From the other shore : Russian social democracy after 1921


From the other shore : Russian social democracy after 1921

André Liebich

(Harvard historical studies, v. 125)

Harvard University Press, 1997

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Includes bibliographical references and index



Russian Mensheviks were driven out of Soviet Russia and their party stripped of legal existence. However, they continued to function abroad and to operate underground in Soviet Russia. Through archival information and eyewitness interviews this book recreates the Soviet experience through the eyes of the best informed observers of the 1920s and 1930s. The Menshevik's analysis and reflections illuminate the causes of the failure of the Soviet experiment. The book also probes the fate of Marxism and democratic socialism as it tracks the activities and writings of this group of men and women.


  • Part 1 The Menshevik Family: a group portrait
  • a portrait gallery. Part 2 1903-1921: Mensheviks and Bolsheviks - a phenomenology of factions, the second congress and its aftermath, revolutionary rehearsal, after the revolution (1905), into the Great War
  • from exile to exile - war, revolution, facing Bolshevik power, within the party, personal itineraries. Part 3 1921-1933: inside and outside - settling into exile, the political economy of NEP, the nature of NEP Russia, the party underground, watching the Kremlin
  • Mensheviks and the wider world - into the international arena, Menshevik foreign relations, fraternal parties
  • Stalin's revolution - the great turn, socialist debates, the Menshevik trial. Part 4 1933-1965: hard times - life in France, contacts, the totalitarian nexus, purges and politics, search for unity, division and defeat
  • sea change - new roads and old, the last of the Martov line, the end of the foreign delegation, waging the Cold War, the American file, the final campaign
  • conclusion.

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