Among the copious notes towards his projected two-volume biography of Lenin, Isaac Deutscher left at his death a long opening chapter of over 20,000 words.
In polished and final form, it is a discovery of some importance. The chapter explores the family origins and background in close detail; and ends by recounting the tragic fate of the elder brother, a student in St. Petesburg executed for leading a group which planned to assassinate the Tsar.
Much of the factual material here has, of course, been used by other biographers. The strength of this powerful and impressive study lies in Deutscher’s originality of viewpoint and in his skill of presentation.
This self-contained essay, originally published with a brief introduction by Tamara Deutscher, in the centenary year of Lenin’s birth, constitutes an authorative study of Lenin’s youth; it is also a demonstration of Deutcher’s the political biographer at the height of his powers.
Praise for Lenin's Childhood
“Deutscher’s study yields new insights about the Ulyanov’s family environment.” —Carl Landauer, University of California, Barkely