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Lenin's Brother: The Origins of the October Revolution Hardcover – 9 Mar 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (9 Mar. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393070794
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393070798
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 2.8 x 24.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,608,446 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A little-known episode from the Russian past illuminates some of its most significant events.... An evenhanded, complex, fascinating historical analysis. "

[A] richly contextualized and highly readable biography.... This work deserves a wide readership, from serious students and scholars of revolutionary Russia to enthusiasts of biography or psychohistory. "

About the Author

Philip Pomper is the William F. Armstrong Professor of History at Wesleyan University. He has written and edited nine books, including The Russian Intelligentsia. He lives in Middletown, Connecticut.

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Format: Hardcover
"Lenin's Brother", by the American academic Philip Pomper, draws together the known facts regarding the short life of Alexander Ilych Ulyanov, who was hanged (or, more accurately, was slowly strangled) for his part in the so-called "Second First of March" assassination attempt against Tsar Alexander III in 1887. It also examines, in considerable depth, the conspiracy itself - its origins; the various members of the terrorist group Narodnaya Volya (The People's Will) who became involved in the plot; the preparation of the materials; the "scientific" (i.e. the philosophical and theoretical) principles by which the conspirators sought to justify their actions both to themselves and to the world at large; the multiple reasons for the plot's failure; and the trial (in camera) of the participants. As far as the sub-title "The Origins of the October Revolution" is concerned, the book's last chapter analyses and accounts for the reasons why, in the revolutionary struggle, Lenin himself took a different path to that followed by Alexander, who, he believed, had sacrificed his life far too cheaply.

This is a thought-provoking and generally well-written book. Its precise subject-matter does not appear to be covered in this amount of depth elsewhere (in English, at least), and for that reason alone it is to be thoroughly recommended to anyone with an interest in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Russian history. For more general readers, it offers an absorbing yet disturbing glimpse into the terrorist mind. In sum, a book well worth reading.
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Format: Hardcover
In "Lenin's Brother: The Origins of the October Revolution," historian Philip Pomper has found himself a footnote to Russian revolutionary history on which to expand. For Lenin, you see, had an older brother, Alexander Ulanov, a brilliant young biology student in St. Petersburg. And Alexander suddenly joined a small group of students - and malcontents, principally Cossacks - to create an organization called the "Terrorist Faction of the People's Will." And they plotted to kill Russian Tsar Alexander III on March 1, 1887, the sixth anniversary of his father's assassination by the "People's Will," so that the Ulanov group is known to historians as the "Second First March." And, but for the fact that the group was inexplicably reckless in their security, they might have succeeded. As was, they failed disastrously, and five of them, including Alexander Ulanov, were hanged. He was but 21 years old.

Alexander's life - and death--had a great influence on his younger brother Vladimir, who was but seventeen at the time. And Vladimir was to lead the October Revolution of 1917 under the assumed name of "Lenin." Funny, I am what's known around New York as a "red diaper baby," that is, my parents, as was not unusual around that time and place, were Reds. I probably knew who Lenin was before I knew who Bing Crosby was; but I surely had never heard of Lenin's brother, and was very interested in this book.

Author Pomper is the William F. Armstrong Professor of History at Wesleyan University, Middleton, Connecticut. He has written and edited nine books, including Russian Revolutionary Intelligentsia.
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