ISBN 9789350022108,Lenin Rediscovered : What is to be Done? In Context

Lenin Rediscovered : What is to be Done? In Context


Lars T Lih


Aakar Books



Aakar Books

Publication Year 2013

ISBN 9789350022108

ISBN-10 9350022109


Number of Pages 888 Pages
Language (English)


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 the 'vanguard party' that was the essence of Bolshevism, for others it manifested Lenin's elitist and manipulative 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 commentary is accompanied by a complete new translation of What is to be Done? that focuses particularly 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 revolutionize the conventional interpretations of Lenin.