Roots of Rebellion: Workers’ Politics and Organizations in St. Petersburg and Moscow, 1900-1914 by Victoria E. Bonnell
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Overview: Roots of Rebellion is the first comprehensive history of workers’ political attitudes and organizations in St. Petersburg and Moscow during the final years of the tsarist era. In this richly documented study, Victoria Bonnell examines the workers’ persistent efforts to combine collectively and to assert and defend their rights in the workplace and society at large. Focusing on trade unions, the most important legal labor organizations in pre-revolutionary Russia, she analyzes the complex interaction among workers, employers, political parties, and the state, and the circumstances that drove many workers in a revolutionary direction.
Drawing on a wide range of archival and published sources, memoirs, and statistical materials, the author presents an account of the workers’ milieu and their organizations on the eve of 1905, the formation of factory committees, soviets, and trade unions during the First Russian Revolution, and the subsequent evolution of the newly-legalized trade unions until the outbreak of World War I. Professor Bonnell’s close investigation of the social bases of labor activism and political radicalism brings to light the outstanding role that skilled workers, particularly artisans and skilled factory groups, played int he labor movement.
The book offers new perspectives on the sources of solidarity and radicalism among Russian workers and their conceptions of class, craft, and citizenship during the last decades of the old regime. It will be read with interest by historians, social scientists, and others seeking to understand the origins and background of a major revolutionary upheaval of the modern age.
Genre: Non-Fiction > History