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Response to Review no. 491

I am grateful to Professor Waldron for his careful and generous review of my book and I am pleased that he found it to be a convincing blend of economic and social history. His point about how to bring to an end a study of Russia’s First World War is one that exercised me throughout the writing process. I took the decision that some discussion of the period after October 1917 was called for, on the grounds that significant developments were echoes of the war as much as ‘revolutionary’ transformations. Another solution, adopted latterly by Lars Lih and Peter Holquist, is to treat the Russian Civil War as part of a ‘continuum of crisis’ that lasted from 1914 to 1921. I was even keener – as I think Waldron implies – to ensure that my treatment of the first three years of war was not dominated by hindsight, namely our knowledge that the Bolshevik revolution brought about the demise of the old regime and the Provisional Government. Finally, I completely agree with him that we lack a comprehensive treatment of Russia’s experience in comparative perspective. If my book’s relatively brief coda prompts someone to undertake this research more thoroughly I shall be delighted!