Bite-Size Corner · Book Reviews 2015 · Non-Fiction Book Reviews

Bite-Size Corner – ‘The Russian Revolution: History in an Hour’ by Rupert Colley

In 1917 the world changed for ever. One of the most influential and contentious events in recent history, the Russian Revolution unleashed the greatest political experiment ever conducted, one which continues to influence both Eastern and Western politics today.
‘The Russian Revolution: History in an Hour’ neatly covers all the major facts and events giving you a clear and straightforward overview: from the circumstances behind the rise of Lenin and the Bolsheviks, to the consequences of their struggle for a new socialist utopia. ‘The Russian Revolution: History in an Hour’ is engagingly written and accessible for all history lovers.

4 Stars

After being given the opportunity to pick up studying History this year, I have developed an interest in scouring non-fiction historical books to expand my knowledge of the past. Half of my course this year is made up of Russian communism, and when I stumbled across this eBook for a cheap price, I decided to give it a quick read – it is called ‘History in an Hour’ after all! – in the hope of gaining a bit more knowledge on my course, as well as for my own enjoyment.

Pros

  • Even though the first part of this book precedes my knowledge of Russian history (and therefore I didn’t have much of a clue) I found the information incredibly accessible, so someone with a very limited knowledge of the period could quite easily pick up a lot from it.
  • The appendix at the end, with its mini ‘fact files’ on Nicholas II, Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin and its comprehensive timeline, was very useful for me, and compresses a lot of handy information conveniently into very few pages.
  • Whilst not quite properly formatted for Kindle for Windows, the images were a nice touch to break up walls of text.
  • Colley writes in a very simple yet engrossing manner, which managed to keep me entertained through even the heaviest sections of information.

Cons

  • It could have just been me getting distracted, but this certainly didn’t take an hour to read! It couldn’t have had more than 60 pages, granted, yet it did take a while to plod through all the information.
  • I would’ve liked some more figures to back up the historical facts – there were times when I felt the information was a little too simplified and without substance.
  • It simply did not feel complete! The way in which Colley rounds off the timeline of Lenin gave the full impression that he was going to launch into the rule of Stalin, which I’d already realised it wasn’t by the timespan cited previously, but despite this it did feel a little incomplete.

Would I recommend? – This little guide is certainly aimed towards a rather select audience – those with a fascination for a background into Russian history. Nonetheless, it certainly did the job for a cheap little eBook, and I certainly wouldn’t mind reading more from the ‘History in an Hour’ collection, so yes, if learning a little more about revolutions and the Bolsheviks interests you, this certainly isn’t a bad place to start.

Follow me on Twitter @emmathereader, Tumblr (www.snapeisourprince.tumblr.com) and Goodreads (www.goodreads.com/snapeisourprince).

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