V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written February 18 or 19, 1917
Published: First published in 1930 in the journal Proletarskaya Revolyutsiya No. 4. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 37, pages 537-538.
Translated: The Late George H. Hanna
Transcription\Markup: D. Moros
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive.   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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His Excellency
Mark Timofeyevich Yelizarov,
Po Volge Steamship Co.,
Nevsky, 45,

Wl. Oulianoff,
Spiegelgasse, 14,
Zürich I,

Dear Mark Timofeyevich,

From the enclosed you will see that Nadya is planning the publication of a Pedagogical Dictionary or Pedagogical Encyclopaedia.[2]

I am strongly in favour of this plan because, in my opinion, it fills a very serious gap in Russian pedagogical literature; it will be a very useful work and will provide an income, which for us is extremely important.

With the increase in the number of readers and the broader circles involved, there is now a quickly growing demand for encyclopaedias and similar publications. A properly compiled Pedagogical Dictionary or Pedagogical Encyclopaedia will become a handbook and go through a number of editions.

I am sure Nadya can do this because she has been working in pedagogy for years, has written about it and has undergone systematic training. Zurich is an exceptionally convenient centre for work of this kind; it has the world’s finest pedagogical museum.

There is no doubt that such an undertaking would be profitable. The best thing would be for us to undertake   the publication of it ourselves, borrowing the necessary capital or finding a capitalist who would come in as a partner in the enterprise.

If that is not possible, and if it would be merely a waste of time to go chasing after it—you, of course, will know what is best, and when you have given it some thought and obtained some information, decide the matter for yourself—the plan should be offered to the old publisher, who will probably accept it. The plan must not be stolen, i.e., somebody else must not get in first. Then a detailed contract must be concluded with the publisher in the name of the editor (Nadya) that covers all the terms. If not, the publisher (the old publisher too!) will grab all the profit for himself and enslave the editor. That happens.

I should very much like you to give this plan your best attention, take a look round, talk with people, worry them, and answer[1] me in detail.

All the best,
V. Ulyanov

P.S. The publication is in two volumes, two columns to a page; to be issued in parts of 16 to 32 pages. Advertise for subscribers. Then the money will come in quickly.


[1] If you are successful send a telegram “Encyclopaedia contract concluded” and Nadya will speed up the work.—Lenin

[2] Enclosed with the letter was a plan of this work drawn up by Nadezhda Krupskaya.

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