In A Consise History of the Russian Revolution, Richard Pipes portrays the crisis at the heart of the tsarist empire. Drawing on archival materials newly released in Russia, he chronicles the upheaval that began as a conserative revolt but was soon captured by messianic intellectuals intent not merely on reforming Russia but on remaking the world. He provides fresh accounts of the revolution's personalities and policies, crises, and cruelties, from the murder of the royal family through civil war, famine, and state terror. Brilliantly and persuasively, Pipes shows us why the resulting system owed less to the theories of Marx than it did to the character of Lenin and Russia's long authoritarian tradition. What ensures is a path-clearing work that is indispensable to any understanding of the events of our century.