Author Topic: Kerensky Hero or Villlian of the Revolution  (Read 12550 times)

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Offline Romanov_Fan19

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Kerensky Hero or Villlian of the Revolution
« on: November 29, 2015, 07:20:25 PM »
any  opinion

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Kerensky Hero or Villlian of the Revolution
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2015, 06:37:02 PM »
Based on his actions he was neither.   He was almost total idiot whose actions made it possible for Lenin to seize power.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Kerensky Hero or Villlian of the Revolution
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2015, 04:16:55 AM »
Not an idiot. Well-meaning but totally out of his depth.

Ann

Offline Maria Sisi

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Re: Kerensky Hero or Villlian of the Revolution
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2015, 10:24:43 AM »
People don't realize just how hard it is in politics when they constantly whine and moan, "why aren't you doing this or that? It's so obvious! You're not doing anything!" I'm not making any excuses for politicians because I know their pretty corrupt and they don't fully serve the people as they should but its a lot more difficult and not as easy as people think to be in that position.

Kerensky made these grand speeches in the duma getting everybody all riled up and then he got his chance to put into practice everything he preached only to fall flat on his face. It wasn't as easy as he thought. I haven't read any of this books and don't know much about him after he escaped but the experience should have humbled him and if it didn't then he's an idiot.

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Kerensky Hero or Villlian of the Revolution
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2015, 07:18:27 PM »
Reading through books like "The Russian Revolution" R Pipes, Thou shalt Kill, Young Stalin and others:

Kerensky was one of the leading defense lawyers in Russia and a great orator, but he lacked talent for judging people, He was also emotional and lacked judgment and strategic sense.  During WW I 1914-16 he organized revolutionaries to subvert and overthrow the Tsarist government and sabotage the war effort. In his 27 February 1917 speech to the Duma he called for the removal of the Tsar by terrorist means. Some of speeches earlier in the war were also highly imflammatory to put it mildly. It was a wonder he wasn't jailed or executed. Pre war in 1905 he wanted to join a terrorist cell and kill Nicholas II. In the 1909 Miass station robbery where the Bolsheviks also killed 7 people Kerensky defended the members of the gang that were captured and received a 10,000 rouble honorarium.
 His biggest failure was the Kornilov Affair. Even after Lenin tries in April, June and July 1917 to overthrow the Provisional government. Kerensky was more afraid of the military launching a coup from the right than he of Lenin. As he liked to say "The Revolution has no enemies on the left'. His paranoia was made worse because he was using both cocaine and morphine. As a result of General Kornilov's  "coup" plot which existed no where but Kerensky's drug addicted brain. Kerensky had Kornilov and a number of other generals arrested. The result was it weakened the Provisional government strengthened the Bolsheviks which enabled them to seize power in October/November of this year. It also resulted in most officers despising Kerensky so much that few of them were willing to help him when the Bolshevik seizure of power occurred.

Offline Maria Sisi

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Re: Kerensky Hero or Villlian of the Revolution
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2015, 10:08:23 AM »
Yikes

Not the most flattering portrait of Mr. Kerensky that's for sure. Is all of that actually true? Because it almost reads as history written by the Soviets.


Offline Rodney_G.

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Re: Kerensky Hero or Villlian of the Revolution
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2015, 03:45:41 PM »
It's true. Though intelligent and not one of history's evil men, he was nevertheless a disaster for Russia and indirectly for much of the rest of the world. He was vain and as James notes, a bad judge of character.In 1917, he seems to have tried to get things completely wrong.In spite of their consistent declared intent to destroy  liberal democracy, even a quite leftish version , including himself,  Kerensky never comprehended the extent of the Bolsheviks' ruthlessness and drive to seize power at any cost. They were blessed in having A K as their enemy, though he really functioned as more of an enabler.
Conversely, he saw a rightist dictatorial bogeyman in anyone seeking to restore order in a St. Petersburg and Russia rapidly falling into disorder and ungovernability.Most notably in the form of Kornilov, one of the few Russian Generals still commanding enough respect in the army and among enough of the populace to restore order.
Instead of recognizing and supporting a potentialr savior of the Ptovisional Government, Kerensky freed from jails and actually armed his still avowed enemies, the Bolsheviks  , to turn back Kornilov's forces.Well, they succeeded ,and within a brief time ,Kerensky had to flee the capital in a borrowed American car, lucky to escape alive  and with a red price on his head.
And no, he never really learned from his experience. He spent the considerable rest of his life in the West trying to justify his failures to a decreasing audience, writing several self-serving books on his experiences, selling himself as 'living history" to anyone whom he could still buttonhole. Eventually, that was reduced to small classrooms of students at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California in the mid 1960s. He lived long enough to be interviewed on television on the fiftieth anniversary of the Russian revolution(s) and was still pathetically defending his role(failures).
Perhaps  in the end he may be just an excellent examplar of the Peter Principle, but on the world stage, with disastrous results, for hundreds of millions ,for decades
Rodney G.

Offline Maria Sisi

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Re: Kerensky Hero or Villlian of the Revolution
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2015, 05:02:31 PM »
Thanks for your response Rodney!

I actually knew the majority of what was written and have no problem believing it but reading it all in two short paragraphs instead of a much longer book/essay really hit home just what a disaster he was.

It was the drug part that really threw me off and made me question everything. I didn't know about that. I know a lot of false information about Nicholas and Alexandra get published over and over even in current sources so I was just wondering if the same was true of Kerensky in this instance but I guess not.

Offline edubs31

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Re: Kerensky Hero or Villlian of the Revolution
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2015, 08:00:43 PM »
Kerensky was the Andrew Johnson of Russia. Unfortunately Russia didn't have the political stability to weather a storm the magnitude of the October revolt the way the US was able to survive succession and a Civil War.

As Rodney points out he was incredibly vain, even decades after the fact. Seemingly blaming his failures of leadership on the shortcoming of those surrounding him and the Russian people themselves. Not that he wasn't dealt a difficult hand, but given the worldwide embrace for the Provisional Government after the Tsar's abdication, it's amazing to think how anyone could be so inept as to squander such goodwill in only a few months time.

Of course he'll always be associated with Lenin. I've always been of the opinion that Lenin was more lucky than "good" in his rise to power. Honestly Kerensky error may have been committing himself to the war and Russia's supposed allies. Had he pulled out completely, or at least greatly reduced Russia's role in the conflict, he would have had the necessary military manpower to put down the Bolshevik uprising.

Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right...