Lenin and the Making of the Soviet State: A Brief History with Documents / Edition 1

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Vladimir Ilich Lenin (1870-1924) led the first successful revolt against market-based liberal democracy and founded the Soviet state in 1917, serving as the new nation's chief architect and sole ruler for the next five years. He created an innovative political, economic, social, and cultural system that in its heyday would challenge the military, technological, and cultural might of the United States. This collection of primary sources allows readers to learn about Lenin through his own words and explores the complicated relationship between Lenin's actions and his ideology. Jeffrey Brooks and Georgiy Chernyavskiy have translated newly available documents that make it possible to provide a more accurate portrait of this ruthless strategist. Document headnotes, a chronology, questions for consideration, and a selected bibliography offer additional pedagogical support and encourage students to analyze the actions and beliefs of a man who transformed world history and whose legacy continues to affect social and political movements throughout the world.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312412661
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
  • Publication date: 10/27/2006
  • Series: Bedford Series in History and Culture
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 671,611
  • Product dimensions: 5.84 (w) x 8.16 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Meet the Author

JEFFREY BROOKS is a professor of history at Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of Thank You Comrade Stalin! Soviet Public Culture from Revolution to Cold War (2000) and When Russia Learned to Read: Literacy and Popular Literature, 1861-1917 (1985; reprinted 2003), which won the Vucinich Prize of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies for best book by an American in 1985. Professor Brooks received the Johns Hopkins Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award in Arts and Sciences for 2004. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship.

GEORGIY CHERNYAVSKIY, an independent researcher, was a professor at Kharkov University until 1996. His most recent books, both published in Russian, are Sagas of the Truth and Lies: Political Dramas of the Twentieth Century (2004) and The Shadow of the Devil's Wing: Bolshevism and National Socialism—A Comparative Historical Analysis (2003).

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Table of Contents




V. I. Lenin and the Founding of the Soviet State
The Russia of Lenin's Youth
Lenin as Revolutionary
World War I and the Russian Revolution
Bolshevik Rule and the New Soviet State
War Communism: Ideology or Pragmatism?
Lenin's Last Active Years: The New Economic Policy and Other Innovations
Lenin's Decline
Lenin's Legacy


1. Lenin and the Bolshevik Seizure of Power, 1900–1917
Lenin as a Theorist of Revolution
1. From The Urgent Tasks of Our Movement, December 1900
2. From What Is to Be Done? 1902
3. From The Party Organization and Party Literature, November 1905
4. From Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, 1916
5. From The State and Revolution, 1917

The Path to the Bolsheviks' Seizure of Power
6. From The Tasks of the Proletariat in the Present Revolution (April Theses), April 1917
7. From Speech in Favor of the Resolution on the War, April 27 (May 10), 1917
8. From Resolution on the National Question, May 1917
9. From An Open Letter to the Delegates of the All-Russian Congress of Peasants' Deputies, May 7 (29), 1917
10. From The Political Situation, July 10 (July 23), 1917
11. From The Impending Catastrophe and How to Combat It, September 27 (October 10), 1917
12. From One of the Fundamental Questions of the Revolution, October 10 (September 27), 1917

2. The Monopolization of Power during the Civil War: 1917–1920
Toward One-Party Power
13. From To Workers, Soldiers, and Peasants! October 25 (November 7), 1917
14. From Resolution of the Central Committee of the RSDLP(B)on the Opposition within the Central Committee, November 2 (15), 1917
15. Decree on the Arrest of the Leaders of the Civil War against the Revolution, November 28 (December 11), 1917
16. From Draft Decree on the Dissolution of the Constituent Assembly, January 6 (19), 1918
17. From Speech to Propagandists on Their Way to the Provinces, February 5, 1918
18. Interview Granted to an Izvestia Correspondent in Connection with the Left Socialist-Revolutionary Revolt, July 8, 1918

The Bolshevik Terror and the Stigmatization of Public Enemies
19. Draft Resolution on Freedom of the Press, November 4 (17), 1917
20. Letter to G. I. Blagonravov and V. D. Bonch-Bruevich, December 8 (21), 1917
21. Telegram to V. L. Paniushkin, June 15, 1918
22. From Letter to G. E. Zinoviev, June 26, 1918
23. From Report of the Council of People's Commissars on the Fifth All-Russia Congress of Soviets, July 5, 1918
24. Telegram to the Penza Gubernia Executive Committee of the Soviets, August 19, 1918
25. From Letter to Maxim Gorky, September 15, 1919

Problems of War and World Revolution
26. The Socialist Fatherland Is in Danger! February 21, 1918
27. V. I. Lenin and others, From Resolution on War and Peace, March 8, 1918
28. From Letter to the Workers and Peasants apropos of the Victory over Kolchak, August 24, 1919
29. From Letter to American Workers, August 20, 1918
30. From Speech at the Opening Session of the Congress, March 2, 1919
31. From ‘Left-Wing' Communism — an Infantile Disorder, April–May 1920
32. From Report on the International Situation and the Fundamental Tasks of the Communist International to the Second Congress of Comintern, July 19, 1920
33. From Political Report to the Ninth All-Russia Conference of the RCP(B), September 20, 1920
War Communism and the Invention of a Command Economy
34. From The Immediate Tasks of the Soviet Government, March-April 1918 (published in Pravda on April 28, 1918)
35. From Organization of Food Detachments, June 27, 1918
36. From Speech to the First All-Russian Congress of Land Departments, Poor Peasants' Committees, and Communes, December 11, 1918
37. From Political Report of the Central Committee to the Eighth All-Russian Conference of the RCP(B), December 2, 1919

3. Threats to the Revolution: The Development of the New Economic Policy
Disputes and Opposition in the Party, 1920–1921
38. From The Party Crisis, January 21 (February 3), 1921
39. Summary of Lenin's Remarks at the Conference of the Delegates to the Tenth Congress of the RCP(B)—Supporters of the Platform of Ten, March 13, 1921
40. From Preliminary Draft Resolution of the Tenth Congress of the RCP on Party Unity, March 1921
Anti-Bolshevik Popular Uprisings and the Shift in Policy
41. From Report on the Political Work of the Central Committee of the RCP(B) on the Tenth Congress of the RCP(B), March 8, 1921
42. Rough Draft of Theses Concerning the Peasants, February 8, 1921

Lenin's Objective in the New Economic Policy
43. From Report on the Substitution of a Tax in Kind for the Surplus Grain Appropriation System, March 15, 1921
44. Draft Resolution on the Question of the New Economic Policy for the Tenth Conference of the RCP(B), May 1921
45. V. I. Lenin and V. M. Molotov, Telegram to All Provincial and Regional Party Committees of the RCP(B), July 30, 1921
46. From The Political Report of the Central Committee of the RCP(B) to the Eleventh Congress of the RCP(B), March 27, 1922

Economic Policy under the NEP
47. From Five Years of the Russian Revolution and the Prospects of the World Revolution: Report to the Fourth Congress of the Communist International, November 13, 1922
48. Letter to Maxim Gorky, December 6, 1921

The Institutionalization of a One-Party System
49. From We Have Paid Too Much, April 9, 1922
50. Letter to I. V. Stalin, July 17, 1922

Toward a Single Spiritual and Cultural System
51. Letter to A. V. Lunacharsky, May 6, 1921
52. Letter to V. M. Molotov for the Politburo of the CC of RCP(B), January 12, 1922
53. From The Tasks of the Youth Leagues, October 2, 1920
54. From Letter to V. M. Molotov for the Members of the CC of RCP(B), March 19, 1922

4. The Sick Leader: De Facto Removal from Power
55. The Letter to Stalin for Politburo of RCP(B) CC, June 15, 1922
56. From Letter to the Congress: Continuation of the Notes, December 24, 1922
57. Letter to I. V. Stalin, March 5, 1923

Lenin's Last Thoughts
58. From On Co-operation, January 4 and 6, 1923
59. From The Question of Nationalities or "Autonomization," December 30, 1922

Chronology of V. I. Lenin's Life (1870–1924)
Questions for Consideration
Selected Bibliography

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