George Orwell's Animal Farm satirizes the failure of the Russian Revolution and Communism to improve the lives of the Russian people. In order to understand what is going on in this book, you should have a working knowledge of who the main players in the Russian Revolution were.
Remember, even though this book is based on the events of the Russian Revolution and the USSR, the message is universal. Orwell's warnings could just as easily apply today as they did in the 1940s. People still look to charismatic, charming leaders who promise far more than they can deliver.