The German Revolution, 1917-1923

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On 12 October 1923, Grigory Zinoviev, president of the Communist International wrote the following in Pravda:

The German events are developing with the inexorability of fate. The path which it took the Russian Revolution twelve years to cover, from 1906 to 1917, will have taken the German Revolution five years, from 1918 to 1923. ... The proletarian revolution is knocking at Germany's door; you would have to be blind not to see it. ... Very soon, everyone will see that this autumn of 1923 is a turning-point, not just for the history of Germany, but for the history of the whole world.

In fact, far from being on the point of triumphing, the German Revolution was on the verge of an irredeemable disaster which would soon inflict terrible consequences on Germany and the world.

In this magisterial work, first published 1971 and still unsurpassed, Pierre Broué meticulously reconstitutes the six decisive years during which -- between 'ultra-leftism and 'opportunism', 'sectarianism' and 'revisionism', 'activism' and 'passivity' -- the German revolutionaries attempted to begin a new chapter in the history of the proletariat.

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About the author (2005)

Pierre Broué (born 1926) was for many years Professor of Contemporary History at the Institut d'études politiques in Grenoble. A world renowned specialist of the communist and international workers' movements, he is the founder of the Cahiers Léon Trotsky, editor of Leon Trotsky's writings in French and the author of many publications, including La Révolution et la guerre en Espagne (with Etienne Témime, 1961), Le Parti bolchévique. Histoire du Parti communiste de l'URSS (1963), Les Procès de Moscou (1965), La Question chinoise dans l'Internationale communiste (1965), Le Printemps des peuples commence à Prague (1969), La Révolution espagnole (1972), L'Assassinat de Trotsky (1980), Trotsky (1988), Staline et la Révolution. Le cas espagnol (1993), Rakovsky ou la Révolution dans tous les pays (1996), Histoire de l'Internationale communiste, 1919-1943 (1997) and Communistes contre Staline. Massacre d'une generation (2003).