Lenin's Will

Yuri Buranov, Author, Iu A. Buranov, Author Prometheus Books $41 (241p) ISBN 978-0-87975-886-8
Lenin, in deathbed letters and other dictations which became known as his ``will,'' warned of Stalin's thirst for power while giving Trotsky mixed praise. Stalin was able to conceal this document until Max Eastman revealed its existence in his 1926 book, Since Lenin Died. In a study which amply quotes from memos and other papers, Buranov, a history professor in Moscow, suggests that Stalin reworded and falsified Lenin's original directives. Tapping the Communist Party archives, Buranov reproduces a handwritten document of Stalin's wife, Nadezhda Alliluyeva--one of Lenin's secretaries--which differs from the typescript of the same document and seems to indicate Stalin's treachery at work. Although this comprises the author's only evidence for his contentions, Buranov notes that we may never know whether Stalin reworded Lenin's ``will,'' since other handwritten reports of Lenin's dictations were destroyed. Nevertheless, this dense study sheds light on the fierce power struggle that ended with Stalin as absolute dictator. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/30/1994
Release date: 06/01/1994
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