The Russian Revolution and Global Development: Lessons from the First Hundred Years, 28 February, SOAS

26th Feb 2017

Tariq Ali (writer and filmmaker)

Professor August H. Nimtz (University of Minnesota, US)

Professor Tamás Krausz (Eötvös Loránd University of Sciences in Budapest, Hungary)

The Russian Revolution and Global Development:

Lessons from the First Hundred Years

Tuesday, 28 February, 5-7PM

Room: SOAS, Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre (BGLT)


The Russian Revolution was the greatest anti-capitalist uprising in history and, from its origins, sparked controversy, chaos, imagination and hope. It began with the dismantling of the Tsarist autocracy in February 1917 and its replacement with a provisional government; by October, the provisional government was also overthrown. The Soviets (workers’, soldiers’ and peasants’ councils) began to run society and peasants took over and redistributed land; women’s rights​ ​were recognised and there was an explosion of cultural and artistic creativity. The civil war that followed nearly overthrew the revolution, and the devastation it caused helped create the conditions for its ultimate defeat under Stalin. Nevertheless, the world was never the same again. This panel explores the roots and significance of the October revolution in world history, the role of Lenin and other revolutionaries, and the contribution of Marx to the theory and practice of revolution.


Tariq Ali has been a leading figure in the international left since the 1960s, having engaged in debates against the Vietnam War with leading politicians of the time. He has written extensively on world history and politics and his works include The Obama Syndrome, The Clash of Fundamentalisms and The Extreme Centre: A Warning, all published by Verso. His forthcoming book is The Dilemmas of Lenin: Terrorism, War, Empire, Love, Revolution (Verso, 2017). Described by the Observer as an ‘intellectual bomb thrower’, his contributions encompass film and theatre scripts, novels and published conversations, such as with Edward Said. He is a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio and contributes to magazines and newspapers including the Guardian and London Review of Books.


August H. Nimtz is Professor of Political Science and African American and African Studies and Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Minnesota. He is a leading thinker on socialist strategy, race in the United States and politics in Africa. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including Lenin’s Electoral Strategy from 1907 to the October Revolution of 1917: The Ballot, the Streets—or Both (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), Marx, Tocqueville, and Race in America: The ‘Absolute Democracy’ or ‘Defiled Republic’ (Lexington Books, 2003), Marx and Engels: Their Contribution to the Democratic Breakthrough (SUNY Press, 2000), and ‘The Eurocentric Marx and Engels and Other Related Myths’ (2002).


Tamás Krausz is Professor in the Department of East European Studies in the Faculty of Humanities at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. He is one of the editors of Eszmélet, a Hungarian quarterly journal of social critique and culture, and has written a number of books on Bolshevism, the National Question, Stalin, Lenin and Lukács. His book Reconstructing Lenin: An Intellectual Biography (Monthly Review Press, 2015) won the Deutscher Memorial Prize in 2015.

All welcome, no need to book but please do arrive early to be sure of a seat.