Anna Litveiko, “In 1917”: Hints of Lenin

Anna Litveiko’s “In 1917” follows the thoughts and actions of a young, factory-working woman and her challenges with finding identity during the revolution. Litveiko offers a relatable and personable perspective to the political side of Russian history, offering a true glimpse into the thoughts and challenges that the average worker would have faced. This makes it easier for the reader to grasp real emotions and real situations that a revolution sometimes overlooks. Going into this primary source after reading Vladmir Lenin’s “What Is To Be Done?”, I quickly noticed that Lenin truly had a grip on what the working class in Russia was actually dealing with, and offered solutions that made sense for the time. Litveiko writes “people argued everywhere; on the shop floor, in the courtyard, in the streets, at home. If two people disagreed, a crowd would immediately gather around them – so interested were people in the main issues of the day: the policy of the Provisional Government, the war, and the land” (Litveiko 54). She also quotes a son from an intelligentsia family, where he expresses his opposition to Bolshevik politics by saying “He used to say: ‘Violence breeds more injustice'” (Litveiko 54). Knowing Lenin’s opposition to terrorism and spontaneous outbursts, how do you think the working class took his messages? Do you think they found offense since this is the actions they are used to performing? Do you think workers had a difficult time being a “part of a revolution” without violence, unless instructed by an organized group?

Welcome, Comrades!

Welcome to HIS 240: Russia, the Soviet Union, and the CIS! We will use this website to create our course blog and share our thoughts, ideas, and questions as we explore Soviet and post-Soviet history together. Here you can find everything you need: the syllabus, the primary sources for reading and viewing, and all assignments. This will be our primary online home, rather than Sakai. If you have any questions, please email me at I salute you with communist greetings!