THE FIRST BOLSHEVIK: A Political Biography of Peter Tkachev by Albert L. Weeks

THE FIRST BOLSHEVIK: A Political Biography of Peter Tkachev

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Tkachev has been familiar as a footnote, one of the Russian radicals of the 1860's and 70's whom Lenin admired. This is a fascinating full-length exposition of his thought. Professor Weeks places Tkachev in the tangle of generations and schools as a ""Jacobin-Blanquist,"" then weights his influence, and examines official Soviet treatment. Right now interest in Tkachev is low because the Party insists on Lenin's originality, and the anti-Maoist campaign is minimizing the radical elements in Bolshevism. Using long excerpts. Weeks presents and interprets Tkachev's views on revolution, the state, psychology, and political economy. Tkachev rejected Hegelian dialectics and Marxist faith in progress as well as Populist reliance on the masses. Instead he called for a small, tight band of revolutionary intellectuals, and a post-revolutionary authoritarian state, both of which appealed to Lenin. There is also a biographical chapter and some abstruse problems in Tkachevism concerning culture, determinism, and ideology. The book's interest will be confined to serious students of political thought and Russian history. For them it's a genuine scholarly event, thorough, systematic and new.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1968
Publisher: New York Univ. Press