V. I.   Lenin



To:   L. I. GOLDMAN[2]

Written: Written January 3, 1902
Published: First published in 1928. Sent from Munich to Kishinev. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1974, Moscow, Volume 34, page 93.
Translated: Clemens Dutt
Transcription\Markup: D. Moros
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2005). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.
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Do you consider it essential that the existence of an Iskra print-shop in Russia be kept secret? That is to say: are you against our widely showing the Russian copy abroad?[3]

As regards the general maladjustment of our affairs, of which, according to the person who has recently seen you,[4] you so bitterly complain, we can be of little assistance. The Russian members of the Iskra organisation should form a solid core and achieve a proper distribution of Iskra throughout Russia. That is wholly a matter for the Russian organisation. If we achieve it, success is assured. But without it, maladjustment is inevitable.[1] For the sake of proper distribution and prestige it would be extremely important to print Iskra in Russia, every third or fourth issue, choosing one of more permanent interest. Perhaps No. 13,[5] for example, should be chosen.

But once you do print, print a much larger number of copies; we should try at least once to satiate the whole of Russia. Do you remember how you yourself complained of the small circulation?

Once again, best regards and congratulations on your success!


[1] Do you think Dementiev could act as distributor?—Lenin

[2] Goldman, L. I. (1877-1939)—joined the revolutionary movement in 1893. In 1900 went abroad, where he joined the Iskra organisation. In May 1901 organised an illegal printing-press in Kishinev, where Iskra and other Social-Democratic publications were printed. Was arrested in 1902 and escaped from exile in 1905; was secretary of the Menshevik Iskra editorial board.

After the October Socialist Revolution he worked as business executive and engaged in publishing activities. p. 93

[3] An Iskra illegal printing-press, organised at Kishinev, printed various issues of the newspaper for distribution in Russia. Lenin’s letter refers to the report about the Kishinev press having printed issue No. 10 of Iskra. p. 93

[4] This apparently refers to I. B. Basovsky, who organised a dispatch office in Kiev in August 1901 to handle Iskra literature arriving from abroad; this office also distributed all the literature printed in Kishinev. p. 93

[5] Iskra No. 13 for December 20, 1901, featured Lenin’s article “Demonstrations Have Begun” (see Vol. 5 of this edition). p. 93

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