1st Edition

A Revolutionary Life

ISBN 9780415206495
Published June 12, 2005 by Routledge
336 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations

USD $39.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

From a highly distinguished author on the subject, this biography is an excellent scholarly introduction to one of the key figures of the Russian Revolution and post-Tsarist Russia. Not only does it make use of archive material made newly available in the glasnost and post-Soviet eras, it re-examines traditional sources as well, providing an original interpretation of Lenin's life and historical importance.

Focal points of this study are:

  • Lenin's revolutionary ascetic personality
  • how he exploited culture, education and propaganda
  • his relationship to Marxism
  • his changing class analysis of Russia
  • his 'populist' instincts.

A prominent figure at the forefront of debates on the Russina revolution, Read makes sure that Lenin remains in his place as a highly influential and significant figure of the recent past.

Table of Contents

Contents  Introduction  1. Choosing Revolution  2. Laying the Foundations of Leninism (1896-1902)  3. Constructing Leninism  4. Imperialism, War and Revolution  5. From the Finland Station to the Winter Palace  6. From Classroom to Laboratory - Early Experiments  7. Revolutionary War  8. Re-evaluation, Succession and Testament Conclusion.  Further Reading  Timeline

View More



Christopher Read is Professor of Modern European History at the University of Warwick.  He is author of From Tsar to Soviets: The Russian People and Their Revolution, 1917-21 (1996), Culture and Power in Revolutionary Russia (1990) and The Making and Breaking of the Soviet System (2001).


'[Christpher Read has] produced a very readable, convincing portrait of a human, if not always humane Lenin...For suggestive answers to these and many more major issues of the Russian Revolution, Read's biography deserves a long shelf life.' - European Historical Quarterly