In 1903, at the close of the Second Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, the socialist party had split into two factions, those that would follow Lenin’s proposed revolutionary path and those that would follow Iulii Martov—a group that would call themselves the Mensheviks.
A Jewish Marxist, Martov was known among fellow party members as an intellectual, an anti-war internationalist, and a successful organizer. He wrote prolifically for a number of important revolutionary outlets inside and outside Russia including Iskra and Zarya, Nashe Slovo, and Golos.
Despite his significant contributions to the Russian Revolution, Martov’s only book, World Bolshevism, has seen very little circulation since its first publication in Berlin in 1919. Parts of that first edition, a Russian-language edition, appeared for the first time in Russia in 2000, when it was deemed safe enough to circulate his work once again. In English, his work has reached the public in fragments, often as a part of pamphlets. In this edition, ably translated by Paul Kellogg and Mariya Melentyeva, Martov's work is available in English in its complete form for the first time in a hundred years.
Iulii Martov (1873-1923) was the ideological leader of the Mensheviks in the first part of the twentieth-century. An anti-war internationalist, Martov theorized that Bolshevism was not the unique product of an agrarian revolution but the result of a new class produced by the end of the First World War, a class of peasants-in-uniform.
Foreword to the 1923 Russian Edition
I. Roots of World Bolshevism
II. The Ideology of “Sovietism”
III. Decomposition or Conquest of the State?
Appendix – Marx and the Problem of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat
Notes from the 1938 translation by Herman Jerson
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