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Lenin Lives!: The Lenin Cult in Soviet Russia, Enlarged Edition Paperback – May 25, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0674524316 ISBN-10: 0674524314

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Lenin Lives!: The Lenin Cult in Soviet Russia, Enlarged Edition + The Birth of the Propaganda State: Soviet Methods of Mass Mobilization, 1917-1929 + A Century of Violence in Soviet Russia
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (May 25, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674524314
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674524316
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #762,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

There were important reasons for embalming Lenin, and they are thoroughly and meticulously described in Nina Tumarkin's book. This is an exquisite work which might be variously labeled a study in the sociology of religion or in the political and ideological history of the Soviet Union. It analyzes in great detail the emergence, development, and significance of the quasi-religious, state-imposed cult of Lenin in the history of Soviet ideology and institutions...Vivid, learned, and elegant. (Leszek Kolakowski New Republic)

An excellent book on an important subject...In unravelling the historical origins of the cult [Tumarkin] has done us a considerable service. She displays, moreover, a wide range of learning and an acute perception. (Geoffrey A. Hosking Times Literary Supplement)

Neither a work of hagiography nor part of the trend of debunking historiography, this work sets itself a far more sophisticated task. The aim is to dig deep under the veneer of political resolutions and rhetoric of Soviet life to understand both the world view of the venerated (Lenin until his death in January 1924, and then the mythic elements of the Soviet order that he came to represent), and the motivations and belief systems of the venerators, that is, what used to be called the masses...The book overall is a stimulating and remarkably well-written analysis of an important phenomenon. Neither hagiography nor demonology (although the two usually march hand in hand), the work provides a balanced and enjoyable discussion of a facet of the Soviet experience that places the rest in perspective. (Richard Sakwa Labour History Review [UK])

About the Author

Nina Tumarkin is Professor of History at Wellesley College and a Fellow at the Russian Research Center at Harvard University.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By zhenya on October 30, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is a very good book about how Lenin was made into a god to Russia. There is a lot of detail about Lenin's life, but more about what happened to Lenin after he died. It was not to surprising his body was preserved and put on display. In this way he was treated as the Orthodox Church has always revered its saints by keeping relics and body parts. Lenin's wife was angry that Lenin was not properly buried, but Stalin's idea was to make him into a saint. For all the years following Lenin was practically worshipped. This book shows how the cult was created by the Communist Party and forced on Russian citizens. The book treats Russians and Lenin with respect, and it has very good history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 12, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent resource, and was written in a style
that was absolutely rivetting and was difficult to put down. It
covers the life of Vladimir Ulyanov; perhaps one of the greatest
and most influential persons of the past century, and explains
how his persona was used to influence people well beyond
his death. For me, a person who has befriended a couple of
Russians that defected from the Soviet Union in the 1980's, it
explains how no matter how dissatisfied Russians became with
their government, Lenin is still a hero to them, and probably
always will be. A splendid read that I highly recommend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alexandria Hamilton on December 21, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I took 4 classes with Professor Tumarkin while at Wellesley, and her book does not disappoint. Surprisingly readable, and entirely relevant to modern politics. If you want to understand how government-designed cults replace religion in society, or why subsequent figures like Mao, Idi Amin, Pol Pot and Mugabi were able to gain so much support, you must start with Lenin and this book.
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