From the preface Many historians outside the Soviet Union have sought to explain why the Bolsheviks won the civil war. Some have focused on the military history of 1918-20. Others have connected the victory of the Red Army to the growth of the Soviet State. But none has made a detailed study of the relationship between the Bolsheviks and the peasantry, the overwhelming majority of the Russian population, during the formative years of the Soviet regime. None has seriously investigated the ways in which the Bolshevik victory was made possible by the transformation of the Russian countryside in the years leading up to and during the revolution. That is the purpose of this book.