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The State and Revolution (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin) 1992nd Edition

21 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0140184358
ISBN-10: 014018435X
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Language Notes

Text: English, Russian (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Vladimir Lenin was born in 1870 and was one of the most influential people of the 20th century. He became a Russian revolutionary, a communist politician, the principal leader of the October Revolution, the first head of the Russian Soviet Socialist Republic and, from 1922, the first de facto leader of the Soviet Union.
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Product Details

  • Series: Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; 1992 edition (May 4, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014018435X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140184358
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #291,900 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By B. Alcat on December 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
V. I. Lenin wrote this book in 1917, while he was hiding from the Russian government. Lenin pointed out that "The question of the relation of the state to the social revolution, and of the social revolution to the state, like the question of revolution generally, was given very little attention by the leading theoreticians and publicists of the Second International (1889-1914)". He wanted to correct that oversight, and that is probably the main reason why he wrote this book.

"The State and revolution" is a very short book, well structured and not difficult to read at all. Initially this pamphlet was going to have seven chapters, but Lenin didn't conclude the seventh, due to the outbreak of the Russian revolution. In the postscript to the first edition he explains that, saying that due to the reasons already explained the conclusion of the seventh chapters would have to be put off for quite a long time, but that all the same "It is more pleasant and useful to go through the `experience of revolution' than to write about it".

The main idea in "The State and revolution" is that the State is a product of the irreconcilability of class antagonisms, and an instrument for the exploitation of the oppressed class (a "special coercive force" that rules through violence). The State of the bourgeoisie will disappear, but only through a revolution that will take the people to the dictatorship of the proletariat. The proletariat (the working class) will become then the ruling class, "capable of crushing the inevitable and desperate resistance of the bourgeoisie, and of organizing all the working and exploited people for the new economic system.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is one of books most interesting and challenging books I've ever read. It is enjoyable and the writing style is wonderful. However, the ideas are what I most enjoyed. Whether you agree or disagree with Lenin, this book is an important marker in modern political analysis. Personally, I loved it and find myself returning to it often for clarity and inspiration.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Caligastia145 on November 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book on the role of the state after a revolution, how it will wither away, and what a society should look like ( or try to mould itself into ) after the revolution. Lenin, drawing on the works of Marx and Engels extensively, refutes many claims by both the Anarchists and opportunists on the role of the state, and corrects many common errors believed about the Marxist road to Socialism. This is a thoroughly informative read. I recommend those wondering how a Communist society would emerge after a revolution to get this book; It will open your eyes widely.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Red Okie on December 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
I believe this is the best, concise revolutionary analysis of the role of the State ever written.

I find it very annoying that here in the US, while many students may cursorily read the Communist Manifesto in school, I have never once met ANYONE in my life who has read the basic works of Lenin except for avowed Marxists (and only a minority of these)....and being a Communist myself, I have asked several students, and often looked through university bookstores to see if any poli-sci or history professors would break the "no Lenin allowed" rule.

Consequently, there are many people on the "left" who pretend to understand Marx and/or Marxism, but still make the exact same errors to which Lenin here responded over 80 years ago.

For example, someone just this week argued to me than Lenin was "not a real Marxist" (!!!) because he "introduced" the notion of "dictatorship of the proletariat", which was "alien" to Marx (hint: read Chapter 4 of Marx's Critique of the Gotha Programme for just one of many passages which prove this notion

totally false). State and Revolution gives many more examples of extensive quotes from Marx & Engels. One of the greates merits of S&R is that it restores the revolutionary essence to Marx, which was obscured and watered-down by the Social Democrat reformists of the 2nd International led by Karl Kautsky. Incidentally, the concept of the "dictatorship of the proletariat" has been much distorted by capitalist demagogues and anti-communist "leftists" into something completely alien to its original meaning.

To all "Left academics" and others, don't assume (or pretend) you know anything about Marx or Lenin if you've never read them...
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By C. E. R. Mendonça on January 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
_State and Revolution_ is a complicated book in the annals of Marxist thinking. Lenin assigns above all a class role to the State, and therefore ascertains correctly the necessity of a socialist state assuming a proletarian viewpoint. At the same time, Lenin's socialist state lacks a truly political dimension, as it remains, above all, a means for strictly administrative decision-making. Something that would gravely hamper the subsequent understanding of the political character of a future socialist state, specially when you think that this book was written while Lenin hid from the Kerensky government, that's to say just before the October Revolution. Neverthless, the problems put by the book have enormous present value. Therefore it must be taken as entirely questionable the decision to choose as translator an anti-communist like Service, something that would be quite like choosing a neo-stalinist to translate Trotsky's "Revolution Betrayed".
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The State and Revolution (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin)
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