Lenin Rediscovered: What Is to Be Done? in Context

Front Cover
BRILL, 2006 - Social Science - 867 pages
2 Reviews
Lenin's "What is to Be Done?" (1902) has long been seen as the founding document of a 'party of a new type'. For some, it provided a model of 'vanguard party' that was the essence of Bolshevism, for others it manifested Lenin's elitist and manipulatory attitude towards the workers. This substantial new commentary, based on contemporary Russian- and German-language sources, provides hitherto unavailable contextual information that undermines these views and shows how Lenin's argument rests squarely on an optimistic confidence in the workers' revolutionary inclinations and on his admiration of German Social Democracy in particular. Lenin's outlook cannot be understood, Lih claims here, outside the context of international Social Democracy, the disputes within Russian Social Democracy and the institutions of the revolutionary underground. The new translation focuses attention on hard-to-translate key terms. This study raises new and unsettling questions about the legacy of Marx, Bolshevism as a historical force, and the course of Soviet history, but, most of all, it will revolutionise the conventional interpretations of Lenin. About "Bread and Authority (1990)" (by Lars T. Lih) '"If we could put the desperately ill Russia of today on the psyciatrist's couch, we would inevitably have to spend a great many sessions on its earliest childhood. This is what Lars T. Lih has done in the remarkably insightful study ... A fine work."' from a one-paragraph anonymous notice in Virginia Quarterly Review, Winter 1991. ',.".a rich and thoroughly researched account of food supply policies in the tumultuous years between the fall of the tsarist regime and Lenin's NEP. By using the success of failure offood supply policies as a barometer of political authority in the face of potential social breakdown, the book also gives us food for thought in understanding the problems of contemporary Russia."' Marcia Weigle, The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review, 1992, vol. 19 Nos. 1-3. '"The jacket of this thoughtful study by Lars T. Lih reproduces a Russian poster showing the 'bony finger of Hunger' pointing to starving masses. [NB: I found this poster in a Russian souvenir shop.] ... Lih's discerning and sympathetic analysis enlarges our view of both past and present."' Dorothy Atkinson, American Hist. Review, Dec. 1991.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: Lenin Rediscovered: What Is to Be Done? In Context

User Review  - Online-University of-the-Left - Goodreads

Very Good, so far. Includes a new translation of 'What Is To Be Done' and puts everything in historical context. It upgrades Kautsky's role and influence on Lenin. Read full review

Review: Lenin Rediscovered: What Is to Be Done? In Context

User Review  - Sam - Goodreads

Absolute must-read. What Lenin *really* said (early on, anyway). Read full review

Contents

Introduction
3
Erfurtianism
33
The Merger of Socialism and the Worker Movement
41
A Russian Erfurtian
111
The Iskra Period
159
Russian Foes of Erfurtianism
217
A Feud Within Russian Erfurtianism
279
The Purposive Worker and the Spread of Awareness
335
Scandalous Passages
613
TRANSLATION Note on the Translation
671
Lenins What Is to Be Done?
673
Foreword
677
Dogmatism and Freedom of Criticism
681
The Stikhiinost of the Masses and the Purposiveness of Social Democracy
700
Trediunionist Politics and SocialDemocratic Politics
723
The Artisanal Limitations of the Economists and the Organisation of Revolutionaries
763

Lenins Erfurtian Drama
387
Lenin and the Underground
433
After the Second Congress
489
Conclusion
554
Section Analysis
561
The Plan for an AllRussian Political Newspaper
813
Conclusion
837
Bibliography
841
Index
853
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2006)

Lars T. Lih, Ph.D. (1984) Princeton, is the editor of Stalin's Letters to Molotov, the author of Bread and Authority in Russia, 1914-1921, the chapter on ideology in the forthcoming Cambridge History of Russia and numerous articles on the Bolsheviks.

Bibliographic information