Author(s): Tariq Ali
On the centenary of the Russian Revolution, Tariq Ali paints an illuminating portrait of Lenin
At the end of his life, Lenin wrote 'we didn't know everything', acknowledging the dilemmas he faced on the road to revolution in 1917 and beyond. In this unusual exploration of the crises that Lenin overcame, the decisions he made, and actions that he took, Tariq Ali reveals an insightful political portrait of this most exemplary leader. From the first stirrings of revolutionary fervour, Lenin sought the right answer to a series of dilemmas that he faced and that still resonate with us today: Is terrorism ever a useful tactic? Can imperial wars ever be supported? What sort of political party do we need? What is the moral justification for seizing power? How does one overcome the burden of history? What role does friendship or love play in revolution? How do you establish a legacy that lasts?
Ali reveals that no other modern thinker than Lenin has better understood, nor more clearly articulated, the need to change the world. But do Lenin's ideas, as expressed in his actions and his political writings, still have any significance for us? In this centenary year of the Russian Revolution, this book raises important questions related to political representation and the popular institutions necessary to challenge capitalism today.
Tariq Ali is a writer and filmmaker. He has written more than a dozen books on world history and politics-including Pirates of the Caribbean, Bush in Babylon, The Clash of Fundamentalisms and The Obama Syndrome-as well as five novels in his Islam Quintet series and scripts for the stage and screen. He is an editor of the New Left Review and lives in London.