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Russia’s Great War and Revolution

An online lecture by Dr. Eric Lohr

In his lecture, Dr. Eric Lohr will reinterpret Russia’s World War I experience and explain that the war was the primary cause of what Dr. Lohr calls the Great Demobilization and State Collapse of 1917. Only once that state collapse was nearly complete did it become conceivable that a tiny but well-armed group could launch a coup, and, against all odds, hold on to power.

The points Dr. Lohr makes draw on lots of interesting recent research on the Russian war effort. In his opinion, it was a more successful and extensive mobilization of industry, local government, religion, civil society, and nearly all the national political parties than most histories of World War I have typically granted. On paper, the Russian army was larger and better supplied than its adversaries, and its production of artillery and weapons was expanding, while its enemies was declining. In his talk, Dr. Lohr will also explore the paradox of how this surprisingly successful mobilization for total war so quickly turned into mass desertions, state collapse, and revolution.

Click the button below and register now. If you can’t attend live, there is an option to request the recording!

About the Speaker

Eric Lohr is the author of Russian Citizenship: From Empire to Soviet Union (Harvard University Press, 2012) and Nationalizing the Russian Empire: The Campaign Against Enemy Aliens during World War I (Harvard University Press, 2003). His recent review essay “The Bolshevik Revolution is Over” appeared in the Journal of Modern History. He is currently writing Russian Autocracy: A History and The Brothers Trubetskoi: Liberals between Tsar and Revolution.

Lohr received his M.A. in Russian Studies and Ph.D. in History from Harvard University, where he also served as an assistant professor of History. He is chair of the History Department and James H. Billington Chair of Russian History and Culture at American University.

Connecting with Zoom

This virtual lecture is presented live via Zoom. Registered users will be emailed a link to join this Zoom program. To get started, please download Zoom on your chosen device and explore the Frequently Asked Questions.

This program will be recorded and posted to the museum’s YouTube channel.

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