Thursday, April 03, 2008

What to do?

Is the literal translation of the title of Lenin's famous work What is to be Done? The first cute thing about the book is the title is a reference to an earlier work, by Nikolai Chernyshevsky, an old revolutionary narodnik. Lenin was good enough to acknowledge older generations and the achievements of other political traditions, whilst still standing out against them, if needs be.

But the eventual title, What is to be Done, just isn't him. What to Do chimes with contemporary accounts of the man and his personality: small in stature, friendly, attentive and workmanlike. Here's the way I see him

Lenin, gettin' bizee

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