Lenin: A Biography

Lenin: A Biography

by Robert Service

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Overview

Lenin is a colossal figure whose influence on twentieth-century history cannot be underestimated. Robert Service has written a calmly authoritative biography on this seemingly unknowable figure. Making use of recently opened archives, he has been able to piece together the private as well as the public life, giving the first complete picture of Lenin.

This biography simultaneously provides an account of one of the greatest turning points in modern history. Through the prism of Lenin's career, Service examines events such as the October Revolution and the ideas of Marxism-Leninism, the one-party state, economic modernisation, dictatorship, and the politics of inter-war Europe. In discovering the origins of the USSR, he casts light on the nature of the state and society which Lenin left behind and which have not entirely disappeared after the collapse of the Soviet regime in 1991.

'Immensely scholarly but also vivid and readable. This is a splendid book, much the best that I have ever read about Lenin ...I was overwhelmed by the power and vividness of this portrait.' Dominic Lieven, Sunday Telegraph

'He has managed skilfully to depict the surreal life of an obsessive, brilliant and stubborn individual' Guardian

'Lenin's life was politics, but Service has succeeded in keeping Lenin the man in focus throughout . . . This book deserves a place among the best studies of one of the most fascinating figures in modern history' Harold Shukman, The Times

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780330476331
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Publication date: 02/21/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 1,025,645
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Robert Service is a Fellow of the British Academy and of St Anthony's College, Oxford. He has written several books, including the highly acclaimed Lenin: A Biography, Russia: Experiment with a People , Stalin: A Biography and Comrades: A History of World Communism, as well as many other books on Russia's past and present. Trotsky: A Biography was awarded the 2009 Duff Cooper Prize. Married with four children, he lives in London.

Table of Contents

Prefacexi
Note on Transliteration and Calendarsxiii
List of Illustrationsxv
Glossary of Names of Lenin and his Familyxvii
Mapsxix
Introduction1
1The Rebel Emerges
1.The Ulyanovs and the Blanks13
2.Childhood in Simbirsk 1870-188531
3.Deaths in the Family 1886-188747
4.The Ploughing of the Mind 1887-188861
5.Paths to Revolution 1889-189374
6.St Petersburg 1893-189591
7.To Siberian Italy 1895-1900107
2Lenin and the Party
8.An Organisation of Revolutionaries 1900-1902129
9.'Holy Fire' 1902-1904147
10.Russia From Far and Near 1905-1907166
11.The Second Emigration 1908-1911184
12.Almost Russia! 1912-1914202
13.Fighting for Defeat 1914-1915222
14.Lasting Out 1915-1916235
3Seizing Power
15.Another Country February to April 1917253
16.The Russian Cockpit May to July 1917270
17.Power for the Taking July to October 1917287
18.The October Revolution October to December 1917308
19.Dictatorship Under Siege Winter 1917-1918324
20.Brest-Litovsk January to May 1918338
21.At Gunpoint May to August 1918356
4Defence of the Revolution
22.War Leader 1918-1919373
23.Expanding the Revolution April 1919 to April 1920391
24.Defeat in the West 1920406
25.The New Economic Policy January to June 1921421
26.A Question of Survival July 1921 to July 1922435
27.Disputing to the Last September to December 1922451
28.Death in the Big House 1923-1924464
Lenin: The Afterlife481
Notes495
Select Bibliography522
Index531

What People are Saying About This

There is nothing approaching Service's book in Russian. In English, no one has examined Lenin's career as microscopically as Service or attempted to bring the man and his works into a single and, at the same time, comprehensive focus. Service makes quite clear the inordinate costs of Lenin's revolutionary activity for Russia and the world. But he conveys this assessment by scrupulous reconstruction of his subject's career and careful criticism of existing interpretations. This is the ablest, the most accurate, and the most up-to-date treatment of the subject that we have, or will have for a very long time.

Abbott Gleason

Service knows as much about Lenin's life as anybody around. What he has done is to write a more personal biography of Lenin than has ever been written before. A great deal of new material has come out since 1991 or even a bit earlier, especially on Lenin's personal life--on his health, physical and psychic. The book enriches Lenin's life with detail and should be made widely available.
Abbott Gleason, author of Totalitarianism

Martin Malia

There is nothing approaching Service's book in Russian. In English, no one has examined Lenin's career as microscopically as Service or attempted to bring the man and his works into a single and, at the same time, comprehensive focus. Service makes quite clear the inordinate costs of Lenin's revolutionary activity for Russia and the world. But he conveys this assessment by scrupulous reconstruction of his subject's career and careful criticism of existing interpretations. This is the ablest, the most accurate, and the most up-to-date treatment of the subject that we have, or will have for a very long time.
Martin Malia, author of Russia Under Western Eyes

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