• Robert Service


Early formative influences are not entirely comprehensible even by the person who has experienced them. These are general problems for the observer. They are particularly formidable when the subject of enquiry is dead. Lenin’s case is among the most difficult; he died so long ago that none of his acquaintances is alive either. He also had that important defect as an autobiographer that he disliked writing about himself. The memoirs by his friends and enemies are thin gruel. And the information on his background, never very generously served, is at its meagrest for the years of his childhood and adolescence.


Political Life Peasant Commune Peasant Revolt Russian Empire Absolute Monarchy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    See M. Shaginyan, ‘Predki Lenina’, Novyi Mir, 1937, no. 11, pp. 269–80Google Scholar
  2. and A. I. Ivanskii (ed.), Il’ya Nikolaevich Ul’yanov po vospominaniyam sovremennikov i dokumentam (Moscow, 1963) pp. 8–18Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Idem, pp. 54–6. Sensible accounts of Lenin’s maternal ancestry are given in L. Fischer, The Life of Lenin (London, 1966) pp. 2–4Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    An attempt has been made to demonstrate that the Ulyanov children suffered from an acute sense of social inferiority: see S. Page, ‘Lenin, Turgenev and the Russian Landed Gentry’, Canadian Slavonic Papers, 1976, no. 4, pp. 442–56.Google Scholar
  5. 10.
    See M. Semenov’s memoir in A. I. Ivanskii (ed.), Molodoi Lenin: povest’ v dokumentakh i memuarakh (Moscow, 1964) p. 575.Google Scholar
  6. 12.
    N. Valentinov, The Early Years of Lenin (Ann Arbor, 1969) p. 91.Google Scholar
  7. 13.
    See P. A. Zaionchkovskii, Krizis samoderzhaviya na rubezhe 1870–1880 gg. (Moscow, 1964) pp. 116–22.Google Scholar
  8. 14.
    See the memoir by P. A. Garvi, Zapiski sotsial-demokrata (1906–1921) (Newtonville, 1982) p. 23.Google Scholar
  9. 16.
    See P. A. Zaionchkovskii, Provedenie v zhizn’ krest’yanskoi reformy 1861 g. (Moscow, 1958) passimGoogle Scholar
  10. J. Blum, Lord and Peasant in Russia from the Ninth to the Nineteenth Century (Princeton, 1961) chs 25–6Google Scholar
  11. P. A. Zaionchkovskii, Otmena krepostnogo prava v Rossii (Moscow, 1961) ch. 1Google Scholar
  12. and D. Field, The End of Serfdom: Nobility and Bureaucracy, 1855–1861 (New York, 1976) passimGoogle Scholar
  13. 17.
    See G. T. Robinson, Rural Russia Under the Old Regime (London, 1932) pp. 94–116.Google Scholar
  14. 18.
    See P. I. Lyashchenko, Istoriya narodnogo khozyaistva SSSR, vol. 2, (Moscow, 1956) pp. 90–171Google Scholar
  15. P. G. Ryndzyunskii, Krest’yanskaya promyshlennost’ v Rossii (Moscow, 1966) passimGoogle Scholar
  16. and O. Crisp, Studies in the Russian Economy before 1914 (London, 1976) chs 4–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 21.
    See R. E. Johnson, Peasant and Proletarian: the Working Class of Moscow in the Late Nineteenth Century (Leicester, 1979) pp. 80–97Google Scholar
  18. W. Sablinsky, The Road to Bloody Sunday (Princeton, 1976) pp. 5–33Google Scholar
  19. R. E. Zelnik, Labor and Society in Tsarist Russia (Stanford, 1971) esp. p. 69 et seqGoogle Scholar
  20. 22.
    On narodnik activity and ideas in the 1870s see F. Venturi, The Roots of Revolution (London, 1960) chs 18 and 19Google Scholar
  21. on the movement’s social philosophy in the same period see A. Walicki, The Controversy Over Capitalism: Studies in the Social Philosophy of Russian Populism (Oxford, 1969), andGoogle Scholar
  22. V. A. Tvardovskaya, Sotsialisticheskaya mysl’ Rossii: na rubezhe 1870–1880 gg. (Moscow, 1969).Google Scholar
  23. 24.
    See his oral recollections as recorded by N. Valentinov: Vstrechi s Leninym (New York, 1953) pp. 92–4.Google Scholar
  24. 26.
    The most extreme version of this time-travelling psychoanalysis is E. V. Wolfenstein, The Revolutionary Personality: Lenin, Trotsky, Gandhi (Princeton, 1967).Google Scholar
  25. 32.
    A. I. Ul’yanova-Elizarova, Vospominaniya ob Aleksandre Il’iche Ul’yanove (Moscow, 1931) pp. 95–6Google Scholar
  26. 35.
    See the account by Aleksandr’s friend O. M. Govorukhin in PR, 1925, no. 7, pp. 114–35.Google Scholar
  27. 44.
    See M. Pushkin, ‘Raznochintsy in the University: Government Policy and Social Change in Nineteenth Century Russia’, International Review of Social History, 1981, part 1, pp. 45–6.Google Scholar
  28. 45.
    See N. A. Troitskii, ‘Russkaya advokatura na politicheskikh protsessakh narodnikov (1871–1890 gg.)’, Iz istorii obshchestvennogo dvizheniya i obshchestvennoi mysli v Rossii (2nd issue: 1968) pp. 89–144.Google Scholar
  29. 46.
    See also the discursive considerations in A. Walicki, History of Russian Thought from the Enlightenment to Marxism (Oxford, 1980) pp. 152–280.Google Scholar
  30. 47.
    See E. H. Carr, Michael Bakunin (London, 1937).Google Scholar
  31. 50.
    and J. H. Billington, N. K. Mikhailovski and Russian Populism (Oxford, 1958) pp. 139–60.Google Scholar
  32. 51.
    See NEL, pp. 417–81 and 482–572 for the relevant extracts from, respectively, Vorontsov’s Sud’by kapitalizma v Rossii (St. Petersburg, 1882) andGoogle Scholar
  33. Danielson’s Ocherki nashego poreformennogo obshchestvennogo khozyaistva (St. Petersburg, 1893)Google Scholar
  34. 58.
    On Tkachev, see D. Hardy Petr Tkachev: the Critic As Jacobin (Seattle, 1972).Google Scholar
  35. 60.
    See note 57. On Chernyshevski, see E. Lampert Sons Against Fathers (Oxford, 1965) pp. 137–67.Google Scholar
  36. 63.
    and, for further background, V. A. Malinin, Filosofiya revolyutsionnogo narodnichestva (Moscow, 1972).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Robert Service 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Service

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations