Lenin's brother : the origins of the October Revolution /
Philip Pomper.
edition
1st ed.
imprint
New York : W.W. Norton & Co., c2010.
description
xxvi, 276 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 25 cm.
ISBN
0393070794 (hardcover), 9780393070798 (hardcover)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : W.W. Norton & Co., c2010.
isbn
0393070794 (hardcover)
9780393070798 (hardcover)
abstract
Probing the Ulyanov family archives, historian Philip Pomper uncovers Alexander Ulyanov's transformation from ascetic student to terrorist, and the impact his fate had on his younger brother Lenin. Vividly portraying the psychological dynamics of a family that would change history, "Lenin's Brother" is a perspective-changing glimpse into Lenin's formative years--and his subsequent behavior as a revolutionary.
catalogue key
7057443
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 249-254) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2009-11-09:
In 1887, the future leader of the Russian revolution, Vladimir Ulyanov (later Lenin), was 17 when his 21-year-old brother was hanged for his role in a bungled attempt to assassinate Czar Alexander III. Historians consider this the seminal event that launched Lenin's career as a revolutionary. Wesleyan history professor Pomper (The Russian Intelligentsia) delivers an absorbing and surprisingly detailed account of Alexander Ulyanov's short life and even shorter career (four months) as a terrorist. Although a small minority among Russia's many reformers, violent revolutionaries hit the jackpot in 1881 by assassinating Czar Alexander II. This produced not the hoped-for reform but the opposite: mass arrests, informers, and oppressive laws. Yet plots to kill his successor flourished. Pomper describes half a dozen fanatic students at St. Petersburg University who recruited Alexander, assembled bombs, printed literature, and laid plans until the police, informed of the plot, arrived. Lenin never mentioned his brother, but others did, and Pomper delivers a spirited account of this obscure figure, skillfully interweaving a vivid portrait of 19th-century Russian culture and revolutionary ferment. 16 pages of illus. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Choice on 2010-11-01:
While the Soviet historical apparatus functioned, Lenin's brother, representing the terrorist impulses in the Russian Revolution, was considered a loser. Today, Pomper's book seems quite timely because terrorism has moved front and center as a tactic in the global revolutionary movement. This study is a full biography of Alexander Ulyanov, whose execution by the tsar inspired his brother Vladimir (in history known as Lenin) to revenge. Vladimir, contrary to Alexander's terrorism, proposed to anchor his ideas in Marxism. From a contemporary perspective, those chapters dealing with Alexander's education and the ethos of the times will engage readers most directly. The major part of the book is devoted to a description of the plot to kill the tsar and the subsequent trial, in which Alexander was found guilty and then executed. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels. A. Ezergailis Ithaca College
Appeared in Library Journal on 2010-01-01:
Serious students of the Bolshevik Revolution know that its leader, Lenin, had an older brother who was executed for his involvement in a failed plot to assassinate Russia's Tsar Alexander III. Lenin's brother is something of a phantom presence in the life of Lenin and of revolutionary Russia. How did a brilliant biology student at St. Petersburg University become the leader of a terrorist conspiracy, and to what extent was he responsible for Lenin's becoming the most important revolutionary of the 20th century? With this richly contextualized and highly readable biography, Pomper (history, Wesleyan Univ.; The Russian Revolutionary Intelligentsia) makes it difficult to forget the name of Alexander (Sasha) Ulyanov and argues that the October Revolution can be traced to his death at the hands of the state. Although only a handful of Alexander's letters and writings are extant, Pomper manages to take the measure of the man and his times by an expert use of sources, knowledge of Russian intellectual history, and probing of the psychological undercurrents of Alexander's family and the psychodynamics of groups such as the terrorist faction of the People's Will. VERDICT This work deserves a wide readership, from serious students and scholars of revolutionary Russia to enthusiasts of biography or psychohistory.-Sean Pollock, Wright State Univ., Dayton, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
Review Quotes
[A] richly contextualized and highly readable biography.... This work deserves a wide readership, from serious students and scholars of revolutionary Russia to enthusiasts of biography or psychohistory.
A little-known episode from the Russian past illuminates some of its most significant events.... An evenhanded, complex, fascinating historical analysis.
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews,
Publishers Weekly, November 2009
Booklist, January 2010
Library Journal, January 2010
Reference & Research Book News, May 2010
Choice, November 2010
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
The gripping untold story of a terrorist leader whose death would catapult his brother -- Lenin -- to revolution. In 1886, Alexander Ulyanov, a brilliant biology student, joined a small group of students at St. Petersburg University to plot the assassination of Russia's tsar. Known as "Second First March" for the date of their action, this group failed disastrously in their mission, and its leaders, Alexander included, were executed. History has largely forgotten Alexander, but for the most important consequence of his execution: his younger brother, Vladimir, went on to lead the October Revolution of 1917 and head the new Soviet government under his revolutionary pseudonym "Lenin." Probing the Ulyanov family archives, historian Philip Pomper uncovers Alexander's transformation from ascetic student to terrorist, and the impact his fate had on Lenin. Vividly portraying the psychological dynamics of a family that would change history, Lenin's Brother is a perspective-changing glimpse into Lenin's formative years -- and his subsequent behavior as a revolutionary.
Main Description
The gripping untold story of a terrorist leader whose death would catapult his brother -- Lenin -- to revolution.In 1886, Alexander Ulyanov, a brilliant biology student, joined a small group of students at St. Petersburg University to plot the assassination of Russia's tsar. Known as "Second First March" for the date of their action, this group failed disastrously in their mission, and its leaders, Alexander included, were executed. History has largely forgotten Alexander, but for the most important consequence of his execution: his younger brother, Vladimir, went on to lead the October Revolution of 1917 and head the new Soviet government under his revolutionary pseudonym "Lenin." Probing the Ulyanov family archives, historian Philip Pomper uncovers Alexander's transformation from ascetic student to terrorist, and the impact his fate had on Lenin. Vividly portraying the psychological dynamics of a family that would change history, Lenin's Brother is a perspective-changing glimpse into Lenin's formative years -- and his subsequent behavior as a revolutionary.
Bowker Data Service Summary
In 1886 Aleksandr Ulianov joined a small group of students at St. Petersburg University to plot the assassination of Russia's tsar. The group failed in their mission and the groups leaders, including Aleksandr, were executed. His younger brother Vladimir lead the October Revolution in 1917. This is their story.
Library of Congress Summary
Probing the Ulyanov family archives, historian Philip Pomper uncovers Alexander Ulyanov's transformation from ascetic student to terrorist, and the impact his fate had on his younger brother Lenin. Vividly portraying the psychological dynamics of a family that would change history, "Lenin's Brother" is a perspective-changing glimpse into Lenin's formative years--and his subsequent behavior as a revolutionary.
Main Description
In 1886, Alexander Ulyanov, a brilliant biology student, joined a small group of students at St. Petersburg University to plot the assassination of Russia's tsar. Known as 'œSecond First March' for the date of their action, this group failed disastrously in their mission, and its leaders, Alexander included, were executed. History has largely forgotten Alexander, but for the most important consequence of his execution: his younger brother, Vladimir, went on to lead the October Revolution of 1917 and head the new Soviet government under his revolutionary pseudonym 'œLenin.' Probing the Ulyanov family archives, historian Philip Pomper uncovers Alexander's transformation from ascetic student to terrorist, and the impact his fate had on Lenin. Vividly portraying the psychological dynamics of a family that would change history, Lenin's Brother is a perspective-changing glimpse into Lenin's formative years'”and his subsequent behavior as a revolutionary.
Main Description
In 1886, Alexander Ulyanov, a brilliant biology student, joined a small group of students at St. Petersburg University to plot the assassination of Russia's tsar. Known as Second First March for the date of their action, this group failed disastrously in their mission, and its leaders, Alexander included, were executed. History has largely forgotten Alexander, but for the most important consequence of his execution: his younger brother, Vladimir, went on to lead the October Revolution of 1917 and head the new Soviet government under his revolutionary pseudonym Lenin. Probing the Ulyanov family archives, historian Philip Pomper uncovers Alexander's transformation from ascetic student to terrorist, and the impact his fate had on Lenin. Vividly portraying the psychological dynamics of a family that would change history, Lenin's Brother is a perspective-changing glimpse into Lenin's formative years-and his subsequent behavior as a revolutionary.
Main Description
In 1886, Alexander Ulyanov, a brilliant biology student, joined a small group of students at St. Petersburg University to plot the assassination of Russia "s tsar. Known as SSecond First March for the date of their action, this group failed disastrously in their mission, and its leaders, Alexander included, were executed. History has largely forgotten Alexander, but for the most important consequence of his execution: his younger brother, Vladimir, went on to lead the October Revolution of 1917 and head the new Soviet government under his revolutionary pseudonym SLenin. Probing the Ulyanov family archives, historian Philip Pomper uncovers Alexander "s transformation from ascetic student to terrorist, and the impact his fate had on Lenin. Vividly portraying the psychological dynamics of a family that would change history, Lenin "s Brother is a perspective-changing glimpse into Lenin "s formative years ”and his subsequent behavior as a revolutionary.

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