Review: October

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China Miéville’s October is a timely reminder of the revolutions in Russia in 1917. Miéville does not hide his sympathy for either Lenin’s Bolsheviks or the broader idea of the revolutionary struggle of workers to overthrow capitalism. Indeed his partisan perspective, encapsulated in the title of his work, is crucial to the book’s focus and direction. Though the revolutionary year began in February, it is October that proved decisive. Nonetheless, his account is no mere hagiography glorifying either the inevitability or perfection of the realised power of the Bolsheviks. October is as much the story of the confusion and dead ends of this revolutionary contestation, as much as its stunning initial successes.

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