Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

Karl Marx

A Brief Biographical Sketch With an Exposition of Marxism

Written: 1914
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, Moscow, 1974, Volume 21, pp. 43-91.
Publisher: Progress Publishers
First Published: 1915 in the Granat Encyclopaedia, Seventh Edition, Vol. 28, over the signature of V. Ilyin. Published according to the manuscript, checked against the text of the pamphlet of 1918.
Translated: Clemence Dutt
Edited: Stewart Smith
Original Transcription: Zodiac
Transcription\Markup: D. Walters, B. Baggins, R. Cymbala, and Kevin Goins
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2008). 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.

Lenin wrote this article for the Encyclopaedia Dictionary published by the Granat Brothers, which was then the most popular in Russia. In the preface for the pamphlet edition in 1918 Lenin gave the date of writing as 1913, from memory. Actually, he began it in the spring of 1914 in Poronin, but had to interrupt it, being too busy with his work guiding the Party and the newspaper Pravda. Lenin resumed his work on the aritcle only in September that year, after he had moved to Berne, and finished it in the first half of November.

The aritcle was published in 1915 in Volume 28 of the Dictionary with Bibliography of Marxism appended to it; it was signed V. Ilyin. For censorship reasons, the editors omitted two chapters: Socialism and Tactics of the Class Struggle of the Proletariat and made a number of changes in the text.

In 1918, the Priboi Publishers put out the article in pamphlet form exactly as published in the Dictionary but without the “Bibliography.”

The full text of the article according to the manuscript was first published by the Lenin Institute of the C.P.S.U. Central Committee in the collection of Lenin’s articles Marx, Engels, Marxism, which appeared in 1925.

Note that this document has undergone special formating to ensure that Lenin’s sidenotes fit on the page, marking as best as possible where they were located in the original manuscript.



Marx, Karl, was born...
The Marxist Doctrine
Marx’s Economic Doctrine
Tactics of the Class Struggle of the Proletariat


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