Lars T. Lihs Lenin-biografi


Linkbox om Lars T. Lihs nye bog om Lenin (nu i dansk udgave), med anmeldelser, debat og interviews, plus en række artikler og videoer af/med forfatteren. Lars T. Lih er historiker, og bl.a. forfatter til den monumentale Lenin Rediscovered: ’What is to be Done?’ in Context (Brill, Historical Materialism Book Series, 2006, 867 p.)

Bjarne A. Frandsen,
Modkraft Biblioteket, maj 2012/Socialistisk Bibliotek


Indhold :

Af Lars T. Lih (Solidaritet, 2012, 280 sider).
“I denne bog præsenterer Lars T. Lih en letforståelig, loyal, men også en ny forståelse af Lenins tanker og liv. Biografien er baseret på omfattende nye studier, som sætter Lenin ind i en sammenhæng med udviklingen i såvel det
russiske samfund, som i den internationale socialistiske bevægelse.”
Engelsk udgave 2011 (Reaktion Books).

Bogen kan bestilles for 140 kr. (inklusiv forsendelse) på Forlaget Solidaritet.


Anmeldelser på dansk

  • Fin biografi om mennesket, politikeren og skribenten Lenin. Af Klaus Haase (21. december 2012; bragt i trykte udgave 12.12.)
    Biografiens forfatter har formået at skabe en bog rig på oplysninger, som ikke mindst førstegangslæsere om Lenins korte og begivenhedsrige liv kan have stort udbytte af.”

  • Lenin – romantiker eller realist? Af Adam Johansen (Kontradoxa, 29. maj 2012)
    “En god politisk bog sætter tanker i gang hos læseren, og det formår Lih. En kort bog om så stort et emne må nødvendigvis også forbigå en del temaer. Der er også ting, man kan være uenig i. Men læs den selv, den er let læst og inspirerer.”


  • Lihs Lenin biografi både inspirerer og skuffer. Af Andreas Bülow (30. august 2012)
    “[Lih] forsøger at grave ‘den historiske Lenin’ frem og genopdage hans originale tankesæt, de mange problemer i kampen for revolutionen og læren af det. Den indgangsvinkel er yderst beundringsværdig, men den gør også, at vores forventninger er en del højere, end til andre værker. Efter endt læsning sidder denne anmelder tilbage med blandede følelser.”

Socialistisk Information

  • Jagten på den historiske Lenin. Af Svend Vestergaard Jensen (21. maj 2012)
    “Bogen følger hele dramaet i Lenins liv fra lykkelige stunder, over fængslinger til revolutionerne. Bogen er absolut værd at læse, ikke mindst for nye generationer af socialister. Den stiller Lenin på benene og placerer ham som den historiske Lenin.”


Reviews and interviews

Forsiden på den engelske udgave af Lars T. Lih, Lenin (Reaktion Books 2011)
Forsiden på den engelske udgave af Lars T. Lih, Lenin (Reaktion Books 2011)


  • The real Lenin. By Alistair Stephen (20 September 2012)
    “Lars Lih’s recent biography of Lenin overturns textbook distortions and gets us back to the real Lenin that is needed for the movement.”

Europe Solidaire Sans Frontiéres

  • Lenin and us: into the past, back to the future. By Paul Le Blanc (June 14, 2011)
    “… [a] very fine new and all too brief biography of Lenin. In stark contrast with the ‘textbook interpretation’, the Bolsheviks were in no way ‘an exclusive faction of Lenin’, there being a considerable amount of internal democracy. Within the Bolshevik faction there were different tendencies, involving strong-minded comrades, and at times some of them openly polemicized against Lenin.”

Historical Materialism

  • Lenin, Bolshevism, and Social-Democratic political theory. By John Marot (Vol.22, No.2-3, 2014, p.129-171; online at John Riddell: Marxist Essays and Commentary)
    “Lars Lih has contributed to our knowledge of Russian Social Democracy lately.
    However, serious methodological flaws bedevil this advance in knowledge. Lih’s overall approach displays a very static understanding of political ideas in relation to political movements.”
  • Symposium on Lars Lih’s ‘Lenin Rediscovered’ (Vol.18, No.3, 2010). Only abstracts online. See online edition at Red Atlanta (pdf). With articles by Paul Blackledge (p.25-33), Ronald Grigor Suny (p.34-46), Robert Mayer (p.47-63), Chris Harman: Lenin rediscovered (p.64-74), Alan Shandro (p.75-89), Paul Le Blanc: Rediscovering Lenin (p.90-107), and Lars T. Lih: Lenin disputed (p.108-174).

International Socialist Review

  • Beyond the cold war version of Lenin. By Paul D’Amato (Issue 80, November-December 2011)
    “As a short introduction to Lenin, it is no doubt better than most. Like his previous book, Lenin [i.e. Lih] sets aside the textbook interpretation and avoids the predictable stereotypes of most Lenin biographies. He debunks, for example, the idea that Lenin favored the conspiratorial approach to politics associated with the Russian terrorist tradition … [but] emphasizing Lenin’s consistency, he misses some of what made Lenin a great Marxist politician.”

Jacobin: Reason in Revolt

  • The real Vladimir Lenin. By John Marot (November 6, 2016)
    “Ninety-nine years after the Russian Revolution, let’s free Lenin from distortions of all types.”

Links: International Journal of Socialist Renewal

  • Heroic class leadership: Lars T. Lih’s ”Lenin’. By Doug Greene (January 19, 2015)
    “He does an admirable job of laying out the backdrop of what Tsarist Russia was like. Lih details how Lenin maintained a basic continuity in his thought until after 1917. His primary goal is to be short and concise. However, to accomplish this, Lih has to sacrifice looking in-depth at many of Lenin’s works.”

Marx & Philosophy Review of Books

  • Review by Mark Bergfeld (30 September 2012)
    “Lih’s book and his other works have been valuable in the debate surrounding Lenin. The fact that Lih engages with socialists, activists and academics alike only strengthens his case. By providing rich historical materials on Lenin which fall neither into demagoguery, defamation or denunciation, Lih’s book should be read by those interested in some of the most recent debates on Lenin.”

New Socialist

  • Lenin reconsidered. By Charlie Post (30 October 2011)
    “Lih’s biography is both an excellent introduction to Lenin’s and a provocative interpretation that will challenge those familiar with his life and work. But revolutionaries trying to create a socialism for the 21st century also need to ask ‘what is living and what is dead’ in Lenin’s political legacy?”

Socialism Today

  • Lenin’s revolutionary legacy. By Peter Taaffe (Issue 175, February 2014)
    “In an attempt to answer the description of Lenin by capitalist historians as a brutal dictator, some on the left turn to Lars T Lih. He has tried to reinvent the leader of the Russian revolution as some kind of woolly liberal. In so doing, the understanding of how to build a movement capable of transforming society is in danger of being lost.”
    See also Ben Lewis’ responds: Taaffe: Superannuated teacher, superannuated politics (Weekly Worker, Issue 998, February 20, 2014)

Socialist Review

  • Review by Amy Leather (Issue 358, May 2011; online at Internet Archive)
    “Any book that rejects the received wisdom that Lenin was intolerant, cruel and tyrannical, thus laying the basis for the inevitable rise of Stalinism, is to be welcomed. As such, Lars T Lih’s concise biography of Lenin is a useful addition … Where this book is less helpful is in its main theme. Lih refers to Lenin’s ‘heroic scenario’ to understand his writings and actions.”

Weekly Worker

  • Lenin’s strategy: illusory or realistic? By Mike Macnair (Issue 877, August 4, 2011)
    “… the series format has allowed Lars T Lih to produce a remarkable book. It is an outline sketch of Lenin’s life and ideas, which also proposes what is in some respects a new interpretation of both and of their relationship. The book is both highly readable – one could almost say a ‘gripping story’ – and highly thought-provoking.”

Workers’ Liberty

  • Lenin the dreamer. By Paul Hampton (22 May 2011)
    “Lars T Lih’s excellent short biography of Lenin is a welcome addition to the serious socialist literature on classical Marxist history. Although it contains some nuggets from the archives and some references to interesting but lesser known contemporary sources, the book’s chief merits are its strongly contextual interpretation of Lenin’s life and its readable style.”
  • The Lenin who believed the working-class would work ‘miracles’ (13 November 2010)
    “At the Historical Materialism conference in London on 13 November, Martin Thomas from Solidarity asked Lars Lih to tell us about his new book.”


Articles by Lars T. Lih

Lars Lih online: recent studies on Bolshevism, Lenin, and Kautsky. By John Riddell (Marxist Essays and Commentary, April 16, 2013)

Lars Lih online: nine recent studies on Bolshevism, Lenin, and Kautsky. By John Riddell (Marxist Essay and Commentary, April 16, 2013)

More ‘Lars Lih online’: six further studies of Bolshevism. By John Riddell (Marxist Essay and Commentary, January 1, 2014). Inclusive ‘Lars Lih online: Nine recent studies on Bolshevism, Lenin, and Kautsky’ (April 16, 2013)

Lenin’s final writings are more talked about than read (Jacobin, January 21, 2024)
“Lenin died 100 years ago today, leaving behind a batch of writings that became known as his political testament. These widely misunderstood texts shed important light on his understanding of how difficult it would be to construct a socialist system in Russia.”

The centrality of hegemony (Weekly Worker, Issue 1298, May 7, 2020)
“150 years after his birth, how to evaluate Lenin and his ideas? Lars T Lih emphasises his consistency.”

On Marxism and melodrama: an interview with Lars Lih (Links: International Journal of Socialist Renewal, October 2, 2013)
The following interview, conducted by North Star editor Dario Cankovic, took place in June with an eye toward drawing out some of Lih’s ideas and their relevance for today’s Left.

Lenin’s aggressive unoriginality, 1914-1916 (pdf) (Socialist Studies, Vol.5, No.2, Fall 2009, p.90-112)
“Lenin received a severe shock in 1914 when the main parties of the socialist Second International supported the war effort of their respective governments. But the shock did not lead to his rejection of the prewar Marxist orthodoxy but rather to an outraged affirmation of this orthodoxy against those who (in Lenin’s view) had betrayed it.”

VI Lenin and the influence of Kautsky (Weekly Worker, Issue 783, September 3, 2009)
In the first of three talks given at the CPGB’s Communist University, historian Lars T Lih discussed the relationship between two great Marxists. This is an edited version of his speech dealing with the period 1894-1914.”

Lenin, Kautsky, and 1914 (Weekly Worker, Issue 784, September 10, 2009)
“In the second of his talks to the CPGB’s Communist University, Lars T Lih takes a closer look at Lenin’s reaction to the betrayal of German social democracy at the outbreak of World War I.”

The four wagers of Lenin in 1917 (Weekly Worker, Issue 785, September 17, 2009)
“The Bolshevik decision to make revolution was based on four key predictions, or ”˜wagers’, says Lars T Lih: international revolution, soviet democracy, peasant followership and progress towards socialism. This is an edited version of the third speech he gave to the CPGB’s Communist University.”

Lenin’s return? (International Socialist Review, Issue 59, May-June 2008)
“Helen Scott, Paul Le Blanc, and Lars Lih discuss Lenin’s relevance today and how historians have gotten him wrong.”



(Vimeo, 61 min.):
“Historian Lars T Lih addresses Communist University 2010 on the thorny question of Lenin, the Bolsheviks and political freedom. Taking a historical perspective, he traces the role of political freedom from Marx and Engels onwards.”

Se flere videoer med Lars T. Lih om Lenin og den russiske revolution på


Andre Lenin-biografier på dansk

Kurt Jacobsen: Lenin: en biografi (Informations Forlag, 2012, 382 sider)

Niels Erik Rosenfeldt: Lenin: en revolutionær fundamentalist (Høst og Søn, 2008, 299 sider)

Louis Fischer: Lenin. Bind 1-2 (Fremad, 1967, 283 + 285 sider)

Georg Reinhold Mac: Kamerat Lenin (Branner og Korch, 1967, 236 sider)

Nina Gourfinkel: Lenin (Gyldendal, 1966, 200 sider)

Georg Moltved: Lenin: en biografi (Borgen, 1966, 335 sider)

Se her også:

Tidslinjen 22 april 1870 om Lenin-bøger af Neil Harding, Christopher Read, Robert Service, Dmitri Volkogonov, Paul Le Blanc, Marcel Liebman og Tony Cliff (Socialistisk Bibliotek)


Se også på Socialistisk Bibliotek:



Lenin Rediscovered: What is to be Done? in Context. By Lars T. Lih (Brill, Historical Materialism Book Series, 2006, 867 p.). See the book online at
And see Symposium on Lars Lih’s ‘Lenin Rediscovered’ (Vol.18, No.3, 2010). Only abstracts online. See online edition at Red Atlanta (pdf). With articles by Paul Blackledge (p.25-33), Ronald Grigor Suny (p.34-46), Robert Mayer (p.47-63), Chris Harman: Lenin rediscovered (p.64-74), Alan Shandro (p.75-89), Paul Le Blanc: Rediscovering Lenin (p.90-107), and Lars T. Lih: Lenin disputed (p.108-174).

Lenin, Bolshevism, and Social-Democratic political theory. By John Marot (Historical Materialism, Vol.22, No.2-3, 2014, p.129-171; online at John Riddell: Marxist Essays and Commentary)

The real Vladimir Lenin. By John Marot (Jacobin: Reason in Revolt, November 6, 2016)