Aakar Books

: Lars T. Lih EDITOR(S) Lenin Rediscovered: What Is to be Done? ISBN : 978-93-5002-210-8 In Context PUBLISHER YEAR PRICE TERRITORY SUBJECT : : : : : : SIZE Demy octavo Aakar Books 2013 Rs. 895.00 World Political Science

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 Germanlanguage 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 revolutionise the conventional interpretations of Lenin. 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.

Illustrations Note on the Text

‘The Merger of Socialism and the Worker Movement’ 2. Lenin’s Erfurtian Drama 8. The World of What Is to Be Done? 7. The Iskra Period Part II. Russian Foes of Erfurtianism 5. Erfurtianism 1. After the Second Congress Conclusion Annotations Part One: Section Analysis Annotations Part Two: Scandalous Passages TRANSLATION Note on the Translation Lenin’s What Is to be Done? Foreword Chapter I: Dogmatism and ‘Freedom of Criticism’ Chapter II: The Stikhiinost of the Masses and the Purposiveness of Social Democracy Chapter III: Tred-iunionist Politics and Social-Democratic Politics Chapter IV: The Artisanal Limitations of the Economists and the Organisation of Revolutionaries Chapter V: The ‘Plan’ for an All-Russian Political Newspaper Conclusion . Lenin’s Significant Others 4.Glossary Acknowledgements COMMENTARY Introduction Part I. The Purposive Worker and the Spread of Awareness Part III. A Russian Erfurtian 3. The Organisational Question: Lenin and the Underground 9. A Feud Within Russian Erfurtianism 6.

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