i enjoyed it, it’s a pop history of 1917 written like a traditional narrative so it gets a thumbs-up from me. helps that CM knows his onions and obviously loves the dream and the promise of the revolution. mostly it’s written like an elegy (is that the right word?) for what could have been. he says a couple of times the purges, the trials, the gulags…none of that was set in stone, they weren’t encoded into the revolution’s DNA, it all could have been so different if key people had been brave, and taken the right stand at the right time. i found it quite inspiring in that regard.
he sometimes gets a bit bogged down in the minutiae of political meetings, who said what, who left in a huff, what they did, when they came back, what they said then, etc. i’ve gone to enough of those IRL that i can promise you a brief overview of what the meetings were about and what the outcome was will almost always suffice in a narrative work
but there are some truly great descriptions of streets battles, riots, crowds, the original soviets and workers’ co-ops the bolsheviks would move against, etc etc.
also, i did get into an argument with a tankie on twitter who said CM was too harsh on big joe, so if you’re a fan of his you might wanna read something else