PROBABLY the best account in English of Marxism as a system of political thought is GEORGE LICHTHEIM'S Marxism: A Historical and Critical Study, published in 1965. A good biography of Marx by an admirer is FRANZ MEHRING's Karl Marx, which first appeared in an English translation in 1938; there is also a biography from a more detached point of view by Isaiah Berlin published in 1948. A critical comparative study of Marxism and Leninism is provided by JOHN PLAMENATZ in his German Marxism and Russian Communism; the Russian intellectual background to the reception of Marxism in the late nineteenth century is described by S. UTECHIN in Russian Political Thought and by S. R. TOMPKINS in The Russian Intelligentsia. DONALD TREADGOLD in Lenin and His Rivals has given a good account of Lenin's contests for leadership in Russian revolutionary politics, and S. UTECHIN in an annotated edition of Lenin's What is to be done? explains the significance of this key text. There is a very large literature on Lenin, but there are very few works which combine an adequate account of Lenin's life with a satisfactory political history of the revolution which he made; outstanding is LOUIS FISCHER's The Life of Lenin, which appeared in 1964.
The most complete historical account of the party founded by Lenin is LEONARD SCHAPIRO's The Communist Party of the Soviet Union, which carries the story to the death of Stalin, with an epilogue "Since Stalin Died". The treatment is detached and critical; more favourable to the régime are the successively produced volumes of E. H. CARP'S A History of the Soviet Union. W. H. CHAMBERLIN'S work The Russian Revolution, published 1935, is still a standard work for the Bolshevik seizure of power and the civil war in Russia; much additional information is contained in DAVID FOOTMAN's Civil War in Russia which came out in 1965. The original élan of the revolution is perhaps best conveyed in JOHN REED's Ten Days that Shook the World.