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A People’s Tragedy

Narrated by: Roger Davis
Length: 47 hrs and 1 min
Categories: History, European
5 out of 5 stars (70 ratings)

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Summary

Opening with a panorama of Russian society, from the cloistered world of the Tsar to the brutal life of the peasants, A People’s Tragedy follows workers, soldiers, intellectuals and villagers as their world is consumed by revolution and then degenerates into violence and dictatorship. 

Drawing on vast original research, Figes conveys above all the shocking experience of the revolution for those who lived it, while providing the clearest and most cogent account of how and why it unfolded.  

Now including a new introduction that reflects on the revolution’s centennial legacy, A People’s Tragedy is a masterful and definitive record of one of the most important events in modern history.

©2018 Orlando Figes (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

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    4 out of 5 stars

A good guide to the repeating history of Russia

On the whole, a great account of events of the time from many perspectives. Russian history has a habit of repeating itself over and over again, so this book contains a lot of common themes with later events, up to the present day. Some of the beliefs, habits and attitudes described will be (surprisingly?) familiar from today's context; it's worth reading this book just for the sake of drawing these parallels.

Don't be intimidated by the length of the audiobook -- time does fly by (although I found that listening at 1.1x most optimal). The one big issue with the audiobook is the narrator's terrible pronunciation of Russian words, names and place-names -- if you are a native speaker you won't have a good time with those, but should, on occasion, be able to decipher what he meant. Normally, bad pronunciation of Russian terms is OK, but this is a book about Russia guys, so it'd have been nice to have someone tell him how to pronounce these correctly. Other than this, the narrator is great and is a pleasure to listen to.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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How awesome is this book???

One of the best history books I've ever encountered! Brilliantly written and so well read on top of that! It made me buy another one by Orlando Figes straight away. You know how audible says in the end "audible hopes yiu enjoyed this programme", well I just replied out loud to it "I did! I really and truly did!"

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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An outstanding history

A thorough and comprehensive survey of the Revolution and its aftermath. The narration is excellent.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent

A people’s tragedy indeed. A brilliantly interesting historical account of the Russian Revolution. Enjoyed it very much as I knew little about it. Quite long. I now feel I won’t get lost in any conversation about the RR! Definitely worth a read or listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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epic recounting of the long revolution

it is filled with fascinating anecdotes and the narrative is told from many different perspectives. an essential book to understand the revolution

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Harrowing, more essential that this is read than e

Superb, Harrowing. Figues smashes the romanticism of the Revolution and lays bare its traumatic cost and consequences. A terrible warning from history that our current academics appear to be ignoring if the volume of current self declared Marxists and even communists across the west is anything to go by.

Communism is not the answer to th e inequalities of life, it should be as vilified as those other false flags of zealous utopianism, fascism and national Socialism.

I had hoped that lesson had been learned. Apparently not. Therefore it is the duty of those of us who read and understand history to educate those who are woowed by its terrible mistakes.

8 of 24 people found this review helpful

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  • privacy
  • 07-01-19

Excellent detailed history

Everything you could possibly want to know about the revolution and the personalities involved. Aside from just the history, the author includes the cultural aspects as well as the effects and reactions of Russia’s great artists....Tolstoy, Gorky etc.

The only criticism I have is a small problem with the narrator. Overall he is very good but occasionally he trails off at the end of sentences to the point where it is almost inaudible.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • The History Club
  • 27-12-18

Magnificent

You will not be disappointed with this book. The author dives beyond superficial story lines and seeks to understand this enormously complex event as it was experienced by Russians - Bolsheviks, their ideological adversaries and the average Russian as it happened. This is not just "another" retelling of the Russian Revolution - it is the telling of the Russian Revolution as Russians experienced it.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Tot
  • 22-02-19

One of the best books I’ve read

As usual, Figes does it again. You’ll not find another account of the revolution so well done. Most importantly, it is neither poisoned by a tone of right leaning dismissiveness/fatalism of the revolution or left leaning revisionism and fetishization of the bolsheviks. It’s an honest social history, with plenty of criticism for both the whites and the reds. You won’t find a better, more fair account of the revolution on Amazon. If you’re going to screech in the reviews because he didn’t confirm all your political biases one way or they other, it’s not the book for you. If you however, seek understanding, buy the book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark Bruns
  • 22-01-19

Easily one of the top 100 books in History ... maybe one of the top 100 books in all topics

An absolute necessity for anyone with a moderately serious interest in History ... Important not only for the topic itself and the Bolshevik Revolution deserves more serious studies of this caliber but this books is also important as an example of the method or architecture of the solid and consequential approach in telling the story behind the event. You might not like this event, but you should have this work on your [audio] bookshelf.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael Polevoy
  • 31-01-19

It would be 5 stars

It would be 5 stars, if Russian names and toponymics were not so mercilessly mangled. Native Russian speaker, sometimes I had hard time trying to recognize names of people and geographic points familiar to me from times of childhood.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • GB
  • 31-07-19

An Excellant Introduction

I'm not an historian nor am I an expert on Russia or the Russian Revolution. I bought this book to get a general idea of the subject and get my historical facts separated from myth. I got much much more.
This book is an exciting, fascinating and indeed astounding journey through the revolution, its causes and its characters. Every chapter left me wanting to find out more about the people and times it dealt with.
At nearly 50 hours of listening one expects a certian fatigue but Figes & Roger Davis keep it coming it tells hundreds of engaging stories within the main story, like any great Russian story. Each chapter has just enough detail to make it fascinating and not so much as to make it for experts only.
The Reader is brilliant he draws you into the text in the most fascinated way.
I'm not qualified to say if this is the best academic history book on the subject but I am qualified to say it is an astounding achievement. If you have any interest in the subject and perhaps even if you dont you will enjoy this book. You will come out feeling like you were taken as close as possible to a fascinating, exciting time in Human history.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • KW
  • 24-02-19

Excellent Lesson in History

This book provides the facts I was missing to understand fully just how Lenin and his ilk managed to eliminate an equally inept and morally reprehensible monarchy. Also very well read. Hours well spent furthering my knowledge of the past as an armor against the flawed ideas and propaganda of the societal and political present. Thanks to the author and Audible for making this knowledge available.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-09-19

Depressing

Enjoying this book is nearly impossible. The realities of Russia through generations is brought to the reader in a fashion that clearly describes the hopelessness of the Russian society. This is not a book to hear without a break. The author suffocates the reader with one stark reality of Russian life followed by another.

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  • Yosef Waysman
  • 07-09-19

Not a good intro

Extremely detailed. Sometimes hard to follow. Not a good first read on the Bolshevik revolution.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-08-19

Extraordinary

Totally worth the time. An extraordinary presentation. The narrator does a first class job. Read, ahem listen to it!!!