Synopsis by Steve Blackburn
Originally broadcast on PBS, this installment of the series People's Century chronicles the Russian Revolution, from its heady and idealistic post-victory days to the terror of Stalin in the 1930s. Narrated by actor John Forsythe, the program reveals how three years of war and two million Russian casualties fueled the overthrow of the Tsar in 1917. After decades of poverty and serfdom, and now death in war, the people of Russia welcomed Vladimir Lenin and his Bolsheviks, who promised a "dictatorship of the proletariat." There was a general belief that better days had come for everyone. Initially, social advances were made, as the mostly illiterate populace was taught to read. Unfortunately, Lenin created an authoritarian state that devolved into the nightmarish, paranoid, and murderous rule of his successor, Josef Stalin. Highlights include archival footage, Soviet newsreels, and interviews not only with historians, but also with eyewitnesses and actual members of the Red Guard.
Bolsheviks, Communism, dictator, overthrow, revolution, Russian [nationality]