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Vladimir Ilyich comes along in , four years behind the older brother. Anna, who was an interesting person, was sort of shoved aside. Alexander was the dominant male in a way. How did you become interested in this? In my book on Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin came out. It was a study of the psycho-dynamics, the psychological triangle, of three really important figures in the Party.

I wanted to understand their interactions and psychologies. In order to do that I needed to understand their family histories. I was pretty satisfied when I finished the book that I had figured them out to my satisfaction.

Lenin's Brother

But very shortly after that the Soviet Union collapsed. Now all of the archives were open, including the Ulyanov family archives and I realized that at least the Lenin part of the story probably needed to be revisited.

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The history of the Russian revolutionary movement requires you to study terrorism. If you start back in the s one of the most profound socialist thinkers was Peter Lavrov. He was an artillery officer and he taught in a military school; a middle age man a kind of a scholar of the cabinet as they used to say -- somebody who was But he got involved with the student movement and because of the autocratic system and fear of any kind of challenge he was arrested and sent into external exile.

He escaped and went abroad and he became one of the emigre theoreticians of the movement. Studying him I got involved with the study of terrorism because he evolved with the movement and accepted terrorism as a tactic.

In his work he provided Sasha with a lot of the scientific thought behind his terrorist commitment. Certainly there were others who fed into it. There was also the Russian thinking about Darwin -- a form of Darwinism that is now accepted; this idea of group selection and altruism and the value of altruism for groups. So there was a Russian school of Darwinian thought that intersected with the Russian revolutionary movement. How much of an influence was Sasha experience on his younger brother? He was in exile already when the news of the student demonstrations of when the workers joined them.

There was a lot of violence at that moment, At that moment there was a fair amount of restraint. It seemed it was a bit more contentious It was contentious because the students were humiliated.

Vladimir Lenin: The Founder of the Soviet Union

Being beaten by the police, being flogged was such an extreme humiliation that it might lead to suicide. It actually did in some Siberian exiles -- there were suicide protests. These were kids from gentry families, for them to be beaten was a major humiliation.

10 Facts About Vladimir Lenin | History Hit

They responded to it in a way that you can only understand by understanding their culture. There were other ways to humiliate them, making them stand in the rain for hours, surrounding them with Cossacks, making them feel penned in, denying them their freedom to move, that was enough to cause a lot of rage. So the demonstration at the graveyard was a psychological turning point for Sasha. One of the more striking actions during the Bolshevik revolution was the decision to execute the Tsar and his family.

It could have fed into it very easily. I think when psychology is involved, when revenge is involved it is a very deep and complicated thing.

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A lot of rivulets feed this great torrent of revenge that people feel in That meant summary executions. He was of a mind to do that.


He and Yakov Sverdelov, his close associate at that time, were the people who decided [to execute the Tsar]. They were the ones who had the main control over it. Some people think it was the local Soviet, which was very radical in the Urals, but nobody would decide anything without Lenin. So it was Lenin and Sverdlov who decided it.

And I think that the motivation goes all the way back to what the Tsarist regime had done to his family, but also is fed by these other rivulets that I think reinforced his convictions about that. Or his feelings were reinforced with convictions is a better way to put it.

Aleksandr Ulyanov

On March 1, Julian calendar , the day of the sixth anniversary of Alexander II 's murder, three party members were arrested in the Nevsky Prospekt. Police suspected that when Alexander III visited church on the anniversary of his father's assassination, the plotters would throw bombs into the Emperor's carriage. The attempt is known [ citation needed ] as "The Second First of March". Ulyanov, who served as both the main ideologist of the group as well as the bomb-maker, was later arrested. In court Ulyanov gave a political speech. The conspirators were initially sentenced to death; all but five were then pardoned by Alexander III.

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Ulyanov was not among those pardoned. Aleksandr's execution drove his younger brother Vladimir Illich Ulyanov Vladimir Lenin to pursue the Russian revolutionary struggle ever more fervently. I swear it. Vladimir admired his older brother; however, he was quite dismissive of his older brother's political attitude.

He once remarked, [4] "Aleksandr will never be a revolutionist. On his last summer visit home he spent his time preparing a dissertation on Annelida and worked constantly with his microscope. Third is the quirk of history that the prosecutor was a former student radical and he collapsed after the trial. Perhaps in the future there will be some psycho-history on him. If there were to be a reprint of this book, I would suggest that the reference list of the 7 core terrorists be expanded to include all members and more description of each.

A general reader like me plods over the Russian names. Without the memory of the last mention, it is difficult to build the character. I had to use the index and flip back to identify what had already been said about the person when names reappeared. While I am not an historian, I would expect that this short volume is a valuable contribution to the study of the Russian Revolution.

Oct 30, Lisa rated it it was ok Shelves: This book provides and interesting history. However, at places it gets bogged down more with the theory and philosophy of socialism and loses the the actual history. This makes it challenging to follow and frustrating at parts. Feb 13, Olive abookolive rated it liked it Shelves: own , russian-history.

Aug 07, Richard Worden rated it it was amazing. Pomper's book is an historical -psychological study of a family. It is an insight into Russia before the revolution. The book includes a guide to the various names which is helpful in distinguishing the various characters for someone not familiar with Russian names and terminology. Nov 28, William West rated it liked it. Pomper is a good, if uninspiring, writer whose style can make his content sound more thoughtful than it really is.

He is lauded as a "psychological historian" on the book's jacket and, unfortunately, he is very much that. The book actually does a pretty good job of describing the general intellectual and political milieu of a late 19th century Russia where nihilism which, in this context, merely denotes a militant, violent and self-destructive if necessary, dedication to secular progressivism Pomper is a good, if uninspiring, writer whose style can make his content sound more thoughtful than it really is. The book actually does a pretty good job of describing the general intellectual and political milieu of a late 19th century Russia where nihilism which, in this context, merely denotes a militant, violent and self-destructive if necessary, dedication to secular progressivism and novosk-ism the notion that the Russian peasantry, with its tradition of collective ownership of the land, would lead the country to an agrarian form of socialism were fusing and mutating into a variant of Marxism under an autocratic and backwards regime that, thirty or so years before it would finally fall, was already living on borrowed time.

No matter how good Pomper is at describing a collective mood, he insists on reducing history to the actions and characteristics of its most famous actors. There would have been no Russian revolution, Pomper tells us, without Lenin, and no Lenin without the assassination attempt against the Czar by his older brother Alexander.

It is indeed indisputable that Lenin decidedly shaped the nature of the revolution, but to say that it would not have occurred, in some form, without him is speculation, not fact, as is the idea that Lenin would not have become a revolutionary without his older brother's example.