Vladimir Lenin: What Is to Be Done?

(1902)

What Is to Be Done? is a political pamphlet written by Vladimir Ilich Lenin, the architect of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia and one of the chief founders of the Soviet Union. Lenin’s real last name was Ulyanov (sometimes spelled Ulianov). He began writing What Is to Be Done? in 1901, and it was published in 1902 under the name “N. Lenin.” Although it is only a single document in the large corpus of Lenin’s writings, it is often considered his most important. This is because it appears to provide a blueprint for the final form of the Bolshevik Party and therefore also for the revolutionary regime that the party established after seizing power in Russia on November 7–8, 1917 (October 25–26, according to the Russian calendar still in use at that time). In What Is to Be Done? Lenin focuses on questions of political agitation and proper revolutionary organization. In particular, he rejects open mass membership in the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (RSDLP), also...

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Vladimir Lenin (Library of Congress)

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