By: Dr. Kevin MacDonald
Yuri Slezkine’s book The Jewish Century, which appeared last year to rapturous reviews, is an intellectual tour de force, alternately muddled and brilliant, courageous and apologetic. Slezkine’s greatest accomplishment is to set the historical record straight on the importance of Jews in the Bolshevik Revolution and its aftermath. He summarizes previously available data and extends our understanding of the Jewish role in revolutionary movements before 1917 and of Soviet society thereafter. His book provides a fascinating chronicle of the Jewish rise to elite status in all areas of Soviet society—culture, the universities, professional occupations, the media, and government. Indeed, the book is also probably the best, most up-to-date account of Jewish economic and cultural pre-eminence in Europe (and America) that we have.
The once-common view that the Bolshevik Revolution was a Jewish revolution and that the Soviet Union was initially dominated by Jews has now been largely eliminated from modern academic historiography. The current view, accepted by almost all contemporary historians, is that Jews played no special role in Bolshevism and indeed, were uniquely victimized by it.
Slezkine’s book provides a bracing corrective to this current view.
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