The Life of Lenin

Since there s never been a really good English biography of Lenin, the idea of doing something about it came or less simultaneously to three authors As soon as each heard the others were at work, the race to get published was on Stefan Possony won it, but Authors Payne Fischer were close behind Each biography seems tailored to a specific audience Robert PaynSince there s never been a really good English biography of Lenin, the idea of doing something about it came or less simultaneously to three authors As soon as each heard the others were at work, the race to get published was on Stefan Possony won it, but Authors Payne Fischer were close behind Each biography seems tailored to a specific audience Robert Payne, a prolific catholic writer, has produced a Book of the Month selection aimed at romantics Stefan Possony, political studies director at Stanford s Hoover Institution, will appeal most obviously to believers in conspiratorial views of history, since his research comes from police foreign office files, ranging from Japan to France, covering mostly Lenin s life as a fugitive conspirator On balance, Louis Fischer s is the best of the three Fischer has devoted much of his long lifetime to the study of Russia The Soviets in World Affairs Russia, America the World He soberly weighs those episodes the other two biographers sometimes accept as fact, offering the pros cons of each argument For example, there s a genuine riddle about Lenin s racial background Payne insists there was not a drop of Russian blood in Lenin, claiming his ancestry was German, Swedish Chuvash, that it shaped his personality Without citing any evidence, Possony argues that the evidence indicates Lenin s grandfather was born a Jew Fischer places the responsibility where it belongs, on the Soviet government The records were undoubtedly available in Russia s bulging archives, but the Bolsheviks saw fit to suppress them This feeds the suspicion that there is something to conceal What emerges most strikingly from all three biographies is the awesome power of a singleminded man to change the course of history If the Kaiser had refused to let Lenin cross wartime Germany enter Russia, if Kerensky s government had succeeded in arresting executing Lenin, would the Bolsheviks be merely a footnote to history Not the least of the paradoxes is the fact that Communism, which teaches the inevitability of historical forces the impotence individuals in swaying them, owes its conquest of Russia to the energy confident thrust of Lenin alone Time edited
The Life of Lenin Since there s never been a really good English biography of Lenin the idea of doing something about it came or less simultaneously to three authors As soon as each heard the others were at work the

  • Title: The Life of Lenin
  • Author: Louis Fischer
  • ISBN: 9781842122303
  • Page: 462
  • Format: None
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    1 thought on “The Life of Lenin”

    1. Gigantic book dealing with a gigantic man. I still don't know how to feel about Lenin, but one thing is for sure: he is undeniable. Here's what I can say about Lenin, without doubting: he was a tireless zealot in pursuit of what he thought was the greater good, and he meant to achieve it by any means necessary. He was, in the words of Louis Fischer, "the steel that bends", that is, he had an admirable capacity to depart from theory if it did not suit the practice. And when does theory ever do th [...]

    2. This was NOT a good read, at least not in the sense of being an enjoyable book to read. I wanted to know more about Russia in general and have read a series of books on the topic. Obviously, Lenin is an important part of that story. But his life was NOT very interesting, certainly not once the revolution had occurred. I suppose it is interesting to read all of his speculations about how world history would go, though he was wrong on so many different issues (as the author does a good job of indi [...]

    3. I read the 1964 Harper and Row edition of this biography while trying to come to grips with Marxism in high school during the late sixties. Fischer, familiar to me from his Life of Mahatma Gandhi, seemed a safe way to proceed with the problematic Lenin after having read Isaac Deutscher's three volume biography of the easier-to-idealize Trotsky.Although Fischer had been sympathetic to the Soviet experiment in his early years, the excesses following the revolution led to his disillusionment. This [...]

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