A political and intellectual biographical study of Lenin which focuses on those aspects of his thought and political activities that had a bearing on the accession of the Bolsheviks to power in Russia in 1917 and the creation of the Soviet state. The book places Lenin in the context of his times and shows his relationship to other socialist thinkers. In particular it locates Lenin within the development of Marxist thought in Russia. Its historiographical chapter reveals the political factors which influenced the way biographies of Lenin were written in the Soviet Union. The book makes use of first hand materials including sources from the Russian archives.