Reconstructing Lenin: An Intellectual Biography


ISBN 9789350023549
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ISBN 9789350023549


Vladimir Ilyich Lenin is among the most enigmatic and influential figures of the twentieth century. While his life and work are crucial to any understanding of modern history and the socialist movement, generations of writers on the left and the right have seen fit to embalm him with superficial analysis or dreary dogma. Now, after the fall of the Soviet Union and “actually exiting” socialism, it is possible to consider Lenin afresh, with sober senses trained on his historical context and how it shaped his theoretical and political contributions.Reconstructing Lenin, four decades in the making and now available in English for the first time, is an attempt to do just that.

An esteemed Hungarian scholar writing in the tradition of György Lukas, Karusz makes a major contribution to a growing field of contemporary Lenin studies. This rich and penetrating account reveals Lenin busy at the work of revolution, his thought shaped by immediate political events but never straying far from a coherent theoretical perspective. Krausz balances detailed descriptions of Lenin’s time and place with lucid explications of his intellectual development, covering a range of topics like war and revolution, dictatorship and democracy, socialism and utopianism.Reconstructing Leninwill change the way you look at a man and a movement; it will also introduce the English-speaking world to a profound radical scholar.

Tamás Krauszis Professor of Russian History at the Eötvös Loránd Univesity of Sciences in Budapest, and Head of the Department of Eastern European Studies. One of the best-known radical intellectuals and political activists in Hungary, he has published widely throughout the world and is the President of the Editorial Board ofEszmélet, the sole Marxist theoretical and political quarterly in Hungary, founded in 1989.


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