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Best biography on Lenin?

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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 May 2006, 12:04
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Post 08 May 2010, 18:54
Hello all. What would you say is the best (balanced) biography on Lenin?. Thanks!
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Jul 2007, 06:59
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
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Post 08 May 2010, 23:09
Excellent question. I'll eagerly wait for answers.

There's a comic-book version that's pretty funny and easy to understand (it's pro-Leninist, I don't know if that qualified as "balanced").

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Not exactly the best. But it's a very short read that you can present others with.


I found a semblance of Lenin written by Krupskaia in a used book store, but I didn't have any money. When I returned, the book was gone. Sucks.

www.leninist.biz includes a couple of books on Lenin.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Oct 2007, 15:55
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
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Post 08 May 2010, 23:27
I've written a paper on Lenin last year, my primary source was Lenin: A Biography by Robert Service. I didn't read most of it since it was a huge book. It was rather balanced with some minor tipping toward Lenin being a hypocritical tyrant. I didn't enjoy the book itself as I didn't know Lenin's life was so boring lol.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 May 2006, 12:04
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Post 10 May 2010, 16:31
The thing with Robert Service is that some people talk about him as a clear "anti-communist" and other people say he is really unbiased in his books on communism. I don't know what to think and I don't want to waste my money and an anti-communist book....
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 11 Sep 2009, 07:33
Ideology: Left Communism
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Post 11 May 2010, 00:08
I find Service is rather unbiased, as much as he could be. I read "Lenin: A biography", and found it a good portrait of Lenin and his life and personality. I didn't think it criticized him unfairly. For example, Service starts out by saying that he feels he takes the route between those who revere Lenin as a saint, and those who call Lenin a blood-thirsty monster. Ultimately, Lenin is human, and the book focuses on Lenin as a human, not Lenin's philosophy or politics. But, unless you'll need it for a long time to come, check it out of the library if you can; always better than spending money if you only need it temporarily. Or find a copy on-line somehow.

And speaking of "unbiased" histories, has anyone read Maurice Meisner's works on China? I studied some for my class on modern Chinese history and wanted to know what people on here think of Meisner. I found him pretty unbiased, willing to give the reader historical facts and leave the reader to make up their mind; he did insert some opinions, but not many It made him sort of dry though, but that's what i was looking for.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 May 2006, 12:04
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Post 14 May 2010, 21:33
I think I'll give Service book a chance. Thanks a lot to you all for your opinions!. I'm afraid I haven't read anything of Maurice Meisner...
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 11 Nov 2009, 07:13
Ideology: Other Leftist
Politburo
Post 24 May 2010, 20:08
L is for Lenin is another comic book that I enjoyed
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 05 Dec 2010, 16:17
Komsomol
Post 28 Dec 2010, 00:37
I have Service's biography on Lenin, how is his biogaphy on Stalin?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Nov 2010, 13:37
Komsomol
Post 28 Dec 2010, 06:33
Comrade Gromyko wrote:
Hello all. What would you say is the best (balanced) biography on Lenin?. Thanks!

I recommended Lenin and The Russian Revolution (1972) by Christopher Hill. Very comprehensive
. I like the part about the Lenin cult of personality. Such as how the Armenian describe Lenin as a hero who rides white horse and lead the oppressed people, etc.

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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 04 Aug 2004, 20:49
Ideology: Democratic Socialism
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Post 07 Jan 2011, 00:31
Soviet192491 wrote:
I've written a paper on Lenin last year, my primary source was Lenin: A Biography by Robert Service. I didn't read most of it since it was a huge book. It was rather balanced with some minor tipping toward Lenin being a hypocritical tyrant. I didn't enjoy the book itself as I didn't know Lenin's life was so boring lol.

Service is a shit. He BASICALLY actually says something along the lines of "Lenin had the Revolution in 1917 as he was ill and wanted to get it out of the way" - then he woulda bloody done it sooner and certainly not have told the Kiev Soviet to claim legitimate monopoly of its region (as they were minority, he told them to wait until they were). Rubbish, utter rubbish.

David Shub's biography is cheaply obtainable and well worth reading. I shan't go into HOW MUCH I despise Volkogonov.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 23 Dec 2010, 11:43
Pioneer
Post 08 Jan 2011, 13:19
i don't rate Service he is a poor writer apart from anything else, his lenin biography is ok but his work on communism in general comrades is very weak with many errors.
Another british historian Christopher Read has written a better if less comprehensive book on Lenin. i would recommend that and Zizeks long essay on Lenin from the NLR.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Feb 2011, 00:02
Ideology: Trotskyism
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Post 26 Mar 2011, 02:44
My personal favorite is "The life and death of Lenin" by Robert Payne
I seems tipped towards anti-Lenin but I found it relatively balanced.
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