In the new anthology “Revolution! Swedish experiences in Russia” (Business History Publishing, 2019) we meet the Swedish men and women who lived and worked in Russia at the dawn of the revolution over a century ago .
Thousands of Swedes lived and worked in Russia in the fall of 1917. They were tailors, engineers, care takers, station masters, diplomats and school children. They were employees, entrepreneurs, factory foremen or financially independent. Most of them were lucky enough to leave their homes in time and travel back to Sweden during the winter of 1917 and the first months of 1918.
In the anthology Revolution! Svenska erfarenheter från Ryssland (Business History Publishing, 2019) some of them speak out. Letters and diaries from Moscow and St. Petersburg let us experience the Russian revolution as if it playing out before our eyes. We meet both private letters and formal reports that Swedish business representatives and local management sent back to head offices in Sweden.
Not least remarkable is the confidence that prevailed, at least in some places, for a commercial future in Russia even in early 1918. Swedish companies bought factory premises and looked forward to filling their order books again, once order was restored and peace prevailed again. No one seemed to imagine that what happened in November 1917 in Russia would influence much of Europe for seven decades to come.
The anthology contains newly written text by author Bengt Jangfeldt, professor Gunnar Åselius, docent Martin Kragh, journalist Ulrika Knutson and historian Benito Peix Geldart, from the Center for Business History.
The book is part 11 of the Center for Business History series “Business History Anthologies”.