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:
“In this part of the world it is considered a ground for complaint if a mans writings admit of more than one interpretation.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“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)
“If someday I make a dictionary of definitions wanting single words to head them, a cherished entry will be To abridge, expand, or otherwise alter or cause to be altered for the sake of belated improvement, ones own writings in translation.”
—Vladimir Nabokov (18991977)