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    Revolution and antisemitism: the Bolsheviks in 1917

    McGeever, Brendan Francis (2017) Revolution and antisemitism: the Bolsheviks in 1917. Patterns of Prejudice 51 (3-4), pp. 1-18. ISSN 0031-322X.

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    Abstract

    McGeever's essay offers an analysis of the Bolshevik encounter with antisemitism in 1917. Antisemitism was the dominant modality of racialized Othering in late imperial Russia. Yet 1917 transformed Jewish life, setting in motion a sudden and intense period of emancipation. In Russian society more generally, the dramatic escalation of working-class mobilization resulted not only in the toppling of the Tsar in February, but the coming to power of the Bolsheviks just eight months later. Running alongside these revolutionary transformations, however, was the re-emergence of anti-Jewish violence and the returning spectre of pogroms. Russia in 1917, then, presents an excellent case study for exploring how a socialist movement responded to rising antisemitism in a moment of political crisis and escalating class conflict. His article does two things. First, it charts how the Bolsheviks understood antisemitism, and how they responded to it during Russia's year of revolution. In doing so, it finds that Bolsheviks participated in a wide-ranging set of campaigns organized by the socialist left, the hub of which was composed of the soviets of workers' and soldiers' deputies. Second, the essay argues that antisemitism traversed the political divide in revolutionary Russia, finding traction across all social groups and political projects. As the political crisis deepened in the course of 1917, the Bolsheviks increasingly had to contend with the antisemitism within the movement. In traditional Marxist accounts, racism and radicalism are often framed in contestation. McGeever's article, however, offers a more complex picture in which antisemitism and revolutionary politics could be overlapping, as well as competing world views.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Part of a special issue on 'Antisemitism and Socialist Strategy, 1881-1917' This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis, available online at the link above.
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): antisemitism, Bolsheviks, Jews, 1917, revolution, Russia, Russian Revolution, socialism, workers
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Psychosocial Studies
    Research Centre: Race Forum
    Depositing User: Brendan Francis McGeever
    Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2017 11:39
    Last Modified: 31 Oct 2017 11:19
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/20174

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