The State and Revolution

The State and Revolution

Paperback Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics

By (author) V. I. Lenin, Edited by Robert Service, Translated by Robert Service

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  • Publisher: PENGUIN CLASSICS
  • Format: Paperback | 192 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 192mm x 14mm | 141g
  • Publication date: 4 May 1993
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 014018435X
  • ISBN 13: 9780140184358
  • Edition statement: Revised ed.
  • Illustrations note: glossary
  • Sales rank: 94,112

Product description

In July 1917, when the Provisional Government issued a warrant for his arrest, Lenin fled from Petrograd; later that year, the October Revolution swept him to supreme power. In the short intervening period he spent in Finland, he wrote his impassioned, never-completed masterwork "The State and Revolution". This powerfully argued book offers both the rationale for the new regime and a wealth of insights into Leninist politics. It was here that Lenin justified his personal interpretation of Marxism, savaged his opponents and set out his trenchant views on class conflict, the lessons of earlier revolutions, the dismantling of the bourgeois state and the replacement of capitalism by the dictatorship of the proletariat. As both historical document and political statement, its importance can hardly be exaggerated. This title is translated and edited with an introduction by Robert Service.

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Author information

Vladimir Lenin was born in 1870 and was one of the most influential people of the 20th century. He became a Russian revolutionary, a communist politician, the principal leader of the October Revolution, the first head of the Russian Soviet Socialist Republic and, from 1922, the first de facto leader of the Soviet Union.

Back cover copy

In July 1917, when the Provisional Government issued a warrant for his arrest, Lenin fled from Petrograd; later that year, The October Revolution swept him to supreme power. In the short intervening period he spent in Finland, he wrote his impassioned, never-completed master work on The State and Revolution ... This powerfully argued book offers both the rationale for the new regime and a wealth of insights into Leninist politics. It was here that Lenin justified his personal interpretation of Marxism, savaged his opponents and set out his trenchant views on class conflict, the lessons of earlier revolutions, the dismantling of the bourgeois state and the replacement of capitalism by the, dictatorship of the proletariat. The result, as Robert Service suggests in his stimulating Introduction, is 'a choral ode to action, intolerance, combat and collectivism, the anthem of Bolshevism in its revolutionary era'. Immediately established as a standard text, it was selectively cited by leaders from Stalin to Gorbachev in support of programmes which differed in important ways. As both historical document and political statement, its importance can hardly be exaggerated.

Table of contents

Part 1 Class society and the state: the state as the product of the irreconcilability of class contradictions; special bodies of armed men, prisons, etc.; the state as an instrument for the exploitation of the oppressed class; the "withering away" of the state and violent revolution. Part 2 The state and revolution - the experience of 1848-51: the eve of the revolution; the revolution in summary; the presentation of the question by Marx in 1852. Part 3 The state and revolution - the experience of the Paris Commune of 1871 - Marx's analysis: what was heroic about the Communards' attempt?; with what is the smashed state machine to be replaced?; the eradication of the parliamentarianism; organization of the unity of the nation; the destruction of the parasite state. Part 4 Continuation - supplementary clarifications by Engels: the housing question; the polemic with the anarchists; letter to Bebel; critique of the draft of the Erfurt Programme; the 1891 Preface to Marx's "The Civil War in France"; Engels on the overcoming of democracy. Part 5 The economic basis for the withering away of the state: the presentation of the question by Marx; the transition from capitalism to Communisim; the first phase of Communist society; the higher phase of Communist society. Part 6 The vulgarization of Marxism by the opportunists: Plekhanov's polemic with the Anarchists; Kautsky's polemic with the opportunists; Kautsky's polemic with Pannekoek. Part 7 The experience of the Russian Revolutions of 1905 and 1917.