Lenin and the Russian Revolution

It was Russia’s tragedy, writes Leonard Schapiro, that a greater man than Stalin supplied Stalin with the means to put his nightmare Utopia into practice.

No revolutionary leader's career lends itself to such a wide range of speculation as that of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. For, although he lived long enough to achieve the power for his party that he had striven for all his life, and long enough to put his imprint on the shape of the future Soviet State, his career was cut short at the moment when his influence could have been most decisive.

In March 1921, at a time when Communist power was threatened by internal resistance from peasants and workers alike, and the Communist leadership assailed by rank-and-file opposition, Lenin was at the height of his vigour. At the Tenth Party Congress he laid down the economic and political guide-lines designed to save the Communist monopoly of power which he had worked hard to establish against an increasingly Socialist but not Communist-oriented country.

To continue reading this article you will need to purchase access to the online archive.

Buy Online Access  Buy Print & Archive Subscription

If you have already purchased access, or are a print & archive subscriber, please ensure you are logged in.

Please email digital@historytoday.com if you have any problems.