Teaching revolutionary history in the post-Stalinist Soviet Union.

Preparations for the Great October Socialist Revolution (March-November 1917) [Подготовка великой Октябрьской социалистической революции (март-ноябрь 1917 г.)]

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SKU: NL-01425 Category:
Date: 1964
Place: Moscow
Dimensions: 114 x 147 cm (45 x 58 in)
Condition Rating: VG+
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This is a very large format map showing the development of the Bolshevik Revolution between March and October 1917. It was published and distributed in 1964. 

Unsurprisingly, the map focuses on the role of the Bolsheviks and valorizes Lenin. The legend at bottom-left includes two columns: the column on the left is titled “The Bolshevik Party at the head of the revolutionary forces,” documenting the travels and speeches of Lenin and the successes of the Bolsheviks in various cities; while the column on the right, titled “Development of the strike movement” uses color-coding to denote the number of strikes in different areas. Key events of 1917 are referred to, such as the “counter-revolutionary conspiracy of Kornilov,” a failed anti-Soviet coup in September 1917 that inadvertently strengthened the Bolsheviks. The thick black lines to the left denote the Eastern Front of the First World War.

An inset map at top-right shows the Asian portion of the Russian Empire. Despite being rather embellished, the map still belies the limited presence of the Bolsheviks outside of industrialized cities in the western part of the empire. The inset map at bottom-right shows the peasant movement, using a similar color shading system as the main map to show the number of peasant uprisings between March and October, and the presence of peasant organizations which were the site of power struggles between the Bolsheviks and other socialist and revolutionary parties.  

The holes in the upper corners suggest that this map was hung, likely in a classroom. This interpretation is supported by the stamp at bottom, which is dated August 27, 1964, and indicates that this map belonged to an “evening school of Marxism-Leninism” in Zhdanivka (Ru: Ждановка, Uk: Жданівка), in the Donetsk region of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Such “evening schools” provided both technical and political education (propaganda). 

This map was first published in 1957 and the present edition was subsequently published in at least one more edition in 1984. The present example was printed on December 26, 1963, and distributed the following year. It was compiled by the Scientific and Editorial Mapping Department of the Main Directorate of Geodesy and Cartography (Главное управление геодезии и картографии, GUGK for short). The State Geological Committee of the USSR (Государственного геологического комитета СССР) was also involved in its production. The editor was N.A. Smirnova (H.A. Смирнова), while K.E. Yaroshevich (К.Е. Ярошевич) served as technical editor.

Condition Description

Very good.