A History of Bolshevism: From Marx to the First Five Years' Plan

By Arthur Rosenberg; Ian F. D. Morrow | Go to book overview

IX
Lenin'S TESTAMENT, 1922-4

AN apoplectic stroke in 1922 brought to a close Lenin's active life. Although his condition improved towards the close of 1922 and again early in 1923 sufficiently to enable him to deliver a few speeches and write some articles, it soon became worse again and he died in January 1924. After carrying out the Russian Revolution Lenin had assured peace for his fellow countrymen by making an end of both the Civil War and the war with Russia's external enemies. Through the adoption of the NEP he overcame famine and restored a quiet daily life to towns and villages. As ruler of Russia Lenin kept up the same modest and simple habits of life which he had pursued in his furnished room in Zürich. His life-work was characterized throughout by an unvarying regard for reality and he never once permitted himself to be swayed by personal feelings. In the eyes of the nation Lenin was a simple son of Russia who shared the anxieties of his compatriots and was accessible to every one. He abhorred all theatricality because it was unnecessary for his purpose. Hegel said: ' Robespierre declared virtue to be the greatest of all moral qualities and it can with truth be said that he practised what he preached.' The same may be said of Lenin. In the last years of his life Lenin enjoyed unbounded respect among the Russian nation. His body was embalmed and placed in a public mausoleum in the Red Square in Moscow. People come there daily to gaze upon the features of the 'Saint of the Russian Revolution'. No one would have been more astonished than Lenin himself if this posthumous reverence had been prophesied to him. His realism and modesty, nevertheless, did not avail to prevent his becoming the embodiment of all that was mystic in the Russian Revolution.

The great motivating force in Lenin's life was his passionate desire to liberate Russia from the thraldom of the Tsars. Marxism provided him with a weapon ready to his hand. Although his life-work was accomplished on Russian

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A History of Bolshevism: From Marx to the First Five Years' Plan
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface to the English Translation v
  • Preface vii
  • Contents *
  • I - Marx to Lenin, 1843-1893 1
  • II - Revolution in Russia, 1893-1914 20
  • III - The World War 41
  • IV - The Third International 64
  • V - March to October 1917 81
  • VI - The Bolshevik Revolution and War-Time Communism, 1917-21 105
  • VII - The Third International at the Height of Its Revolutionary Power, 1919-21 128
  • VIII - The Great Change 151
  • IX - Lenin's Testament, 1922-4 170
  • X - Stalin Versus Trotsky, 1924-7 193
  • XI - 'socialism in a Single Land', 1927-32 220
  • Bibliography 241
  • Index 247
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