The Experiment

The Experiment : Georgia's Forgotten Revolution 1918-1921

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For many the Russian revolution of 1917 was a symbol of hope. In the eyes of its critics, however, Soviet authoritarianism and the horrors of the gulags have led to the revolution becoming synonymous with oppression, threatening to forever taint the very idea of socialism. The experience of Georgia, which declared its independence from Russia in 1918, tells a different story. In this riveting history, Eric Lee explores the little-known saga of the country's experiment in democratic socialism, detailing the epic, turbulent events of this forgotten chapter in revolutionary history. Along the way, we are introduced to a remarkable cast of characters - among them the men and women who strove for a more inclusive vision of socialism that featured multi-party elections, freedom of speech and assembly, a free press and a civil society grounded in trade unions and cooperatives. Though the Georgian Democratic Republic lasted for just three years before it was brutally crushed on the orders of Stalin, it was able to offer, however briefly, a glimpse of a more humane alternative to the Soviet reality that was to more

Product details

  • Paperback | 252 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 25.4mm | 284g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1 Bibliography; 1 Index; 1 Maps
  • 178699092X
  • 9781786990921
  • 606,449

About Eric Lee

Eric Lee is a journalist and historian who has spent over thirty years researching independent Georgia, and has himself been active in trade union and political struggles in both the US and UK. His previous works include Saigon to Jerusalem: Conversations with Israel's Vietnam Veterans (1993) and Operation Basalt: The British Raid on Sark and Hitler's Commando Order (2016). more

Review quote

'A sympathetic, lucidly written and politically literate account of the first Georgian Republic, which makes exhaustive use of the accounts of foreign observers as well as some of the major leading figures.' Donald Rayfield, author of Stalin and His Hangmen `Covering a crucial but strangely overlooked period in the fevered evolution of socialism, we've been waiting for this book for a long time. Fortunately, it arrives excellently written and researched.' Peter Nasmyth, author of Georgia: In the Mountains of Poetry `In a clear and succinct style, Eric Lee paints a sympathetic portrait of this remarkable experiment in democratic socialism. Lee has brought this almost unknown story out of the shadows, giving it its proper place in the historiography of socialism and the Russian Revolution.' Stephen Jones, author of Socialism in Georgian Colors Praise for Eric Lee's previous book Operation Basalt: `Riveting' Wall Street Journal `Lee's gripping, well-researched Operation Basalt shines a bright light on a tiny, yet important, corner of World War II ...exciting and illuminating' Tampa Bay Times `An authentic and compelling read' Damien Lewis, best-selling author of The Nazi Hunters and Churchill's Secret Warriorsshow more

Table of contents

TimelinePrefacePrologue1. Founding Father2. Dress Rehearsal3. The Experiment Begins4. The Turn towards Germany5. At War With Armenia6. The British Take Charge7. Georgia's Agrarian Revolution8. The Independence of the Trade Unions9. The Rise and Rise of the Cooperatives10. Achilles' Heel: Georgia's National Minorities11. Fifth Column12. Europe's Socialist Leaders Come for a Visit13. The State That Never Was14. The Experiment Ends15. The Final Battle16. Another Revolution Was Possibleshow more