Professor Pipes' massive and magisterial work overshadows previous histories of the Russian Revolution, even if it does not supplant them all. It is a triumph of scholarship in a field where scholarship has often been deficient or twisted. Known for his hard-line and often controversial views on the Soviet Union, Pipes is not sparing of sharp opinions as he traces the course of Bolshevik thought, organization and action in the drive to obtain control-and nowhere less than in his portrait of Lenin. But throughout the volume, the historical method used in tracking down and citing sources is exemplary. There is ample background, placing the two revolutions of 1917 in their Russian historical setting. The first of two planned volumes, the story is carried through 1918 and does not cover the civil war.