What makes Dmitri Volkogonov's work so important, is not the fact that he is the first to publicize these formerly secret documents, but that as a former Leninist he made the remarkable intellectual journey to form the conclusion that the Bolshevik state was a sham from the start. This is a powerful statement coming from a man who once served the Soviet state as an Army General, a man who as a young officer willingly drove a tank through ground zero of a nuclear blast. His informed view deserves more weight in my opinion than the smug attitudes of comfortable armchair communists in the West or unrepentant apparaciki in Russia. Leninists will of course hate Volkoganov for this in that he has shown their bogus saint for what he was - a cynical opportunist, a close-minded dilitant, operating with but the fig leaf of a political plan. What interested Lenin most of all, as shown by the author, was not the establishment of communism, but rather the raw use of power. Thus he could write of the withering away of the state in "State and Revolution" while at the same time planning the creation a bureaucraticized police state based on mass terror. Volkognov sheds amazing light on various aspects of Lenin which until now were little known, such as his family background, his connections with the German General Staff, his responsibility for the murder of the Czar and his family, his actions in the Kaplan affair, and his unrealistic hopes in spreading the world revolution. What was for me perhaps the most frightening aspect of Lenin is how much his style has been copied since 1917 by cynical political manipulators, especially in the West. The quest for unrestrained power is for them, as it was for Lenin, the sole reason for their political existance.