Lenin's Brother: The Origins of the October Revolution

Lenin's Brother: The Origins of the October Revolution

Philip Pomper

Language: English

Pages: 304

ISBN: 0393070794

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


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. 11 black-and-white illustrations

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added to the regime’s many headaches. Although the drive for national autonomy remained tied to the quest for liberal constitutions in much of the European imperial world, it gradually began to form links with socialism. Not a nationalist in the narrow sense of the word, like the Polish revolutionaries with whom he consorted, Lukashevich passionately hated Russian imperial rule; and, like Sasha and other members of his generation, he placed his knowledge of science and technical skill in the

forty-eight hours for preparing and delivering petitions; that period ran out at noon on April 25. Neklyudov’s physical and psychological collapse meant that Smirnov had to attend to the review of the petitions and the presentation of the Senate’s advice to the tsar on April 30.28 A PROPER PETITION to the tsar required fulfillment of all of the formal signs of obeisance to a monarch: the correct form of address, the repetition of such throughout the letter, profuse expressions of contrition,

taken over the leadership role. On March 22, while at his Gatchina retreat, Alexander III read Ulyanov’s deposition about the formulation of a scientific program for the unification of the different terrorist groups in the empire. Aside from setting forth the thinking behind the program and the program itself, the deposition contained Sasha’s frank assessment of his role in the “terrorist faction of the People’s Will.” To conclude I want to define more precisely my participation in the entire

Schlüsselburg. The tsar, of course, had deferred to Pobedonostsev in Novorussky’s case. Alexander III upheld Shevyrev’s death sentence, just as he had for Ulyanov and the bomb throwers. The tsar did show pity, at least, for Anna. Anna remained in preliminary detention until May 11. For her aid to the conspiracy the court initially sentenced her to exile in eastern Siberia for five years. Alexander III at first upheld the verdict, but Anna wrote to the tsar and the minister of justice begging

Generalov claims that they walked along the embankment, but the police spy claims that they walked along Bolshoi Prospect, in the area of the university. For Generalov’s account see Pervoe Marta 1887 goda, 70, 74–75; for Andreyushkin’s, ibid., 84; for the police spy’s, ibid., 146–47. Generalov testified that they met on February 21 or 22. Andreyushkin’s somewhat confusing account suggests that the throwers met on February 20 and February 21. Osipanov sets the date as February 20. As for the

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