Articles by Simon Pirani

About Simon Pirani

Simon Pirani is a researcher and historian, and author of The Russian Revolution in Retreat 1920-24: Soviet workers and the new communist elite (Routledge, 2008). He is a Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, has published widely on energy issues in the former Soviet Union, and teaches history at Canterbury Christ Church University.

Looking Back at 1917 from the Post-Soviet Period

Simon Pirani is a socialist writer and historian. His books include The Russian Revolution in Retreat 1920-24: Soviet workers and the new communist elite (Routledge 2008). This article is based on a paper he delivered at a conference on “Twenty Five Years After the USSR” at the German Historical Institute, Moscow, 10 June 2016. British perceptions of the Russian revolution and its outcomes have changed considerably during the post-Soviet period. Focusing on the United Kingdom’s labour and socialist movements, broadly defined, this paper will consider three interrelated questions: First, how the collapse of ..

“Cut up Khrushchev for sausages!” A history lesson for The New York Times

By Simon Pirani Novocherkassk, June 1962. The workers’ revolt against the Soviet “workers’ state”, put down by the army and the KGB. The revolt for “meat, butter and a pay rise” that ended with tanks shooting into a crowd of unarmed demonstrators (killing at least 26 and wounding many dozens). The revolt against Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet reformer, by workers who wanted real socialism, who questioned the limits of Khrushchev’s “de-Stalinisation” and hoisted placards of Lenin. Novocherkassk was a symbol, for western anti-Stalinist socialists of my generation. We knew that the workers had revol ..