Chapter 5

Chapter Sources


1. Nadezhda Krupskaya, “How Lenin Studied Marx,” Marxists Internet Archive, accessed January 20, 2023,

2Amiya Kumar Bagchi, “The Russian Revolution and Its Global Impact,” Social Scientist 46, no. 3-4 (538-539) (2018): 45–54

3. Ibid., 79 and Edmund Wilson, To the Finland Station (Garden City: Doubleday, 1940), 363.

4. Vladimir Lenin, “What Is To Be Done?” Marxists Internet Archive, accessed January 24, 2023,

5. Vladimir Lenin, “What Is To Be Done?” Marxists Internet Archive, accessed August 12, 2023,

6. Sean McMeekin, The Russian Revolution: A New History (New York: Basic Books, 2017), 18-19.

7. Robert Service, Lenin: A Biography (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2000), 167.

8. Harrison Salisbury, Black Night, White Snow: Russia’s Revolutions 1905-1917 (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1978), 125.

9. Quoted in Christopher Rice, Lenin: Portrait of a Professional Revolutionary (London, UK: Cassell, 1990), 88-89.

10. Vladimir Lenin, “Conclusion. Dare We Win?” in “Two Tactics of Social Democracy in the Democratic Revolution,” Marxists Internet Archive, accessed June 28, 2023,

11. Vladimir Lenin, “The Three Sources and Three Component Parts of Marxism,” Marxists Internet Archive, accessed August 12, 2023, 

12. Richard Pipes, Communism: A History (New York, NY: Random House Publishing, 2001), 34-35.

13. Ibid., 34-35.

14. McMeekin, xv.

15. Charles Palm, “The Document That Ended an Empire,” Hoover Institution, July 30, 1999,

16. Pipes, 36. 

17. Ted Widmer, “Lenin and the Russian Spark,” The New Yorker, April 2017, In fact, the passengers disembarked secretly in Frankfort.

18. Pipes, 36. 

19. Ibid., 37.

20. Vladimir Lenin, “On Slogans,” Marxists Internet Archive, accessed January 24, 2023,

21. Pipes, 37.

22. “Meeting of the Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P.(B.) Oct. 10, 1917,” Marxists Internet Archive, accessed January 24, 2023,

23. Alexander Rabinowitch, The Bolsheviks Come to Power: The Revolution of 1917 in Petrograd (Chicago, IL: Haymarket Books, 2004), 276.

24. McMeekin, 261.

25. “Between Method and Execution,” Lapham’s Quarterly, accessed January 22, 2023,

26. William Clarke, The Lost Fortune of the Tsars (New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press, 1995), 66. See also McMeekin, 260-262.

27. Service, 331.

28. Quoted by Vladimir M. Brovkin, “The Mensheviks under Attack: The Transformation of Soviet Politics, June-September, 1918,” Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas New Series 32, no. 3 (1984): 381,

29. Ibid., 383-384.

30. Evan Mawdsley, The Russian Civil War (New York: Pegasus Book, 2007), 287.

31. Pipes, 39.

32. McMeekin, 219-223.

33. Ibid, 273-75 and Choi Chatterjee, Lisa A. Kirschenbaum, and Deborah A. Field, Russia’s Long Twentieth Century: Voices, Memories, Contested Perspectives (London: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, 2016), 56.

34. L. Szamuely, “Major Features of the Economy and Ideology of War Communism,” Acta Oeconomica 7, no. 2 (1971): 144-149,

35. Joseph T. Furmann, “Lenin and Privilege,” The Historian 51, no. 3 (May 1989): 379-401,

36. Albert Mathiez, “Bolshevism and Jacobinism,” Marxists Internet Archive, accessed January 25, 2023,

37. Norman Lowe, Mastering Twentieth-Century Russian History (London, UK: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2020), 151. As with most other periods of state-directed violence, terror, and killing, precise numbers are impossible to come by. The regime committing the atrocities has strong incentives to cover up the extent of the killing, and often simply keeps poor records. Historians and social scientists try to provide plausible figures through a variety of methods, including archival research and demographic statistical estimates. For Lenin’s Red Terror, a figure of around 100,000 executions by the Cheka and Red Army, is the most common estimate. The number of deaths attributed to overall Bolshevik policies, as opposed to direct executions, is far harder to estimate, particularly given the complex causal effects of other historical events (war, the Spanish Flu, etc.).

38. James Ryan, “The Sacralization of Violence: Bolshevik Justifications for Violence and Terror in the Civil War,” Slavic Review 74, no. 4 (Winter 2015): 811,

39. Leon Trotsky, “Chapter 4: Terrorism,” Marxists Internet Archive, accessed January 25, 2023,

40. Jennifer Llewellyn, Michael McConnell, and Steve Thompson, “The Red Terror,” August 11, 2019, Alpha History, accessed January 27, 2023,

41. Vladimir Lenin, “Telegram to Comrades Kuraev, Bosh, Minkin, and other Penza communists, August 11, 1918,” Marxists Internet Archive, accessed June 28, 2023,

42. Lowe, 155.

43. McMeekin, 326.

44. “Epistle to the Faithful,” Russian Revolution and Religion: a collection of documents concerning the suppression of religion by the Communists, 1917-1925, ed. and trans. by Boleslaw B. Szczesniak (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1959), 67-68,

45. McMeekin, 324-34.

46. For the religious overtones of Leninism, see Ryan, 818-825.

47. Stephane Courtois and Nicholas Werth, “From Tambov to the Great Famine,” in The Black Book of Communism: Crime, Terror, Repression (Boston: Harvard University Press, 1999), 116-120.

48. Ibid., 113-114.

49. Chatterjee and Kirschenbaum, 59.

50. Vladimir Lenin, “Report on the Substitution of a Tax in Kind for the Surplus Grain Appropriation System,” Marxists Internet Archive, accessed June 28, 2023,

51. Ibid., 60. Historians disagree on whether War Communism was intended to be permanent. See Szamuely, 143 ff.

52. Chatterjee and Kirschenbaum, 60.

53. Vladimir Lenin, “Letter to L. B. Kamenev,” Marxists Internet Archive, accessed January 25, 2023,

54. Vladimir Lenin, “Letter to the Congress,” Marxists Internet Archive, accessed June 28, 2023,

55. Lenin’s Marxism was also influenced by strands of Russian radicalism from nihilists, populists, and anarchists. Some scholars stress Lenin’s adaptive application of Marxism to Russian history and culture.  See James Ryan. “‘Revolution Is War’: The Development of the Thought of V. I. Lenin on Violence, 1899–1907,” The Slavonic and East European Review 89, no. 2 (2011): 248–73,

56. James A. McAdams, “A Revolutionary Party Emerges,” in Vanguard of the Revolution: The Global Idea of the Communist Party (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017), 59-101,

57. Vladimir Lenin, The State and Revolution, Marxists Internet Archive, accessed June 29, 2023,

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