Vladimir Lenin

Historical Figure, Politician

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (Влади́мир Ильи́ч Ле́нин 22 April 1870 – 21 January 1924), born Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Влади́мир Ильи́ч Улья́нов), was the Communist Russian revolutionary who led the October Revolution of 1917....

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    Historical Figure, Politician

  • The Person

    Vladimir Lenin                                    

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  • Lenin and Stalin were alike in their self-confidence, their belief in their infallibility, their absolute faith in the universality of the dictatorship of the proletariat, their ability in handling the masses, their caution and craftiness, their ruthlessness. But, while Lenin was Stalin’s spiritual father, they were very different people in their personal behaviour. Lenin did not like to have his photograph taken, while for Stalin it was almost a necessity; Lenin had a weakness for foreignlanguage dictionaries and would leaf through one before going to sleep; Stalin’s bedtime reading was more likely to be manuscripts of textbooks and scripts requiring his approval. The archives contain many such texts bearing his peremptory judgments. Lenin was reserved where hard drink was concerned, though he liked good beer. Stalin preferred vodka and brandy, but towards the end of his life he drank only Georgian wine. Neither had close friends when they were in power, although that is not surprising: the moral bonds of friendship cannot withstand hierarchical restraint. Bukharin, for example, tried to save himself in endless letters to Stalin, addressing him as ‘dear Koba’ and signing himself in the familiar form. It was a one-sided correspondence: Bukharin pleaded, debased himself, extolled ‘Koba’, but it did not save him.

    Dmitri VolkogonovLenin

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