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18 November 2019


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Just curious, but since it’s on the road to the 1905 Revolt, and is essentially purpose-built propaganda aimed at redirecting popular ire, are you going to do an aside for the Protocols of the Elders of Zion?

Artur M.

Fun fact: Among the co-conspirators of Aleksandr Ulyanov was a certain Polish student named Bronisław Piłsudski. I'm certain that we will hear about his younger brother Józef in this series (ironically, as a major enemy of Lenin and the Bolsheviks).
Bronislaw himself was sentenced to exile in the Far East and became an accomplished anthropologist researching cultures of the native peoples of Sakhalin, especially the Ainu (who also were the indigenous people of Hokkaido).


Hopefully we get to hear a covering of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904. Which will mark only the second mention of Asia in the whole podcast (If he doesn't end it with a few small blasts like the Chinese Civil War, Young Officer Coup, or German Revolution of 1919) and possibly the only detailed look into an Asian country.

Konstantinos XI Monomachos

Okay, so I hope it's not too late to give Mike the #1 tip to Russian pronunciation: the stress.

Stress a Russian word/name correctly, and you're 90% of the way to sounding fluent. Every dictionary/Wikipedia tells you the stress with a little acute accent mark, e.g. Влади́мир Ильи́ч Улья́нов/Ле́нин. (In case the stress marks appear weird here, they refer to the preceding vowel.)

Thus: BAH-bush-ka (not Bah-BOOSH-ka!!!), Vla-DEE-mir, Ul'-YA-nov, Krup-SKA-ya, Ar-goo-NOV, Mi-lyu-KOV, Lav-ROV, Ras-POO-tin, etc..

Another note - Mike's mentioned the group "Black Repartition" a bunch of times now without explaining the name - which is noteworthy because it will go on to be one of 1917's revolutionary slogans. It refers to the peasant practice of periodically re-dividing all the land of the village equally among the members of the community (to account for deaths, births, trades, etc.). The revolutionaries were advocating for land reform that would do the same to the whole country, eliminating large landownership and giving land to the landless.

"Black" repartition is kind of a mistranslation, though it sounds just as obscure in modern Russian. It's better to think of it as "total repartition" or "repartition from a blank slate". Its rarer synonym was "radical repartition".

Erlea Stojanović

I'm not a native speaker, and sometimes I find it difficult to follow the narrative. However, I discovered that it helps me a lot if I first transcribe the audio using some AI into subtitles, which I then can use to lookup and translate unfamiliar words.

I decided to put the transcrits I generate to GitHub so they are available to everyone. Any person could use them and contribute the improvements. My hope is that this might be helpful to other people, who are like me.

The transcript to this episode is here:


, please feel free to contribute!

P.S. Fingers crossed, Mike won't be against.

Konstantin T.

Artur M., your vignette about Bronisław Piłsudski is fantastic! Thank you! I felt compelled to read about him. What a story!

Konstantin T.

As we are trying to understand the motivation of Lenin and Krupskaya, we need to keep our mind's eye on the eventual outcome of this "partnership."
Ironically, the Complete Works of Lenin, published in the Soviet Union, contain some of the most damming evidence of the mass murder, orchestrated by Lenin. Among the documents are Linin's orders to intern and then execute the populations of entire villages (men, women, and children included) for refusal to report the whereabouts of their fathers, brothers, and sons.


Just replying to mehmet's comment from last time. I think most people would take the "German Revolution" without further signification to refer to 1848-1849. And, while you might say that that was an international revolution while 1918-1919 was specifically German, 1918-1919 wasn't specifically German. (And, by the way, 1989 is a contender, too, though that wasn't specifically German, either.) Pretty much all of Eastern Europe was melting in some way or another in 1918-1920 (e.g., the internal disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Finnish Civil War, the complex multi-polar war / civil struggle between and within Russia, Poland, Ukraine, and Lithuania, etc.). Possibly Mike already plans to cover these events as part of covering the Russian Revolution because a lot of those events interacted with its later course. But as a full series in its own right the Chinese Revolution would be far more interesting.

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