1st Edition

The Russian Revolution in Asia From Baku to Batavia

    268 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    268 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Russian Revolution in Asia: From Baku to Batavia presents a unique and timely global history intervention into the historiography of the Russian Revolution of 1917, marking the centenary of one of the most significant modern revolutions.

    It explores the legacies of the Revolution across the Asian continent and maritime Southeast Asia, with a broad geographic sweep including Iran, the Caucasus, Central Asia, China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, and India. It analyses how revolutionary communism intersected with a variety of Asian contexts, from the anti-colonial movement and ethnic tensions, to indigenous cultural frameworks and power structures. In so doing, this volume privileges Asian actors and perspectives, examining how Asian communities reinterpreted the Revolution to serve unexpected ends, including national liberation, regional autonomy, conflict with Russian imperial hegemony, Islamic practice and cultural nostalgia. Methodologically, this volume breaks new ground by incorporating research from a wide range of sources across multiple languages, many analysed for the first time in English-language scholarship.

    This book will be of use to historians of the Russian Revolution, especially those interested in understanding transnational and transregional perspectives of its impact in Central Asia and Southeast Asia, as well as historians of Asia more broadly. It will also appeal to those interested in the history of Islam.


    Yuexin Rachel Lin and Naoko Shimazu

    1. Transnational Communism and Asia: A Precocious Encounter

    Sabine Dullin

    Section One: The Revolution in Russia’s Borderlands

    2. From Autonomy to an Asian Revolution: Koreans and Buryat-Mongols in the Russian Imperial Revolution and the Soviet New Imperialism, 1917-1926

    Ivan Sablin

    3. A Colonial Revolution: The Revolutions of 1917 in Semirech’e

    Aminat Chokobaeva

    4. Freedom on the Fence: The Caucasian Borderlands and the Boundaries of Revolution

    Étienne Forestier-Peyrat and Alisa Shablovskaïa

    Section Two: The Wider Arc of Revolution in Asia

    5. The Bolshevik Infection: European Perspectives on Communism in the Netherlands East Indies Press

    Farabi Fakih

    6. The Comintern, the Communist Party of the United States, and Chinese Networks in the Prewar Philippine Communist Movement (1920–1942)

    Anna Belogurova

    7. (Un)preparing a Revolution: The Comintern in the Prelude to the 1926-1927 Uprisings in Indonesia

    Xie Kankan

    8. Revolutions as Transnational Events: The Russian Revolution and Vietnam

    Tuong Vu

    9. The Russian Revolution in the Indian Nationalist Imaginary

    Vinay Lal

    10. From Political to Cultural Symbol: Moscow Restaurant and the Evolution of Sino-Soviet Relations

    Zhang Jianhua

    Section Three: Islam and the Revolution

    11. Revolutionary Situation in Turkestan (February 1917-February 1918): The Local Dynamics of the Russian Revolutions

    Cloé Drieu

    12. Between Backwardness and Revolution: The Equivocal Genesis of "Crimes of Ways of Life" in the First Soviet Penal Code, 1919-1924

    Aude-Cécile Monnot

    13. The Russian Revolutions and the Emergence of the Indonesian Communist Movement: Understanding the Relationship between Islam and Communism

    Radityo Dharmaputra, M. Anugrah Pratama and Tisa Larasati


    Sabine Dullin is Professor of History at Sciences Po Paris and a historian of modern Russia and the USSR. She has published on diplomacy, transnational communism and borders.

    Étienne Forestier-Peyrat is Assistant Professor of History, Sciences Po Lille. His research focuses on the contemporary history of connections between Eurasia and the Middle East, diplomacy and empire.

    Yuexin Rachel Lin is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of History, University of Exeter. Her research involves imperial conflict and migration in the Russian Far East and Northeast China.

    Naoko Shimazu is Professor of Humanities (History) at Yale-NUS College, and Professor at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. She is a global historian of Asia.