Lenin was a prolific political theoretician and philosopher who wrote about the practical aspects of carrying out a proletarian revolution; he wrote pamphlets, articles, and books, without a stenographer or secretary, until prevented by illness. He simultaneously corresponded with comrades, allies, and friends, in Russia and world-wide. His Collected Works comprise 54 volumes, each of about 650 pages, translated into English in 45 volumes by Progress Publishers, Moscow 1960–70. The most influential include:
- What is to be Done? (1902) states that a revolution requires a professional vanguard party.
- Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism (1916) explains why capitalism had not collapsed, as Marx had posited, presenting the First World War as a capitalist war for land, resources, and cheap labour.
- The State and the Revolution (1917) interprets the ideas of Marx and Engels, the October Revolution's theoretic basis, and opposes the social-democratic tendency as indecisive in effecting revolution.
- April Theses (1917) propose the socio-economic need for a socialist revolution.
- "Left-Wing" Communism: An Infantile Disorder (1920) sharply criticizes the "ultra-left"
After Lenin's death, the USSR selectively censored his writings, to establish the dogma of the infallibility of Lenin, Stalin (his successor), and the Central Committee; thus, the Soviet fifth edition (55 vols., 1958–65) of Lenin's œuvre deleted the Lenin–Stalin contradictions, and all that was unfavourable to the founder of the USSR. The historian Richard Pipes published a documentary collection of letters and telegrams excluded from the Soviet fifth edition, proposing that edition as incomplete.
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Famous quotes containing the word writings:
“For character, to prepare for the inevitable I recommend selections from [Ralph Waldo] Emerson. His writings have done for me far more than all other reading.”
—Rutherford Birchard Hayes (18221893)
“Accursed who brings to light of day
The writings I have cast away.”
—William Butler Yeats (18651939)
“An able reader often discovers in other peoples writings perfections beyond those that the author put in or perceived, and lends them richer meanings and aspects.”
—Michel de Montaigne (15331592)