V. I.   Lenin


Written: Written on March 19, 1922
Published: First published in 1929 in the journal Proletarskaya Revolutsia No. 10 (93). Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 36, page 570.
Translated: Andrew Rothstein
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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.README

March 19

Comrade Stepanov,

I have just finished looking through 160 pages of your book.[1]

Just as I was furious in cursing you (up to and including bad language) for being able at such a time to spend months over refuting Cunow,[2] so I am delighted with this book. Now this is a real achievement! Now this is a model of how one should teach the Russian savage from the ABC onwards, and to teach him not a “half-science” but the whole of science.

Write (after you have had a proper rest) another such little book on the history of religion and against all religion (including the Kantian and other subtly idealistic or subtly agnostic religion), with a survey of material on the history of atheism and on the links between the church and the bourgeoisie.

Once more: greetings and congratulations on a splendid success.


P.S. There is something wrong on page 97. Respondek has muddled matters.[3] I advise you to take the original source and have a check made. I enclose a letter to Popov (you can send it through my secretary).

P.P.S. I am sending my preface to the secretary.[4]


[1] The MS. of a book by I. I. Skvortsov-Stepanov, The Electrification of the R.S.F.S.R. and the Transitional Phase of the World Economy, which he prepared under an assignment from Lenin.

It was published in March 1922 with Lenin’s introduction.

[2] H. Cunow’s book, Ursprung der Religion und des Gottesglaubens, published in Germany in 1913 and translated by Skvortsov-Stepanov into Russian in 1919. That same year it was issued by Kommunist Publishers under the title The Origin of Religion and Belief in God.

[3] A reference to a table from the book by Dr. G. Respondek, Weltwirtschaftlicher Stand und Aufgaben der Elektroindustrie, Berlin, 1920, cited by Skvortsov-Stepanov on p. 97 to show the level of electrification of some industries in the United States. Lenin   questioned the figure of 1,585,953 given under the head of “HP Requirements” for the textile industry, electrical engineering and foundries and machine-building plants.

In explaining why the figure was the same for these branches, Skvortsov-Stepanov said in a note to the table: “These figures are dubious because of their absolute equality. The table has been taken from Respondek’s book, p. 3. He himself is a sufficiently careful writer. He must have taken these data from American sources which are not always precise.”

[4] Lenin’s introduction to Skvortsov-Stepanov’s book, The Electrification of the R.S.F.S.R. and the Transitional Phase of the World Economy, Gosizdat, 1922 (see present edition, Vol. 33, pp. 245– 46).

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