David Mandel (1990) The Petrograd Workers and the Fall of the Old Régime From the February Revolution to the July Days, 1917

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David Mandel

The Petrograd Workers

and the Fall of the

Old Régime

From the February Revolution to the July Days, 1917

Un document produit en version numérique par Mme Marcelle Bergeron, bénévole

Professeure à la retraite de l’École Dominique-Racine de Chicoutimi, Québec

Courriel : mailto : mabergeron@videotron.ca

Dans le cadre de la collection : "Les classiques des sciences sociales"
dirigée et fondée par Jean-Marie Tremblay,
professeur de sociologie au Cégep de Chicoutimi

Site web : http://bibliotheque.uqac.ca/

Une collection développée en collaboration avec la Bibliothèque

Paul-Émile-Boulet de l'Université du Québec à Chicoutimi

Site web: http://classiques.uqac.ca

Un document produit en version numérique par Mme Marcelle Bergeron, bénévole,

professeure à la retraite de l’École Dominique-Racine de Chicoutimi, Québec

courriel : mailto:mabergeron@videotron.ca

David Mandel

Une édition électronique réalisée à partir du texte de David Mandel, The Petrograd workers and the Fall of the Old Régime. From the February Revolution to the July Days, 1917. London: MACMILLAN, Macmillan Academic and Professional Ltd., in association with the Centre for Russian and East European Studies University of Birmingham. 1st edition, 1983. Reprinted, 1990, 220 pp. + 10 pp.
[Autorisation accordée par l'auteur le 13 décembre 2006 de diffuser ce livre dans Les Classiques des sciences sociales.]
Courriels : mandel.mark-david@uqam.ca ou

Polices de caractères utilisés :

Pour le texte : Times New Roman, 12 points.

Pour les citations : Times New Roman 10 points.

Pour les notes de bas de page : Times New Roman, 10 points.

Édition électronique réalisée avec le traitement de textes Microsoft Word 2003 pour Macintosh.

Mise en page sur papier format

LETTRE (US letter), 8.5’’ x 11’’)

Édition complétée le 17 juillet, 2007 à Chicoutimi, Ville de Saguenay, Québec.

David Mandel




This is a study of the first months of the Russian Revolution as seen from the factory districts of Petrograd, the 'red capital'. Starting from a description of political culture in the different strata of the working class, the author proceeds to analyse the workers' conception of the revolution both in the Russian state and in the factory system. Making systematic use of the vast published and archival material now available, he shows that the workers greeted February as a national democratic revolution, albeit one with certain social goals that alone made political freedom meaningful. But these social demands posed no direct threat to capitalism, nor were they intended to. In this light, the radicalisation that followed, culminating in the July demonstrations aimed at forcing the moderate Soviet leaders to take power, appears as an essentially defensive reaction based upon the growing realisation by the workers that the propertied classes and their liberal representatives in the coalition were hostile to their aspirations and had turned against the revolution.

An attempt at understanding the revolution 'from below', this book is intended to fill a gap in the Western literature that has paradoxically focused mainly on institutions, parties and leaders in a period marked precisely by the active participation of the broadest layers of society, and the workers in particular, in shaping their own collective fate. Basing himself as far as possible on primary sources emanating directly from the workers, the author questions the prevailing view of the workers as essentially unconscious, manipulated actors, anarchistically-inclined prey of unscrupulous demagogues. He concludes that the workers were certainly no less conscious politically than the more educated members of society and that they constituted a vital, creative and dynamic force in the Russian revolutionary process.
David Mandel was born in Toronto in 1947. He took his BA at the Hebrew University and PhD at Columbia University, where he was appointed Senior Research Fellow in the Russian Institute (1977-8). In the course of his research for this book he spent a year in Leningrad as a Canada-USSR Exchange Scholar (1975). He has taught at the Centre for Russian and East European Studies at the University of Birmingham, the Departments of Political Science at McGill University and l'Université du Québec à Montréal, and the Department of Sociology at l'Université de Montréal. He is the author of several articles on the Russian revolutionary period and labour movement.

© M. David Mandel 1983

All rights reserved. No reproduction, copy or transmission of this publication may be made without written permission.
No paragraph of this publication may be reproduced, copied or transmitted save with written permission or in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, or under the terms of any licence permitting limited copying issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency, 33-4 Alfred Place, London WCIE 7DP.
Any person who does any unauthorised act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages.
First edition 1983

Reprinted 1990


Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 2XS

and London Companies and representatives throughout the world
Printed in Great Britain by

Antony Rowe Ltd

Chippenham, Wiltshire
ISBN 0-333-30936-7

For I. K. N. and R. J.

This book was sponsored by the

Russian Institute of Columbia University

in the City of Now York

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