The title will hardly lead to expectations of objectivity, and when confronted on the first page with the statement that Lenin was ""the first revolutionary tsar"" one can anticipate a certain amount of vilification. Using ""new"" documentation from the files of the German, Austrian and Japanese foreign offices, together with the records of the Paris branch of the Tsar's political police, Dr. Possony has managed to throw some light on many of the obscurities in Lenin's early and later years. Some of the research may be jettisoned; so may some of Dr. Possony's own judgments; was ""Lenin's character fixated at the sadistic-anal stage, with a strong component of intellectual narcissism""? was he ""self-righteous, rude, demanding, ruthless, despotic, formalistic""? Dr. Possony condemns him on many grounds; some of his deductions seem extravagant if ingenious; but still Lenin retains a formidable fascination even though he will continue to defy the ""definitive"" biographer. The Payne book in this issue will be the popular choice.