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Lenin Genesis and Development by Rolf H. W.…
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Lenin Genesis and Development

by Rolf H. W. Theen

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"Lenin" is the biography of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov…..Lenin, the founder of the Bolshevik party and the most powerful leader of the first communist regime. The Russian archives provide ambiguous details about Lenin’s childhood, suppressing ancestry and implying he was “of the people”. Rolf Theen shares rarely released details. Lenin’s ancestors ranged from Doctors, merchants, serfs, and illiterate peasants, of various nationalities including German, Swedish, and possibly Jewish descent.

This book is an excellent reference for understanding how the Russian revolution evolved from a vague idealistic notion to the reality of the 1917 October revolt. Primary focus is on details of what inspired Lenin and how he progressed from a high honors university student to close association with terrorist revolutionaries and his subsequent discovery of Chernyshevsky’s essays and novel “What is to be done?” and Marx’s “Das Capital” and “The Communist Manifesto”. Lenin’s own pamphlet, also called “What is to be Done?” laid the groundwork for the successful takeover of the Czar’s government and rule by a militant political party. Lenin’s dedication and determination only increased as he struggled through years in prison and Siberia. Rolf Theen methodically explains Lenin’s strategy (his distrust of the peasants and his disdain for the bourgeois - the industrial proletariat), the prevailing social conditions in Russia (inflation and food shortages), the dissention within the revolutionary party, and the roles Trotsky and Stalin played in the early stages of the new communist government.

Lenin once wrote “a successful proletarian revolution would lead to the establishment of a stateless and classless society, characterized by rationality, perfect equality, social harmony and justice……Man’s competitive spirit would disappear in the presence of material abundance for all” Utopia! He truly believed in the possibility of a utopian society. For all Lenin’s unwavering dedication, discipline, and devotion to the revolutionary cause and his genius in strategic planning and organization, he had very little insight to human nature, and very little knowledge of how to implement the principles of his new government based on “freedom for all”. Ironically, Lenin turned out to be a tyrant and ruled with an iron fist.

Utopia? "Lenin" helps to illustrate how difficult it is to put theory into practice.
Communism? "Lenin" serves as a dire warning to anyone who believes in democracy and values their freedom. ( )
1 vote LadyLo | Nov 5, 2009 |
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