Revolution and Culture: The Bogdanov-Lenin Controversy

Zenovia A. Sochor

Language: English


Zenovia A. Sochor here assesses one of the most important debates within the Bolshevik leadership during the early years of Soviet power-that between A. A. Bogdanov and V. I. Lenin. Once comrades-in-arms, Bogdanov and Lenin became political rivals prior to the October Revolution. Their disagreements over political and cultural issues led to a split in the Bolshevik Party, with Bogdanov spearheading the party's left-wing faction and attracting a following of notable intellectuals. Before Lenin died in 1924, however, he had succeeded in shaping Soviet society according to his own vision, and today Bolshevism is commonly identified with Leninism while Bogdanovism is little known. Sochor provides the first full exposition in English of Bogdanov's views, which, she asserts, must be understood to appreciate the choices available and the paths not taken during the formative years of the Soviet regime.