Lenin Collected Works: Volume 34: Preface by Progress Publishers

Lenin Collected Works:
Volume 34

Preface by Progress Publishers

The thirty-fourth and thirty-fifth volumes contain Lenin's correspondence with organisations and persons—letters, tel egrams and notes—during the period from 1895 to 1922.

The documents in these volumes comprise a considerable part of Lenin's correspondence and form a valuable sup plement to his writings published in the preceding volumes of the Collected Works. These documents reflect the immense and varied activity of Lenin in building up the Bolshevik Party, a party of a new type, his irreconcilable struggle against opportunists of all shades, his struggle for the proletarian revolution, for the dictatorship of the proletariat, his leadership of the world's first Soviet socialist state.

Volume 34 includes letters of Lenin written in the period from November 1895 to November 1911.

The letters of 1895-1901 reflect Lenin's activities in building up the Social-Democratic Labour Party in Russia, his struggle against Narodism, “legal Marxism” and Econo mism. The letters addressed to G. V. Plekhanov, Lydia Knipovich, N. E. Bauman and others show liow Lenin's plan for the creation of the first all-Russia newspaper of the rev olutionary Marxists—Iskra—was carried out; they re veal Lenin's leading role in Iskra, and his struggle within the editorial board of the newspaper.

A considerable part of the volume consists of the letters of 1901-04. A group of letters of this period, addressed to G. V. Plekhanov, deal with questions concerning the drafting of the revolutionary programme of the proletarian par ty. In his correspondence with local committees—those of Kharkov and Nizhni-Novgorod, the St. Petersburg organi sation (letters to 1. V. Babushkin and others), and the Organising Committee for convening the Second Party Con gress—Lenin calls on the Social-Democratic organisations in Russia to unite on the basis of the programmatic and organisational principles of Iskra, and gives precise direc tives for developing Party work and preparing for the Party Congress. In a number of letters written after the Second Congress Lenin exposes the splitting activities of the Mensheviks, wages a relentless struggle against certain demoralised Bolsheviks (Krasin, Noskov, Galperin) who had gone over to the Mensheviks and helped them gain a majority in the Central Committee. These are his letters to the Central Committee, to the Siberian Committee, to N. Y. Vilonov, A. M. Stopani, Bozalia Zemlyachka and others.

The letters to the Caucasian Union Committee reflect Lenin's leadership of the Bolshevik organisations in the Caucasus.

The letters of the period of the first Russian revolution (1905-07) reflect Lenin's struggle for the convocation of the Third Party Congress, for the implementation of its decisions, and for the tactical principles of Bolshevism. Included here are letters to the Central Committee, S. I. Gusev, Rozalia Zemlyaclika and others.

The letters of the period of Stolypin reaction reveal Lenin's struggle against liquidationism, Trotskyism, otzovism and ultimatumism, conciliation, and distortions of the theoret ical principles of the revolutionary Marxist Party. This volume includes a letter to G. Y. Zinoviev in which Lenin brands Trotsky as a despicable careerist and factionalist. A number of letters published in this volume expose the international revisionists who supported the Russian Men shevik opportunists.

An important place in Lenin's correspondence of 1908-li is occupied by his letters to Maxim Gorky.

The letters in this volume depict Lenin's struggle to create a Marxist revolutionary party, to rally the Party's forces and make the Bolsheviks an independent party, a party of a new type, a party of Leninism, a Bolshevik party.

The following letters, which have previously appeared in various publications, are included in Lenin's Collected Works for the first time: to the Editorial Board of Iskra, February 26, 1904; to M. K. Vladimirov, August 15, 1904; to the Caucasian Union Committee, December 20, 1904; to the St. Petersburg organisation of the R.S.D.L.P., Octo ber-December 1904; Letter to a Comrade in Russia, January 6, 1905; five letters to A. V. Lunacharsky, 1905, 1907 and 1908; to Maxim Gorky, February 7, 1908; to P. Yushkevich, November 10, 1908; two letters to A. I. Lyubimov, August and September 1909; a letter to G. Y. Zinoviev, August 24, 1909; draft of a letter to the “Trustees”, February-March 1910; to N. G. Poletayev, December 7, 1910; to A. Rykov, February 25, 1911.

Published for the first time is the letter in this volume to G. D. Leiteisen, July 24, 1902, in which Lenin notes the union of Russian Social-Democratic organisations around Iskra.

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The letters in volumes 34 and 35 are arranged in chrono logical order; those sent from Russia are dated according to the old style, those sent from abroad are dated according to the new style. Where Lenin's manuscript is undated, the editors have given the date at the end of the letter. Each letter has a serial number and it is stated to whom and where it was sent, the date of writing and the address of the sender.

Besides brief notes, each volume of the letters is provided with an index of deciphered pseudonyms, nicknames and initials.

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