Cover Art by Luke Brookes

The First Red Century

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It is often said that “the germ of all Stalinism was in Bolshevism at its beginning.” Well, I have no objection. Only, Bolshevism also contained many other germs, a mass of other germs, and those who lived through the enthusiasm of the first years of the first victorious socialist revolution ought not to forget it. To judge the living man by the death germs which the autopsy reveals in the corpse — and which he may have carried in him since his birth — is that very sensible?
— Victor Serge, From Lenin to Stalin, 1937
Front Matters

Front Matters

Today is the first day of the rest of your magazine.

The Soapbox

Letters + The Internet Speaks (print/pdf only)

“Kerensky was not some windbag or weakling. He spent the years 1905–17 defending the poor from the tsar’s oppression in court — a difficult and dangerous task that won him the love of the nation.”
— Stephen Kerensky, grandson of AF Kerensky

Friends & Foes

The New Communists

Connor Kilpatrick & Adaner Usmani

It’s 2017. Time to stop worrying about the questions of 1917.

The Few Who Won

by Bhaskar Sunkara

How should we understand the October Revolution and its tragic aftermath?

Means of Deduction

Means of Deduction

We’ve got more graphs than Gosplan.

Vulgar Empiricist

As Long as It Catches Mice (print/pdf only)

Central planning led to modernization in poor countries — and stagnation in rich ones.

Vulgar Empiricist

Workers’ Paradise Lost (print/pdf only)

As Stalin advanced his vision of “socialism in one country,” prisons sprouted like a thousand flowers across the USSR.


When Did It Go Wrong? (print/pdf only)

A short century filled with long disagreements.

Uneven & Combined

Moscow Globetrotters

Jonah Walters

Statues of Lenin, once ubiquitous in Communist countries, now cast shadows across the capitalist world.

Reading Materiel

Reading Materiel

But you don’t have to take our word for it.

Field Notes

Brussels, Dec. 12, 1975 (print/pdf only)

Memorandum of Conversation

NATO leaders from across the political spectrum found common cause opposing Eurocommunism.

Canon Fodder

The Man Who Brought Pizza

David Broder

Mikhail Gorbachev’s journey from Communist reformer to “capitalist tool.”

Review of Gorbachev: His Life and Times by William Taubman (Simon & Schuster, 2017)

Straying from the Party Line

My last years in the USSR

Illustration by Jia Sung

by Georgi Derluguian

The Soviets Abroad

by Daniel Finn

Throughout its existence, the Soviet Union played the role of both liberator and oppressor.

Megan Erickson

Red Diaper Babies

In America, school is preparation for “real” life. In the early Soviet Union, school was filled with life.

Illustration by Rob Pybus
Cultural Capital

Cultural Capital

Out-of-context Mayakovsky quotes go here.

Beyond a Boundary

The Miracle on Ice

Keith Gessen

Without even an indoor rink, the Soviets changed hockey forever.

Bass & Superstructure

The Elvis of East Germany

Julia Damphouse

How a young man from Colorado became the Eastern Bloc’s biggest pop star.

Red Channels

17 Soviet Films

Eileen Jones

The October Revolution unleashed cinematic brilliance that even decades of political censorship couldn’t extinguish.

The Tumbrel

The Tumbrel

We’re not mad, we’re just disappointed.


Our Favorite Dupe

Seth Ackerman

Henry Wallace was a brilliant progressive with an open mind. That’s where the trouble began.


Fascism’s Face-Lift

Ronan Burtenshaw

Anti-communist campaigns in Eastern Europe aren’t about building a more democratic society — they’re about rehabilitating the far right.


Yacht Party Men

Hubert Adjei-Kontoh

Not everyone hated shock therapy.

Illustration by Baldur Helgason

Our Road to Power

Vivek Chibber



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