‘The State and Revolution’ by Vladimir Lenin ****

‘The State and Revolution’ by Vladimir Lenin

My Dad gave this book to me a couple of years ago, and I picked it up when I felt like a Russian History kick in early December.  I have a different edition to the one pictured, which was published in the Soviet Republic and has no lettering upon its spine – so one can keep it secret upon one’s bookshelf, I suppose.

I am a self-confessed Russian History nerd, and will read anything whatsoever upon the vast and incredibly interesting country’s history.  The subtitle of The State and Revolution is ‘The Marxist Theory of the State and the Tasks of the Proletariat in the Revolution’. The book has been split into quite short and concise chapters, and the information which Lenin presents is organised into shorter sections.

Throughout, Lenin writes about a wealth of information.  He sets out the Marxist theory and how he himself interpreted it, the notion of bourgeois rule, the ‘omnipotence of wealth’, Bolsheviks and Mensheviks and the great divide between the two, propaganda and how it came to be used, universal suffrage and what it means for society, economic development, anarchy, social classes, serfdom, and so on.  He backs up his own ideas and theories with quotes by Marx and Engels throughout.

The State and Revolution has been well written, and the translation has been nicely done too.  It is a great add-on volume to The Communist Manifesto, which I read in my own time at University.  It builds upon the foundations which Marx and Engels present in their book, applying their theories to a real society.  I would certainly recommend it, as it gives a great overview of Communism in Russia, and the doctrines which it was based upon.


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