History Hub


Connecting past and present

Judith Devlin is Emeritus Professor in the School of History at University College Dublin. Her research focuses on Soviet and post-Soviet Russia and her publications include Slavophiles and Commissars: Enemies of Democracy in Modern Russia (Macmillan) and The Rise of the Russian Democrats: Causes and Consequences of the Elite Revolution (Elgar).

In a special podcast to mark the centenary of the Russian Revolution, Professor Devlin examines one of the defining events of the 20th century. She discusses the main aspects of the revolution: the lead up to the February Revolution; Lenin’s return from exile; the October Revolution and its aftermath; the ensuing Civil War; and how Russians commemorate the events of 1917.

Judith Devlin

Professor Devlin spent a decade in the Department of Foreign Affairs, working on European political integration, before being sent to Paris and then Moscow, where she served as Gorbachev’s perestroika got underway. Her initial research interests lay in the popular culture of 19th century France and the history of French psychiatry, the subject of her first book The Superstitious Mind (Yale). Following her years in Gorbachev’s Russia, she shifted her attention to the culture and politics of the Stalin era and her current research project concerns the Stalin cult.

Further Listening

We have also put together a playlist of podcasts on the Russian Revolution from a number of sources.

Further Viewing

In her podcast, Devlin references a scene from Sergei Eisenstein’s and Grigori Aleksandrov’s monumental film on the revolution – ‘October: Ten Days That Shook the World’ – which was produced to mark the 10th anniversary of the October Revolution in 1927. The film is currently available to watch on Youtube.

Image: Soviet poster dedicated to the 5th anniversary of the October Revolution and IV Congress of the Communist International by Ivan Vasilyevich Simakov (1877—1925) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

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