Place of the French Revolution in History (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998).

William Doyle, The French Revolution: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 2001).

Sheila Fitzpatrick, The Russian Revolution (Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 1982).

François Furet, Interpreting the French Revolution, translated by Elborg Forster (Cambridge & New York: Cambridge University Press, 1981; Paris: Editions de la Maison des sciences de l'homme, 1981).

Furet, The Passing of an Illusion: The Idea of Communism in the Twentieth Century, translated by Deborah Furet (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999).

Jack A. Goldstone, ed., Revolutions: Theoretical, Comparative, and Historical Studies (San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1986).

Georges Lefebvre, The French Revolution, volume 2, From 1793 to 1799, translated by John Hall Stewart and James Friguglietti (New York: Columbia University Press, 1964).

Moshe Lewin, The Making of the Soviet System: Essays in the Social History of Interwar Russia (London: Methuen, 1985).

Arno J. Mayer, The Furies: Violence and Terror in the French and Russian Revolutions (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000).

Mary Nolan, "Ideology, Mobilization, and Comparison: Explaining Violence in The Furies," French Historical Studies, 24 (Fall 2001): 549-557.

Richard Pipes, The Russian Revolution (New York: Knopf, 1990).

Dmitri Shlapentokh, The Counter-Revolution in Revolution: Images of Thermidor and Napoleon at the Time of Russian Revolution and Civil War (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999).

Shlapentokh, The French Revolution and the Russian Anti-democratic Tradition: A Case of False Consciousness (New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 1997).

Shlapentokh, The French Revolution in Russian Intellectual Life, 1865-1905 (Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1996).

Theda Skocpol, States and Social Revolutions: A Comparative Analysis of France, Russia, and China (Cambridge & New York: Cambridge University Press, 1979).

John M. Thompson, A Vision Unfulfilled: Russia and the Soviet Union in the Twentieth Century (Lexington, Mass.: Heath, 1996).
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