18 September 2017: Historia magazine publishes author Eric Lee's account of how and why he wrote the book.

15 September 2017: Official date of publication. Author Eric Lee addresses the congress of the Georgian Trade Union Confederation, Tbilisi. You can read his talk here.

14 September 2017: Launch party in Tbilisi at Prospero's Books. Read author Eric Lee's talk here.

4 September 2017: Zed Books publishes this blog by author Eric Lee, introducing the subject of the first Georgian republic.

3 September 2017: The Bookseller, the British weekly magazine for bookshops and the publishing industry, has named THE EXPERIMENT as one of the best book cover designs for September.



There are no upcoming events at the moment - but stay tuned ...



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.



Eric Lee is a journalist and historian who has spent over thirty years researching independent Georgia, and has himself been active in trade union and political struggles in both the US and UK. His previous works include Saigon to Jerusalem: Conversations with Israel's Vietnam Veterans (1993) and Operation Basalt: The British Raid on Sark and Hitler's Commando Order (2016).



Prices checked on 20 September 2017.


Booktopia A$28.50

CANADA C$23.62
Indigo / Chapters C$22.46

FRANCE €13.03



GERMANY €12.49

INDIA 3,578.50

JAPAN Yen 1,656


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"Covering a crucial but strangely overlooked period in the fevered evolution of socialism, we've been waiting for this book for a long time. Fortunately, it arrives excellently written and researched." - Peter Nasmyth, author of Georgia: In the Mountains of Poetry

"In a clear and succinct style, Eric Lee paints a sympathetic portrait of this remarkable experiment in democratic socialism. Lee has brought this almost unknown story out of the shadows, giving it its proper place in the historiography of socialism and the Russian Revolution." - Stephen Jones, author of Socialism in Georgian Colors

"A sympathetic, lucidly written and politically literate account of the first Georgian republic, which makes exhaustive use of the accounts of foreign observers as well as some of the major leading figures." - Donald Rayfield, author of Stalin and His Hangmen

"Eric Lee has skilfully shown in this thoroughly-researched book how a century ago Georgia created the first democratic socialist republic -- and laid the basis for Georgian democracy today." - H.E. Ambassador Tamar Beruchashvili, Ambassador of Georgia to the United Kingdom



Eric Lee's writings on Georgia