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This book asks three fundamental questions about the socialist experiment in twentieth-century Russia: How did Marxist ideas come to be implemented in Russia, a country entirely unsuited to them? Why did the experiment lead to such suffering and upheaval and prove so fruitless? And why did the attempt to return to a proper Marxism/Leninism bring about the rapid collapse of the experiment. In its answers, this book pays special attention to the shadow cast by Lenin throughout the entire Soviet era.
JOHN GOODING is Reader in History at the University of Edinburgh, and the author of Rulers and Subjects: Government and People in Russia, 1801-1991.