Propaganda and Political Rumours

  • Roger Pethybridge


The ‘art of persuasion’, as E. H. Carr calls it, was one of the main ingredients of political authority in the Russian revolution. This was because the officers who held the trigger of Russia’s ‘armaments’ were in neither one political camp nor the other in 1917 in a sufficiently large majority to provide substantial support to either side. ‘Economic power’, or what there was left of it after three years of a terrible war followed by violent revolution, was also disputed between the Provisional Government and the Soviets. In this context one has only to remember the way the railways, the supply system and the press would not function exclusively according to the demands of either partner in the Dual Government. Some of the more tangible channels of political propaganda like the telegraph have already been examined in previous essays. The medium of the press was especially important in 1917. The newspaper offices organised oral agitation, political circles, posters and slogans on a grand scale which went far beyond the limited bounds of the printed word. The railways also played a crucial part in the spread of propaganda. They were the main, and often the sole, carrier of the newspapers, the leaflets and the party agitators sent out to all regions of Russia.


Military Unit RUSSIAN Revolution Military Authority Western Front Political Propaganda 
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© Roger Pethybridge 1972

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  • Roger Pethybridge

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