Bloody massacres, cruel killings, and monumental suffering are inextricably bound up with the world historical revolutions that defined the trajectory of global modernity: the French Revolution of 1789 and the Russian Revolution of 1917. The image of Jacobins and Bolsheviks, revolutionaries with hard hearts for dark times, symbolized the subversive ideologies of the two movements: the radically antifeudal “rights of man” liberalism of the former and the anticapitalism and anti-imperialism of international communism. As the centerpiece of the Age of Revolutions, the dramatic events in France and Haiti were above all a phenomenon of the Atlantic and Mediterranean worlds encompassing the western portion of the Eurasian land mass and its near periphery (the Americas). After 1917, European colonialism, an increasingly integrated global market, and the communications revolution allowed the Russian Revolution, on a planetary scale, to attract hundreds of thousands of sympathizers and followers—as well as rabid opponents—while giving rise...
Jacobins, Bolsheviks, and the Dream of Revolution: October 1917 in the Trajectory of a Brazilian Metalworker of African Descent
JOHN D. FRENCH is a professor of history and African and African-American studies at Duke University and author of three books and numerous articles. He has just finished the first of a multivolume biography of Brazilian president Luis Inácio Lula da Silva: The Unknown Lula: The Origins of a Brazilian President, 1945–1968.
ALEXANDRE FORTES (PhD in history, State University of Campinas, 2001) teaches at the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro, where he currently serves as the dean of research and graduate studies. Author and editor of several published works on Brazilian labor history, Fortes is a former chair of the Worlds of Labor work group, a section inside the Brazilian History Association. He was also the editor of the association’s journal (Revista Brasileira de História), from 2013 to 2015. In 2012, he was Mellon Visiting Professor at Duke University.
John D. French, Alexandre Fortes; Jacobins, Bolsheviks, and the Dream of Revolution: October 1917 in the Trajectory of a Brazilian Metalworker of African Descent. Labor 1 September 2017; 14 (3): 23–34. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/15476715-3921283
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