Lenin: A Political Life: Volume 2: Worlds in Collision

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9780333640623: Lenin: A Political Life: Volume 2: Worlds in Collision
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In this second volume of his Lenin trilogy, Robert Service builds on the approach established in the first. He emphasises the extraordinary circumstances in Russia and the world enabling Lenin to come to power in 1917. He also details ways whereby Lenin led a turbulent Bolshevik party and adjusted its policies so as to gain authority in the soviets. Lenin the crafty and pragmatic politican as well as the utopian and merciless class warrior are portrayed.

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LENIN: His politics still reverberate around the world even after the end of the USSR. His name elicits revulsion and reverence. And yet Lenin the man remains largely a mystery. This biography shows us Lenin as we have never seen him, in his full complexity as revolutionary, political leader, thinker, and private person.

Born Vladimir Illich Ulyanov in 1870, the son of a schools inspector and a doctor's daughter, Lenin was to become the greatest single force in the Soviet revolution -- and perhaps the most influential politician of the twentieth century. Drawing on sources only recently discovered, Robert Service explores the social, cultural, and political catalysts for Lenin's explosion into global prominence. His book gives us the vast panorama of Russia in that awesome vortex of change from tsarism's collapse to the establishment of the communist one-party state. Through the prism of Lenin's career Service focuses on dictatorship, the Marxist revolutionary dream, civil war, and inter-war European politics. And we are shown how Lenin, despite the hardships he inflicted, was widely mourned after his death in 1924.

Robert Service's Lenin is a political colossus but also a believable human being. This biography stresses the importance of his supportive family and of its ethnic and cultural background. Service examines his education, upbringing, and the troubles of his early life to explain the emergence of a rebel whose devotion to destruction proved greater than his love for the 'proletariat' he supposedly served. We are enabled to see how his intellectual preoccupations and inner rage underwent volatile interaction and propelled his career from young Marxist activist to founder ofthe communist party and the Soviet state -- and how he bequeathed to Russia a legacy of political oppression and social intimidation that has yet to be expunged.

Review:

'Dr Service has made excellent use of freshly available original documents but even without them this book would have been outstanding.' - Susan Walker, International Affairs

'...immensely detailed, scholarly biography....' - Richard Pendry, New Statesman and Society

'Robert Service takes such a most welcome broad view in the second volume of his projected trilogy... For this eagerly awaited end to his labours, all power to the Service elbow.' - Paul Dukes, Times Higher Education Supplement

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Robert Service
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ISBN 10: 0333640624 ISBN 13: 9780333640623
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Service, Robert
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ISBN 10: 0333640624 ISBN 13: 9780333640623
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