: The Unmaking of Russia’s Official History of 1917 by Larry E. Holmes
Barbara C. Allen
Associate Professor, History Department, La Salle University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Larry E. Holmes, (2021) Revising the Revolution: The Unmaking of Russia’s Official History of 1917, Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
Larry E. Holmes’s scholarship has largely revolved around histories of Soviet education and centre–periphery relations.1 He has made Viatka, which was called Kirov for much of the Soviet period, the focus of several works. For this book, he returns to his dissertation topic about the historiography of 1917 but with a regional dimension characteristic of his subsequent work. Early in his career, Russian archives were not available, so this is a much richer study than he could have accomplished when he first began his work as a historian. Holmes carried out research in archives in Moscow and in the Kirov region. His sources include archival records of Istpart, its publications, and leading individuals involved with it; published memoirs, diaries, documents, statistics, and conference proceedings; histories of 1917 published in the 1920s; and significant secondary studies.
The focus of Revising the Revolution is how Istpart (the Commission for the Collection, Study, and Publication of Materials on the October Revolution and History of the Communist Party) wrote and presented the history of Bolshevik Party activity in 1917 in the political centre of Russia and in one province, Viatka, from 1920 until about 1929 to 1931. The primary tension in Istpart’s work was between writing scholarly source-based history and advancing the Communist Party’s political goals. Its personnel initially saw these goals as complementary, but it was not long before personal rivalries and disagreements about sources’ reliability created conflict among Istpart’s personnel over its mission. Holmes adds a dimension to our understanding of Istpart’s irreconcilable tasks by studying relations between the central Istpart in Moscow and the local branch in Viatka. The local branches of Istpart in the provinces exhibited a range of activity and relations with the centre. Holmes finds that the Viatka Istpart local often ‘sharply disagreed [with the central Istpart body] over how best to write a historically factual yet politically useful history of 1917’ (p. 3). Istpart historians in the centre and in the provinces initially believed they could do both, but increasingly found they could not. Created in 1920, Istpart was dissolved in 1929, although its influence lingered on into 1931.
Personal rivalries were baked into Istpart’s formation. Vladimir Ilich Lenin in summer 1920 charged Mikhail Nikolaevich Pokrovsky with the responsibility for leading the creation of an official history of 1917 and told him to work together with Mikhail Stepanovich Olminsky, whom Lenin had appointed to lead a Gosizdat (State Publishing House) commission on the party’s history.2 While Pokrovsky sought ‘original scholarship’, Olminsky proposed ‘work with a popular appeal’ and sought to publish Old Bolshevik memoirs (p. 14). When Olminsky got his way, Pokrovsky departed but continued to influence Istpart. In 1921, the Party Central Committee subordinated Istpart to it, but Istpart’s role still diverged from that of the CC’s Department for Agitation and Propaganda. Founded in 1922, the Istpart journal Proletarskaia revoliutsiia published both memoirs and scholarly articles. Marxist historians affiliated with Istpart believed that a broad array of primary sources ‘would necessarily portray the Bolshevik party as a progressive force in history’ (p. 17).
A critical point was reached when Gosizdat published the third volume of Leon Trotsky’s collected works in 1924; this concerned 1917 and came out on the seventh anniversary of the Bolshevik seizure of power. According to Holmes, ‘Trotsky’s rambling and egregiously self-serving preface [“Lessons of October”] created an immediate sensation’ (p. 18). Written quickly, it omitted mention of Stalin and heightened the differences between Trotsky on the one hand and Zinoviev and Kamenev on the other. The ‘literary discussion’ followed.3 Istpart found, but agreed not to publish (until 1925), a 1913 letter from Trotsky to the Menshevik Nikolai Semenovich Chkheidze in which Trotsky called Lenin ‘a professional exploiter of all that is backward in the Russian labor movement’ (p. 19). Proletarskaia revoliutsiia in 1925 published attacks on Trotsky’s version of history.
Olminsky and his supporters drove much of the personal conflicts within Istpart, by Holmes’s account. Although partially paralysed and mute from a stroke he suffered in 1922, Olminsky very actively instigated and escalated conflicts with others. Vladimir Ivanovich Nevsky, who had worked in the Petrograd branch of Istpart since its beginning, was a primary target, because Olminsky regarded the Petrograd Istpart as a potential usurper of the role of the central body in Moscow. The Petrograd branch had its own journal, Krasnaia letopis, founded by Nevsky, which elevated above memoirs the publication of archival documents and scholarly articles based on archival research. Adding fuel to the flames, Krasnaia letopis published extensive source criticism of memoirs that had been published in Proletarskaia revoliutsiia. Olminsky objected that documents such as those from tsarist police archives did not reveal the full extent of the party’s work and reach.
Nevsky was particularly critical of work being done by regional Istparts, which often did not employ trained historians and archivists or people who knew other languages. Nevsky’s position won out at the April 1923 Istpart conference, but he was reined in by the Petrograd party organisation which put so many restrictions on Istpart’s work in the city that Krasnaia letopis could publish little other than memoirs. Nevsky left Petrograd to work in the Moscow Istpart organisation, but continued to write archive-based history with the apparent approval of Istpart, having circumvented Olminsky, who published in Proletarskaia revoliutsiia ‘an ill-tempered review’ of Nevsky’s work (p. 24). Nevsky was compelled to leave Istpart to become director of the Lenin Library in Moscow, where he regained some favour by publishing a biography of Lenin.
Istpart suffered from lack of personnel and resources and insufficient expertise among its staff, even after it was placed under the CC’s authority. When the Lenin Institute was founded in 1923, it competed effectively against Istpart for CC resources. Moreover, Istpart had to surrender over 25,000 documents to the Lenin Institute from 1923 to 1928. Finally, the Institute gained control of Istpart in 1928.
Regional Istparts came into and went out of existence depending on the availability of funds from regional party committees to which they were subordinated, and from the CC. By the end of 1921, there were 21 regional Istparts; by mid-1922 there were 72. There were 39 in 1923, 56 in 1924, 72 in 1925, and 86 in early 1927. The number fell to 38 in October 1928. Many never carried out any work, or else passed through long periods of inactivity. Often only one person staffed a regional Istpart and that person usually had additional responsibilities in agitation and propaganda (agitprop), so could only devote part of their time to Istpart. Because they received funds not from the central Istpart in Moscow but from regional party committees, they did not necessarily feel an imperative to follow the central Istpart agenda. Unfortunately for Istpart, agitation and propaganda were higher priority missions for regional party committees, which directed few resources to historical work because many local officials and members found Istpart’s work ‘boring’ (p. 39). Local Istparts often were unable to collect and preserve documents. By 1924, the central Istpart demanded only central coordination of important revolutionary anniversaries, but otherwise endorsed ‘localization [raionirovanie] of Istpart’s work’ (p. 37).
Viatka’s Istpart numbered among those created in 1921 but it only began carrying out significant work early in 1924, when Aleksandr Abramovich Novoselov (born in 1902, and a party member since 1920) became its head. With only seven years of formal schooling, he was a party activist rather than a professional historian or archivist, yet he prioritised the collection of documents for the local archive, the erection of commemorative markers and statues, and the writing of history that reflected the actual course of revolutionary events in Viatka rather than a narrative imposed from the centre. Novoselov faced challenges including few resources, other demands on his time, and the inability to mobilise work in rural areas. Party personnel discarded records rather than follow instructions to select and preserve important ones, because they did not care about historical documentation. Nevertheless, according to Holmes, ‘from 1924 to 1927 Viatka’s Istpart played a major role in the observance of the 1905 revolution and the tenth anniversary of the 1917 revolution’ (p. 43). Novoselov’s role in these projects reflected his personal inability to reconcile the goal of historical scholarship with a narrative that served the party’s political goals, and his attention fluctuated between the two purposes. Holmes perceives Novoselov as torn between his training as a propagandist and his duty to Viatka Istpart’s ‘scholarly mission’ (p. 69).
In January 1925, Olminsky’s poor health forced a restructuring of the central Istpart, of which Semen Ivanovich Kanatchikov became director. Kanatchikov sought to use Istpart as a weapon against Trotsky and his supporters, and sacrificed historical accuracy to wield the past as an ideological tool. He had an ally in Istpart secretariat member Feodosiia Drabkina in these efforts. He and Drabkina ordered local Istparts to accentuate the activity of the Bolshevik Party in 1905 and 1917, no matter how few Bolsheviks had operated in their locality in those years. Most Istparts gave lip service to their demands, although Ukraine notably objected to the instruction to ignore or downplay the influence of Taras Shevchenko, its national poet. Olminsky’s numerous allies appealed on his behalf to the CC, and Olminsky wrote directly to Stalin about Kanatchikov’s alleged leadership weaknesses. Moreover, Kanatchikov came under attack in summer 1926 for supporting the opposition led by Zinoviev and Kamenev. In August 1926, Sergei Ivanovich Gusev (Drabkina’s spouse) replaced Kanatchikov. A new directive followed to not overlook non-Bolshevik parties’ activity in the localities and to point out the role of spontaneity where it was a factor.
Holmes devotes two chapters to Istpart’s work on the anniversaries of the 1905 and 1917 revolutions. Early plans assumed it possible for regional commemorations to conform to a template of how the revolution of 1917 developed in St Petersburg and Moscow. But regional Istparts, most notably that in Viatka, did not obey. In Viatka, Social-Democratic Bolsheviks had played minor roles, so its commemoration had to centre in its narrative the activities of other political parties to have content relevant to the local area. This emphasised the moderation of SD forces in Viatka. Moreover, peasants in the countryside around Viatka ‘did not seek land but rather political equality and lower taxes and did so using peaceful means’ (p. 53). The Viatka Istpart’s weak compliance with the centre’s instructions was typical. The central Istpart could not prevent local Istparts from issuing ‘a heterogeneous mix of accounts’ (p. 53).
In the mid-1920s, Communist Party historians, though partisan in favour of the Bolsheviks, recognised that many SD party organisations remained united in early to mid-1917, that Bolsheviks were surprised by the February Revolution, and that there was much ‘conditional support’ in spring 1917 among Bolsheviks for ‘the Provisional Government as long as it pursued socioeconomic and democratic reforms’ (p. 55). These historians elevated ‘spontaneity … as the major dynamic of 1917’ (p. 55).
Holmes cites Aleksandr Gavrilovich Shliapnikov as an example of a party historian who ‘produced most interesting work on 1917’ (p. 56), for he scrupulously wrote his narratives based on documents not only produced by the Bolshevik Party but also those of other parties, in addition to his own recollections and others’ memoirs.4 He was a prime beneficiary of Istpart’s support in 1921 for organising and preserving the materials he collected as well as writing history using them. Shliapnikov discussed ‘deep divisions within the Bolshevik party’ (p. 57) in 1917. His work was respected by many reviewers and readers for its honesty and for being well-steeped in primary sources. Other party historians, too, wrote narratives reflecting the content of primary sources that centred workers’ desire for economic wellbeing and soldiers’ desire for an end to the war, without exaggerating the level of popular support for the Bolsheviks. Istpart ‘formed auxiliaries’ (p. 60) where Bolsheviks and non-Bolsheviks could recount their memories of 1905.
Viatka Istpart had ambitious plans to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the 1917 Revolution with more than a dozen books about topics including the party, ‘unions, cooperatives, the Young Communist League, women, education, enlightenment, and the economy’ (p. 66). But few of these projects were realised. A complication in writing Viatka’s revolutionary history ten years later was that the few Bolsheviks active in the province in 1917 were concentrated in the city of Izhevsk with its munitions and steel factories. Izhevsk had been moved to a different province in 1920. Viatka was an ‘administrative center’ with ‘little industry’ (p. 70). Key bodies in the city of Viatka denounced the Bolshevik seizure of power. The Menshevik and SR-dominated provincial Soviet called for the Constituent Assembly to hold power. Bolsheviks could not establish firm control in 1918 over Viatka, part of which the White Admiral Aleksandr Vasilevich Kolchak took in early 1919. Only in spring 1919 did the Bolsheviks subdue Viatka.
In Viatka, tensions over the departure of the region’s revolutionary history from the template desired by the central Istpart were exacerbated by conflicts between Novoselov and two Bolsheviks who had been active in Viatka in 1917 but were in the mid-twenties working or studying in Moscow – Petr Kapustin and Andrei Kuchkin. To enhance their career prospects, the latter two found it in their interests to exaggerate what they had accomplished in Viatka during 1917. The Viatka Istpart’s anniversary edition of collected essays by historians about that year threatened to undermine their claims. As pre-publication reviewers, they subjected some of the essays to withering criticism. Yet Old Bolsheviks in Viatka’s Istpart rallied to Novoselov’s and the essay authors’ defence. With the conflict not yet resolved, and stricken with tuberculosis, Novoselov left Viatka for the North Caucasus in August 1927.
The Viatka Istpart’s ambitious plans for commemorating the 1917 anniversary were contingent on ample funding promised from the regional party committee, but this did not come through. Instead, cuts were made to a range of party and state bodies’ activities. Viatka Istpart in 1926 lost its publishing house, which was closed because it had lost money by publishing more than it could sell, and due to ‘sloppy business practices’ (p. 90). The central Istpart had similar difficulties selling all copies of its books printed by Gosizdat. Istpart accused Gosizdat of failing to market and advertise its books. But the Istpart in Moscow had delivered to the press more than it had initially planned for publication on the anniversary of 1905 revolution. The USSR suffered from insufficient paper in 1925–7. There was also a significant and ‘growing backlog of unsold books’ (p. 92).
Because of this experience, the CC Press Department ordered Istpart to drastically scale down its plans to publish on the 1917 anniversary. Despite protests from Pokrovsky and from local Istparts including Viatka, cuts had to be made. The major collection the Viatka Istpart had planned about the revolution and civil war in its province had to be reduced from 800 to 188 pages and from a print run of 5,000 to 1,500 copies. Entries over 100 pages were cut to 13–20 pages. Holmes notes that a 200-page handwritten manuscript about labour unions’ activity during the revolution in Viatka was never published but remains in the local archive. According to Holmes, a corollary reason for cutting the size of publications was so that they could be edited more effectively to create a narrative that coincided with political imperatives.
Meanwhile, the formation of the Society of Marxist Historians in 1925 strengthened the tendency for history to be treated as a political tool rather than as a scholarly discipline. By the time Istpart’s Fourth Conference was held in January 1927, few voices still defended history as an academic field, the majority calling instead for its outright politicisation. Delegates passed resolutions ‘making their agency’s work relevant to the party’s struggle against petty bourgeois and bourgeois influence and all forms of deviation’ (p. 109). Istpart had ambitious plans to control how central and regional museums depicted the 1917 revolution. Archival access, too, began to be politicised, with researchers needing to be party members in good standing. By order of Viacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov, 25,000 tons of archival documents depicting unacceptable versions of history were destroyed from February 1927 to October 1929. Viatka’s Istpart oversaw the dispatch of 101 tons of archival documents for pulping. These were selected by staff who were not trained archivists or historians.
Depiction of oppositionist figures’ roles in 1917 were distorted to make them more vulnerable to attack in the late 1920s. While Trotsky replied in detail to an Istpart questionnaire about his 1917 activity, he also expressed certainty that it would not be written about accurately. He included criticism of Stalin in his answers. Memoirs by Shliapnikov and other Old Bolsheviks came under attack as reflecting a ‘wretched philosophy of history’ that was not ‘materialist’ (p. 113). Yet historians still extensively cited Shliapnikov’s memoirs regarding 1917. In March 1928, the Istpart collegium resolved not to endorse volume four of Shliapnikov’s memoir concerning 1917, but also not to block its publication. Holmes supposes this may have been because much of the memoir had already appeared in print as articles in Proletarskaia revoliutsiia. He asserts,
As in his earlier volumes, Shliapnikov relied on a wide range of documents, avoided caricatures, emphasized the material rather than political objectives of the Russian populace, and acknowledged the significance of spontaneity. He did not embellish Stalin’s role and treated Martov, Trotsky, and, after March, Kamenev and Zinoviev as influential antagonists of the Provisional Government and war. (p. 125, footnote 57.)
Istpart’s auxiliaries, which had facilitated the collection and publication of reminiscences by Mensheviks, Socialist Revolutionaries (SRs), and Bundists, began to decline and disappear after a May 1927 meeting where nearly all delegates claimed to find no value in the reminiscences they had collected. Historians began rewriting 1917 in order to replace the emphasis on spontaneity with ‘a purportedly strong and disciplined Bolshevik party under Lenin’s firm leadership’ (p. 114). Better known on this topic for his 1931 intervention by means of a letter to Proletarskaia revoliutsiia, Stalin also intervened in the 1926–7 process to exaggerate the role of the proletariat led by the Bolshevik Party in the October Revolution and thus ‘legitimize the dictatorship of the proletariat and underscore the possibility of the creation by it of socialism in one country’ (p. 115). Stalin wrote to Pokrovsky in June 1927 to tell him he had ‘grievously erred’ (p. 115), and Pokrovsky pivoted.
Viatka’s Istpart refused a request from the Red Army Military-Political Academy in Moscow to provide evidence that did not exist for activity by the Bolshevik Military Organisation in the province in 1917. But the collection of essays on the history of the revolution and civil war it published in much-truncated form in August 1927 left out much of which the central Istpart disapproved. Attempting to follow a model narrative created by the centre, the collection disappointed higher-ups by failing to assert Bolshevik strength or leadership in the region.
Likewise, the museum exhibit prepared by the Viatka Istpart followed ‘the national template’ (p. 118) in form but also included local artefacts, which provoked far more interest among museum visitors in 1927–8 than did content about the national events. Istparts in other areas provoked far greater criticism for departing from the narrative set by the centre. These included Istparts in ‘Vladimir, Kiev, Orlov, Ekaterinburg, Samara, Stavropol, Ul’ianovsk and Briansk’ (p. 119). The Viatka Istpart continued to exist after Novoselov left but its activity was minimal, for its director spent more time at his work directing the Museum of the Revolution in Viatka. There is no record of the regional party committee in 1928 having paid any attention to Istpart’s local, which was liquidated in summer 1929 when Viatka joined the Nizhny Novgorod region.
The Party CC in May 1928 subordinated Istpart to the Lenin Institute, which up until then had been unwilling to take it over. In 1929, Istpart and its locals were subordinated to the Institute’s mission of publishing Lenin’s collected works. Having been stripped of its original purpose, Istpart fades into the background of Holmes’s final three chapters, which discuss the elevation by 1930 of ‘crude partisanship’ to the level of so-called ‘scholarship’ (p. 133), Stalin’s interventions, and the fates of key figures who have figured in Holmes’s narrative. By 1929–30, the journal Katorga i ssylka (the periodical of the Society of Political Prisoners and Exiles), which published non-Bolshevik revolutionaries’ memoirs, fell under severe attack. Readers had long been more fascinated by these memoirs than those by Bolsheviks published in Proletarskaia revoliutsiia. In 1929–31, well over 100 non-Marxist historians were arrested and jailed, targeted in a campaign intended to eradicate the bourgeoisie and the kulaks that accompanied collectivisation and the first five-year plan.
Holmes depends on David Brandenberger’s work to describe Stalin’s intervention into the writing of party history.5 Among the works that provoked Stalin were a book edited by Emelian Mikhailovich Iaroslavsky in 1929 that ‘challenged cardinal tenets of the grand narrative for 1917’ and a 1930 article by Anatoly Slutsky in Proletarskaia revoliutsiia that raised for discussion the possibility that Rosa Luxemburg was more ideologically advanced than Lenin (p. 141).6 Still, it took a year for Stalin to issue ‘a sharp rebuke’ to the journal’s editors for ‘rotten liberalism and aiding Trotskyism’ (p. 142). This letter, which called those who wrote document-based history ‘hopeless bureaucrats’, was widely disseminated (p. 142). In the same letter, Stalin criticised Iaroslavsky’s four-volume History of the Communist Party, published in 1926–9, for how it depicted the Bolsheviks in February–April 1917. The author of that section, Kin, had cited Shliapnikov’s memoirs extensively and followed the narrative Istpart historians had set in the organisation’s early years. This included noting that Stalin had made errors in the spring of 1917. Though Iaroslavsky attempted to manoeuvre himself out of Stalin’s sights, he was forced to publish a ‘confession of errors in [the journal] Bol’shevik’ (p. 146). This was not enough, nor was a subsequent confession in Pravda. Iaroslavsky had to subordinate himself to Stalin’s insistence that he create an official party history under Stalin’s direction. Stalin wanted not an edited collection of essays but a party history, which would eventually be published as the History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks), Short Course in the autumn of 1938.
Despite the damage done in the 1920s to the source base for studying the 1917 revolution in the regions, historians Sarah Badcock, Michael Hickey, Donald J. Raleigh, Aaron Retish, and others have made important contributions to what we know about how the revolution developed in various regions. But Holmes’s study highlights the importance of carrying out further work on the study of revolutionary history in the provinces and how local Istparts attempted to strike a delicate balance between following instructions from the central Istpart, adhering to standards of historical scholarship, and engaging local readers’ interests. His book is a story of optimism by early Istpart participants that the narrative of party history could be written both according to the standards of historical scholarship and to show that the Bolshevik Party acted correctly. But this goal foundered when it became clear that local narratives did not support the central one and that party leaders and most of those who administered Istpart, having been trained as party propagandists, did not care about scholarship.
Allen, Barbara C. 2015, Alexander Shlyapnikov, 1885–1937: Life of an Old Bolshevik, Historical Materialism Book Series, Leiden: Brill.
Brandenberger, David 2012, Propaganda State in Crisis: Soviet Ideology, Indoctrination, and Terror under Stalin, 1927–1941, Yale, CT: Yale University Press.
Brandenberger, David and Mikhail V. Zelenov (eds.) 2019, Stalin’s Master Narrative: A Critical Edition of the ‘History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks), Short Course’, Yale, CT: Yale University Press.
Corney, Frederick C. 2004, Telling October: Memory and the Making of the Bolshevik Revolution, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Corney, Frederick C. (ed.) 2016, Trotsky’s Challenge: The ‘Literary Discussion’ of 1924 and the Fight for the Bolshevik Revolution, Historical Materialism Book Series, Leiden: Brill.
Dahlke, Sandra 2010, Individuum und Herrschaft im Stalinismus: Emel’jan Jaroslavskij (1878–1943), Munich: R. Oldenbourg Verlag.
Enteen, George M. 1979, The Soviet Scholar-Bureaucrat: M.N. Pokrovskii and the Society of Marxist Historians, University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press.
Holmes, Larry E. 1990, For the Revolution Redeemed: The Workers Opposition in the Bolshevik Party 1919–1921 (Carl Beck Papers in Russian and East European Studies), Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.
Holmes, Larry E. 1991, The Kremlin and the Schoolhouse: Reforming Education in Soviet Russia, 1917–1931, Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
Holmes, Larry E. 1999, Stalin’s School: Moscow’s Model School No. 25, 1931–1937, Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.
Holmes, Larry E. 2008, How Ordinary Russians Experience Their Lives and World: A Report of a Participant-Observer, Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press.
Holmes, Larry E. 2009, Grand Theater: Regional Governance in Stalin’s Russia, 1931–1941, Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.
Holmes, Larry E. 2012, War, Evacuation, and the Exercise of Power: The Center, Periphery, and Kirov's Pedagogical Institute 1941–1952, Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.
Holmes, Larry E. 2017, Stalin’s World War II Evacuations: Triumph and Troubles in Kirov, Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas.
- 1. Professor Emeritus of History at the University of South Alabama, Holmes has published For the Revolution Redeemed: The Workers Opposition in the Bolshevik Party, 1919–1921 (Holmes 1990), The Kremlin and the Schoolhouse: Reforming Education in Soviet Russia, 1917–1931 (Holmes 1991), Stalin’s School: Moscow’s Model School No. 25, 1931–1937 (Holmes 1999), How Ordinary Russians Experience Their Lives and World: A Report of a Participant-Observer (Homes 2008), Grand Theater: Regional Governance in Stalin’s Russia, 1931–1941 (Holmes 2009), War, Evacuation, and the Exercise of Power: The Center, Periphery, and Kirov’s Pedagogical Institute 1941–1952 (Holmes 2012), and Stalin’s World War II Evacuations: Triumph and Troubles in Kirov (Holmes 2017).
- 2. For Pokrovsky’s biography, see Enteen 1979.
- 3. See Corney (ed.) 2016. For some of his discussion of the central Istpart’s work, Holmes relies upon Telling October: Memory and the Making of the Bolshevik Revolution (Corney 2004), but he is more concerned than Corney with exploring the relationship between the central Istpart and the regions, especially Viatka.
- 4. For a biography of Shliapnikov, see Barbara C. Allen, Alexander Shlyapnikov, 1885–1937: Life of an Old Bolshevik (Allen 2015).
- 5. Brandenberger 2012; Brandenberger and Zelenov (eds.) 2019.
- 6. For Iaroslavsky’s biography, see Dahlke 2010.