Lenin's Legacy

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This concise monograph traces Russian Marxism from its beginnings to mid-1977, shows how and why the party achieved power, how it has strengthened its position, and how it has undertaken to remold the country and to solve its internal problems. Wesson's study is the only up-to-date party history currently available. The book opens with background material on Russian discontent and endeavors to analyze the fundamental nature of Communist Party rule, taking into account new perspectives in Lenin's revolution, the Stalinist period, and the Khrushchev years, as well as the latest period not covered in earlier accounts. It treats the rise of Lenin, the struggle for power after Lenin and after Stalin, and the consolidation of Brezhnev's authority. As the most recent history of communism in the Soviet Union, it has great topical interest and is clearly written for the benefit of the student and general reader as well as the professional.


Dr. Wesson, who received a Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1961, served with the Foreign Service in Brazil and Colombia after graduating from the Tuft University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in 1941. He served in the Navy from 1944 to 1946 and lived for a time in South America. He was a visiting professor at Bates College and a resident scholar at St. Antony's College at Oxford. In 1964 he joined the faculty of the University of California at Santa Barbara and in 1977 was named curator of the Russian-East European Collection of the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace. He had been a senior research fellow at Stanford since 1978. He wrote more than 30 books on political science, international affairs, biology and the evolutionary process, including "Beyond Natural Selection" and "Cosmos and Metacosmos."