Another world was possible
For many, the Russian revolution of 1917 was a symbol of hope, and proof that that another world was indeed possible. But Soviet authoritarianism and the horrors of the gulags have since led to the revolution becoming synonymous with oppression, forever tainting socialism in the eyes of its critics.
The experience of Georgia, however, which declared its independence from Russia in 1918, shows there was another way. In this riveting book, historian Eric Lee explores the little-known story of the country's experiment in democratic socialism, detailing the turbulent events of this forgotten chapter in revolutionary history. Along the way, we are introduced to a remarkable cast of characters - among them the men and women who strove for a vision of socialism that featured universal suffrage, a people's militia in place of a standing army, and a civil society grounded in trade unions and cooperatives. Though the Georgian Democratic Republic lasted for just three years before it was brutally crushed on the orders of Stalin, it was able to offer, however briefly, a glimpse of a more humane alternative to the Communist nightmare that was to come.
The Experiment: Georgia's Forgotten Revolution, 1918-1921, will be published on 15 September 2017 by Zed Books. More details soon.