What Is to Be Done? (Lenin)

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Versions of
What is to Be Done?
by Vladimir Lenin

written at the end of 1901 and early in 1902. In “Where to Begin”, published in Iskra, No. 4 (May 1901), Lenin said that the article represented “a skeleton plan to be developed in greater detail in a pamphlet now in preparation for print”.

Lenin began the actual writing of the book in the autumn of 1901. In his “Preface to the Pamphlet Documents of the ‘Unity’ Conference”, written in November 1901, Lenin said that the book was in preparation “to be published in the near future”. In December Lenin published (in Iskra, No. 12) his article “A Talk with Defenders of Economism”, which he later called a conspectus of What Is to Be Done? He wrote the Preface to the book in February 1902 and early in March the book was published by Dietz in Stuttgart. An announcement of its publication was printed in Iskra, No. 18, March 10, 1902.

In republishing the book in 1907 as part of the collection Twelve Years, Lenin omitted Section A of Chapter V, “Who Was Offended by the Article ‘Where to Begin’”, stating in the Preface that the book was being published with slight abridgements, representing the omission solely of details of the organisational relationships and minor polemical remarks. Lenin added five footnotes to the new edition.

Versions of What is to Be Done? include:
  • What is to be Done?, translation by Joseph Fineberg published in The Iskra Period (1929)