Retrieving the Historical Lenin



According to the headline of an article by a well-known British historian writing in a popular newspaper in 1989, the apogee of Thatcherism and Reaganism, Lenin was ‘the monster who sired the evils of our time’. The article claimed that ‘Lenin and his twisted ideology gave rise to the evil that was Nazism…When Mussolini triumphed in Italy, or Hitler in Germany, it was because of two things, both to do with Lenin. The first was that fascism was a reaction to him, and the second was that it learned from him everything that it did’.1 This was one of the last throws of the traditional cold war dice. At exactly the same time, on the fast-crumbling Soviet side, calls for the revision of Lenin’s reputation had, purportedly, gone out from the Central Committee.2 For decades, equally caricatural, but obviously more positive images of Lenin had permeated Soviet reality in schools, workplaces, military units, public meetings and public squares. His image could even be found in outer space, on the moon and on distant planets. That image was kindly, humane, intelligent and infallible.


Party Organisation October Revolution Russian Revolution Poor Peasant Popular Newspaper 
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Copyright information

© Christopher Read 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of WarwickUSA

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