A revolt flared at the Kronstadt naval base in Soviet Russia in early March 1921. The Bolshevik government suppressed it after ten days of bitter fighting. The young Soviet Republic had just emerged from a long, hard fought civil war. The masses were hungry, tired and dissatisfied with the harsh war measures.
Though the Kronstadt revolt was but one of many outbreaks reflecting the mood of the Soviet people and the conditions they faced, the name itself became an epiteth hurled at revolutionary Marxists by a spectrum of anticommunists. "But what about Kronstadt?" has gone the refrain : Didn't the revolt and discontent it represented mean that the Mensheviks were right about the Russian revolution - that it had gone too far too soon in eliminating not only tsarism but capitalism too? And, why did the Soviet government put the rebellion down? Hadn't the Kronstadt sailors been the revolutionary backbone of the 1905 and 1917 revolutions? Didn't the suppression of their rebellion show how ruthless the Bolsheviks were? Isn't what happened at Kronstadt proof that Leninism spawned Stalinism?
These and other questions are answered in this collection of the most important statements on Kronstadt by Lenin and by Trotsky. Because they were the central leaders of the Soviet government and bore political and military responsibility for suppressing the revolt, this book contains a most authoritative answer to the critics of the Bolshevik course.