Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov Lenin: The Development of Capitalism in Russia

The Process of the Formation of a Home Market for Large-Scale Industry, Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow 1956, published in Great Britain by Lawrence and Wishart LTD, London, 1957

* 1870, Simbirsk, Russia, † 1924, Party sanitorium at Gorki, Soviet Union

Charge: Subversion
Prison: Peter and Paul Fortress, St. Petersburg (Map)

Lenin’s book The Development of Capitalism in Russia was the result of tremendous research lasting more than three years. Lenin began intensive work on his book when in prison, soon after his arrest in connection with the case of the St. Petersburg “League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class,” and finished it in the village of Shushenskoye where he lived in exile. He had, however, been gathering material for his book long before he began writing it.

In his first letter from prison, dated January 2, 1896, Lenin wrote: “I have a plan that has occupied my mind considerably ever since I was arrested, increasingly so as time passes. I have long been engaged on an economic problem (that of the marketing of the products of manufacturing industry within the country), have selected some literature, drawn up a plan for its analysis and have even done some writing with a view to having my work published in book form, should its dimensions exceed those of a magazine article. I should be very unwilling to give up on the job, and am now, apparently, faced with the alternative of either writing it here or of abandoning it altogether.” (See present edition, Vol. 37)

In the same letter, in addition to giving instructions about books to be obtained according to a list he had drawn up, Lenin unfolded his plan of work:

“The list of books,” he wrote, “is divided into the two parts into which my book is divided. A–The general theoretical part. This requires fewer books, so that, in any case, I hope to write it. although it needs more preparatory work. B–The application of the theoretical principles to Russian facts. This part requires very many books. The chief difficulty will be: 1) Zemstvo publications. Part of them, by the way, I already have, but another part (small monographs) may be ordered, and a part may be obtained through statisticians I know; 2) Government publications–the papers of commissions, reports and minutes of congresses, etc. These are important, but they are more difficult to obtain. Some of them, even the majority, I think, are in the library of the Free Economic Society. (See present edition, Vol. 37)

Lenin’s sister, A. I. Ulyanova-Elizarova, relates in her reminiscences that while Vladimir Ilyich was working on his book in prison “he decided to use the St. Petersburg libraries in order to obtain material needed for the work he had planned and that he knew he would not be able to get in exile. And so in prison he made an intense study of a mass of source material, and copied out numerous extracts. I dragged heaps of books to him from the Free Economic Society library, from the Academy of Sciences and from other scientific book reposititories.” [...]

quoted from:

Other prison writings by the author:

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