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"Red Star: Bridging the Intellectual Divide within the early Bolshevik Party"
Jason R. Koepke


Alexander Bogdanov's Red Star was written shortly after the revolutionary events of 1905, which caused dramatic political changes in Russia thereby shifting the political strength and momentum away from the tsarist authorities and towards the political parties that more accurately reflected the will of the people. Occurring at the same time was another societal shift, that towards "modernization," which included increased urban migration, literacy levels, and entrenchment of an intellectual class. These large shifts led to many political changes, including that of the need for mass party support and techniques of political propaganda. As the Russian state became increasingly destabilized and politicized, the Bolsheviks moved from underground to overt methods of reaching out and explaining their complex ideology to the masses, be it the general populous or rank-and-file party members. Bogdanov's Red Star is an effort to establish a dialogue and explain the Bolshevik ideology through a means, the political novel, that had become effective as a result of these large social changes.

Of the recent changes in Russian society, one of the most significant developments was urban migration. An increased concentrated population creates the necessary environment for mass political mobilization, because of the concentrated nature of the people and the logistical ease in organizing them. As the power of the tsar continued to rot away and democratic institutions were introduced, mobilizing the city's populace became critical to continue with the revolutionary patterns that had been developing in Russia during the past several years.

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