The lost voice of Iulii Martov

Iulii Martov

First published at PolEconJournal.

To students of twentieth-century Russian history, the name Vladimir Il’ich Lenin is a constant, and inevitable, presence. But the name Iulii Osipovich Tsederbaum—better known through the pseudonym “Iulii Martov”—is either entirely absent from view or present only as a mysterious, and often unsavoury, figure. Prior to the revolution of 1917, this would not have been the case. Boris Souvarine would until 1924 be a close collaborator with Lenin. But for Souvarine and others of his generation growing up in France, “Lenin was only an indistinct reference point. Very few people had even heard of him. Trotsky, Martov and Lozovsky were better known.”[1] However, Lenin’s Bolshevik wing of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (Rossiiskaia sotsial-demokraticheskaia rabochaia partiia, or RSDRP) achieved state power, while Martov and the Menshevik wing of the party were suppressed. That suppression was intense, and Martov’s writings almost entirely disappeared from view—a remarkable feat given that Martov was a very prolific author.

Like Lenin, a lifelong political journalist, Martov wrote literally hundreds of articles. In addition, his biographer, Israel Getzler, lists fully thirty-six “books and pamphlets” authored by Martov.[2] This voluminous output notwithstanding, it was not until 2000 that an edition of some of his key writings (including sections I and II of World Bolshevism) was published in Russia. As its editors noted, “most of these works are reprinted in Russia for the first time, since for many decades it was extremely dangerous even to mention the author’s name.”[3] Martov’s works are almost as scarce in English translation. In 1938, The State and the Socialist Revolution—a pamphlet containing sections II and III of World Bolshevism in the translation of Herman Jerson—appeared in New York but was never widely circulated, and otherwise readers have been limited to a few excerpts in anthologies and the selections available on the Marxists Internet Archive.[4]

By contrast, as a spinoff from the long-running state-sponsored cult of Lenin (which came to an end only with the collapse of the Soviet Union), we are inundated with material from Lenin—in Russian, English, and many other languages. According to the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, “465,714,000 copies of works by Lenin were published in the USSR from 1918 to 1974.” This included “355,479,000 copies published in Russian, 70,860,000 in 62 other national languages of the USSR, and 33,975,000 in 39 foreign languages.”[5] This is not merely an artifact of the Cold War era. According to UNESCO’s Index Translationum, in the first decade of the twenty-first century, Lenin ranked seventh on the list of the world’s most translated authors, trailing William Shakespeare and Agatha Christie but ahead of Charles Dickens and Mark Twain.[6]

This absenting of Martov and highlighting of Lenin distorts our view of history. In his era, Martov was without question one of the most important intellectuals and leaders of the Russian Left, including its principal organization, the RSDRP. His contemporary, Alexander Potresov, was not alone in his view that Martov, even when very young, “was essentially predestined to become the center of the party, its truly beloved representative.”[7] In my own study of the politics of Martov’s era, “Truth Behind Bars, I drew on many of Martov’s key writings. Yet on the whole, Martov’s works are far less well-known than those of many other writers of the period. As we will see, his name has come to be associated not only with the “reformism” allegedly characteristic of the Mensheviks but also with “social patriotism” (an archaic phrase that I examine in more detail below)—in a manner that often fails to differentiate the anti-war section of the Mensheviks, to which Martov belonged, from the section that came out in support of the war in 1914. Martov was, in fact, a lifelong internationalist, and during the “Great War” he organized the tendency known as “Menshevik-Internationalist” (which we might render in contemporary discourse as “anti-war Menshevik”) precisely because he was a passionate opponent of the slaughter. His anti-war and internationalist credentials are absolutely impeccable.

Hence the title for this introduction. The phrase “Martov’s voice” references both the prolific political voice—writings and speeches—of this scholar-activist, and his physical voice, virtually mute in the last months of his life as he struggled with what was to be a fatal disease, in the literature variously called tuberculosis or cancer of either the throat or larynx. This disease ultimately cut short his life at the age of forty-nine. We will, of course, never recover Martov’s physical voice. But we can hear an echo of his political voice by making available portions of his vast intellectual output, writings that had a wide audience during his lifetime but that have been buried, distorted, and forgotten in the decades since.

Analytically, what has been lost with the silencing of Martov’s voice is the framework he and his co-thinkers constructed for understanding the class dynamics of the Russian Revolution, a framework developed in World Bolshevism and summarized by Martov’s colleague Raphael Abramovitch in The Soviet Revolution, 1917–1939.[8] Martov and Abramovitch were historical materialists (“Marxists”) trained in the classical tradition of nineteenth-century European social democracy. As such, they saw class struggle as the central aspect of historical development. However, they argued that the traditional categories of class analysis—bourgeoisie, petite bourgeoisie, proletariat, lumpen-proletariat, and so on—were inadequate and misleading when applied schematically to the revolutionary wave that swept Russia and much of Europe after the terrible slaughter of World War I. They argued that a “temporary new class” of peasants and workers in uniform—and, in Russia, this meant overwhelmingly peasants in uniform—was the pivotal actor in this revolutionary wave. This temporary new class was revolutionary, grimly committed to sweeping all before it in an angry determination to leave the killing fields, return home, and seize control of farm and factory. But this temporary new class was revolutionary in a very particular way. The awful experience of nearly four years in the trenches imbued this temporary new class with a habit of solving political disputes through force of arms. In addition, these peasants and workers in uniform had lost faith in their “democratic socialist” party leaders, who had urged them into the hell of the trenches to kill and maim workers and farmers from other countries. Combined, this created an environment in which democracy—itself a fledgling presence on the Russian political landscape—was seen as contingent rather than essential, in which terror was an acceptable tactic, and in which the “old” traditions of politics and organization were held in contempt. Lenin and the Bolsheviks were able to ride this revolutionary wave to power. But in uncritically adopting a contempt for democracy and the habit of settling disputes with violence, they simultaneously laid the seeds for a reversion to an earlier “utopian” or “Jacobin” form of socialism, and ultimately for the creation of a bureaucratic state based on violence and the suppression of democratic freedoms.[9]

From Tsar to Gulag

The silencing of Martov’s voice began under the tsar. In January 1896, at the age of twenty-two, he was arrested for anti-tsarist organizing. Six months later, he began a three-year exile in the subarctic Siberian colony of Turukhansk, a “little decaying town at the end of nowhere,” according to Getzler, where “the tuberculosis of the throat which plagued and shortened his life seems to have been contracted.”[10]

The silencing of Martov’s voice continued in the context of the Civil War period after the 1917 revolution. Martov wrote the twelve chapters of World Bolshevism in 1919. The first nine chapters were serialized that same year in several issues of the Menshevik-affiliated journal Mysl’ (Thought), published out of the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv (or Kharkov, in the Russian spelling). However, at the end of June, General Denikin’s so-called Volunteer Army (better understood as a counter-revolutionary “White” army) conquered and occupied the city, ending all left publishing initiatives.[11] Of the remaining three chapters, the Russian text of one (chapter 10) was published in 1921 in Sotsialisticheskii vestnik (Socialist courier), the Menshevik journal-in-exile based in Berlin, but the entire work became available only in 1923, in a Russian-language edition also published in Berlin.

But the silencing of Martov’s voice was also the result of actions by the revolutionary “Red” state of the Bolsheviks. Martov’s wing of the RSDRP—the Menshevik-Internationalists—had much in common with the Bolsheviks, in particular a fierce opposition to the Great War. Almost simultaneously with what was to go down in history as the October Revolution of 1917, Martov’s internationalist, anti-war wing wrested full control of the Mensheviks from pro-war socialists and from that point on found themselves caught between the counter-revolutionary Right and the Bolshevik state. Martov and the Mensheviks, under his leadership, opposed those who took up arms against the Bolshevik state as playing into the hands of the counter-revolution while simultaneously opposing the Bolshevik drift into single-party rule. Matters of principle were at stake. The two parties differed on the related questions of democracy and terror. For the Bolsheviks, support for the first and resort to the latter were tactical, contingent questions. For Martov, support for democracy and opposition to terror were matters of principle. Martov and the Mensheviks were thus awkwardly positioned, in Getzler’s words, as a “harassed, semi-loyal, semi-irreconcilable opposition” to the new Bolshevik-run state.[12] This led to years of confrontation between the two left groups.

These complex political positions are reflected in the terminology deployed to analyze the events of the period. From the 1920s on, according to an important and detailed 2012 linguistic analysis, the phrase October revoliutsiia (October Revolution) became “the only official designation for the event that resulted in the Bolsheviks seizing power.”[13] However, in 1917, “the phrase October perevorot . . . was used as the official designation . . . along with the phrases October revoliutsiia and October vosstanie.”[14] Importantly, this was the practice of the Bolshevik editors of Pravda in 1917, for whom “the words revoliutsiia [revolution], vosstanie [uprising] and perevorot [overturn] were used as quasi-synonyms to refer to the same events,” including both the February and October Revolutions.[15] Martov and his co-thinkers held on to the word perevorot as their term of choice, a practice highlighted by Leopold Haimson. A quick contemporary translation of perevorot might be “coup,” or when applied to the events of 1917, “October Revolution”[16] Haimson avoids both and instead uses the English word “overturn.”[17] To translate Oktiabr’skii perevorot as “October Coup” would imply a completely negative attitude toward the event. To translate it as “October Revolution” would align Martov too closely with the Bolshevik view, with which he had many very serious differences. Oktiabr’skii perevorot (the October overturn) aligns most closely with Martov’s approach, recognizing as it does the reality of an event of immense importance without any implied reverence for the resulting regime.

The criticisms levelled by Martov against the regime that emerged from the October overturn were pointed, and they were rooted above all in a defence of what he saw as socialist principle. In the conclusion to “Truth Behind Bars, I documented Martov’s trenchant criticism of the Bolsheviks’ resort to summary executions as a matter of state policy. Seven months after the October overturn, he wrote:

In every town, in every district, various “Extraordinary Commissions” and “Military-Revolutionary Committees” have ordered the execution of hundreds and hundreds of people.[18] . . . We Social Democrats are opposed to all terror, both from above and from below. Therefore, we are also against the death penalty—this extreme means of terror, of intimidation, to which all rulers resort when they have lost the trust of the people. The struggle against the death penalty was inscribed on the banners of all those who struggled for the freedom and happiness of the Russian people, all those who struggled for socialism.[19]

These attacks on basic freedoms had begun much earlier. Immediately after the Bolshevik victory, liberal newspapers were forcibly suppressed. The revolution’s great chronicler, Nikolai Sukhanov, writes that “on the very next day following the victorious uprising the residents of Petersburg found several of the capital’s newspapers missing.”

The Military Revolutionary Committee had shut them down—for harassing the Soviets and similar crimes. . . . In the morning, sailors were sent to the distribution centres of Rech [Speech] and Sovremennoe slovo [Contemporary word]. All available issues were confiscated, taken out into the street in an enormous mass, and immediately set on fire. The never-before-seen auto-da-fé attracted a large audience.[20]

The repression of the press was by no means restricted to these liberal publications. Martov’s party, just weeks after the October overturn, issued a statement saying that,

the central organ of our party, the Workers’ Gazette, has been forcibly shut down, along with other papers, by the War Revolutionary Committee. . . . After our new central organ, The Ray, started to appear, the printing works were seized by sailors and Red Guards. . . . These men, whose power is based on bayonets, are determined to prolong their dictatorship and for that purpose are destroying all freedoms including those of the press and assembly, the right to form trade unions and to strike.[21]

In spite of these pressures, Martov and his supporters found ways to reopen their newspapers, which continued to function more or less freely for a few more months. But in June 1918, the Bolsheviks expelled Martov and five other Mensheviks, along with members of the Party of Social Revolutionaries, from their positions in the All-Russian Central Executive Committee (Vserossiiskii Tsentral’nyi Ispolnitel’nyi Komitet, or VTsIK), the leading legislative body of the new state) and again closed down their newspapers.[22] Getzler says this repression “drove them underground, just on the eve of the elections to the Fifth Congress of Soviets in which the Mensheviks were expected to make significant gains. . . . And for the next two years the Bolsheviks were to keep them, somewhat as the tsar had done, in an uncertain state of semi-legal opposition.”[23] Nonetheless, organizing continued. An Assembly of Factory and Plant Authorized Representatives convened in July 1918 and elected Raphael Abramovitch as chair. It was quickly dispersed, however, its delegates arrested and, as Abramovitch writes in his first-hand account, “accused of plotting against the Soviet government and threatened with the death penalty.” The threat of execution was real, and in September some of Abramovitch’s friends managed to obtain permission for his wife to visit him in the prison to say goodbye. In the end, though, his execution was cancelled.[24]

The Mensheviks’ semi-legality lasted until the spring of 1920. On 21 May 1920, between 3,000 and 6,000 people attended a meeting hosted by the Moscow printers’ union, whose leading bodies at that time still included many Mensheviks. The occasion was a visit from a British Labour Party delegation, on tour to investigate the situation in Soviet Russia. Menshevik leader Fedor Dan shared the platform with many other left leaders, including several Bolsheviks. Toward the end of the meeting an individual described by David Dallin as “a man with a long beard” climbed up onto the platform, where he sought and was granted permission to speak on behalf of the Party of Social Revolutionaries. As he spoke, people came to realize that the long beard was a disguise concealing Victor Chernov, famous leader of the Social Revolutionaries and a man on the run from the Bolshevik state. Dan’s eyewitness account is riveting:

When the speaker had finished, the Bolsheviks began to shout, “What is the name? Let him tell his name!” Chernov stepped forward and identified himself. The result was not what the Bolsheviks had expected. To their bloodhound zeal, to their cries, “Arrest him!” the audience responded with a loud ovation for the quarry, which made the Bolsheviks lose their heads. In the confusion, Chernov disappeared as unnoticeably as he had come.[25]

The 21 May 1920 event was, according to Dallin, “the last big oppositional meeting in the history of the revolution.”[26] Once the British delegation left the country, the Bolsheviks took measures to prevent any such display of opposition from happening in the future, removing some non-Bolshevik socialists from positions of leadership, arresting others, sending a few into exile.

Martov and Abramovitch were among those who would find their way into the relative safety of exile, where they were able to continue their political activity in the open. Many others, however, were doomed to disappear into the Gulag prison-camp system. That system came into full flower, of course, under Joseph Stalin.[27] But as early as 1925, Abramovitch co-authored a book, widely distributed among members of the workers’ movement outside Russia, documenting the mass internment, from 1923 on, of hundreds of non-Bolshevik Russian socialists in the Solovki prison camp.[28] Anne Applebaum explains that Solovki, established on the subarctic Solovetsky archipelago, came to be known in “survivors’ folklore” as the “first camp of the Gulag.”[29]

Iulii Osipovich Tsederbaum, Scholar-Activist

Operating under conditions of oppression was an experience familiar to Martov and his generation, particularly for those of a Jewish background. Iulii Osipovich Tsederbaum—the man we know as Iulii Martov—was born in November 1873. Throughout his entire life, his experience as a Jew in the Russian Empire would intersect and combine with his vocation as a socialist organizer—even though Martov was himself extremely secular and only learned Yiddish, the language of the Jewish-Russian proletariat, for political reasons as a young adult. The repression he experienced at the hands of the tsarist state provided him with a profound education in both the struggle of workers against exploitation and the struggle of Russia’s Jewish citizens against racism and prejudice—what today we might call an education in “intersectional” politics.[30]

As a teenage student in St. Petersburg, Martov, along with many of his generation, became an anti-tsarist political activist. In February 1892, the nineteen-year-old Martov was arrested for his political work, and after several months in prison (during which he was able to intensify his reading of key political texts), he was ultimately sentenced to two years of “exile from the two capitals”—a reference to Russia’s two principal cities, St. Petersburg and Moscow. As a Jewish citizen, he had to receive special sanction to live in these cities, and for two years this sanction was withdrawn. So, in June 1893, the young Martov (still not yet twenty) travelled from St. Petersburg to Vilno, which at the time was nicknamed the “Jerusalem of Lithuania.” Vilno (today, Vilnius) was an important city in what was then referred to as the Pale of Settlement, the only territory in the deeply antisemitic Russian Empire in which most Jews could achieve legal permanent residence. He discovered there a deep intersection between working-class socialism and the issues confronting the city’s large Jewish population.

In St. Petersburg, Martov and his comrades had labelled themselves the “Petersburg Emancipation of Labour Group.” The name reflected a bit of youthful enthusiasm on the part of the group’s members, as at the time there were no workers among them.[31] But once in Vilno, he encountered something quite different—a network of socialists who were organizing with “hundreds of young Jewish workers and artisans.” He immediately went to work as an educator (or propagandist), teaching three circles of workers “the elementary political economy, politics, and history which would turn his pupils eventually into conscious Marxists.”[32] Getzler says that as a Tsederbaum, Martov “was a third- or fourth-generation product of the Haskalah, the Jewish enlightenment movement, which was essentially an attempt to gain Jewish emancipation by way of education.”[33] In Vilno, Martov was in many ways picking up the thread of the Haskalah, striving for emancipation through socialist education.

However, for Martov and some of his friends, the limits of this approach were soon thrown into stark relief. While hundreds of young workers could be drawn to an approach that relied heavily on Russian-language texts, it was impossible to make any headway “among the ten thousand ordinary workers of Vilno who had no educational ambitions, spoke Yiddish, and knew little Russian.”[34] Martov and his comrades decided to make a change: they would henceforth shift from a strictly educational approach to one focussing on agitation around the day-to-day economic and social issues faced by the mass of Jewish workers in Vilno, and, importantly, they resolved to carry out their efforts in the workers’ own language—Yiddish. Martov helped to distill the essence of this “Vilno program” in what became a widely read pamphlet, On Agitation, the main points of which Martov summarized in a speech delivered to four hundred activists during the city’s 1895 May Day celebrations. According to Getzler,

Though agitation was one of its [the pamphlet’s] themes, it also had another. With great significance for the future, it may be regarded as the foundation charter of Bundism: the belief that the specific problems of the Jewish proletariat in the Pale of Settlement required the establishment of a separate Jewish labour movement. . . . There is little doubt that it was Martov alone who first collected these current and general ideas into clear formulas and “hard” policies.[35]

Thus it was that “Martov, the assimilated Jew from Petersburg with hardly a word of Yiddish, came to formulate the ideology and the rationale which in 1897 led to the foundation of the Bund,” the General Jewish Labour Bund in Lithuania, Poland, and Russia.

Bund leaders were aware of Martov’s role in the formation of their movement. In 1900, they republished his 1895 May Day speech with the title “A Turning-point in the History of the Jewish Workers’ Movement.”[36] But although a core participant in the political ferment that produced that enormously successful mass party based in the Yiddish-speaking proletariat, Martov soon shifted his focus to the publication of Russian-language material and the creation of an “all-Russian” network of activists. This project would end in disarray in 1903 with a complete fracturing of the Russian Left that would see Martov and Lenin first divided from the Bund and then, ultimately, divided from each other. Over the years, Martov’s estrangement from the Bund would be healed—the reconciliation symbolized, for instance, in his close collaboration with Abramovitch, a person who was simultaneously a leader of the Bund (an elected member of its Central Committee for many years) and of the Mensheviks.[37]

The split between Martov and Lenin would prove to be much more intractable. Ironically, it came at the conclusion of an intense unity initiative in which the regular production and distribution of émigré publications were used as activities through which the scattered local sections of the Left could be united. This project is almost universally seen as an initiative of Vladimir Lenin’s. In fact, three individuals were behind the unification effort. One of these, Alexander Potresov, says that “at the end of the period of our forced internal exile, we founded what Lenin called our ‘Triple Alliance’ (Lenin, Martov, and myself), with the aim of creating an illegal literary centre for the movement around the newspaper Iskra [Spark] and the journal Zaria [Dawn] making of these publications tools for building a truly all-Russian, unified, and organized party.”[38]

Lenin most clearly outlined the rationale for this attempt at left unity in a 1901 article published in Iskra under the title “Where to Begin?” “The role of a newspaper,” wrote Lenin, “is not limited solely to the dissemination of ideas, to political education, and to the involvement of political allies.”

The newspaper is not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, it is also a collective organizer. In this latter respect it may be likened to the scaffolding round a building under construction, which marks the contours of the structure and facilitates communication between the individual builders, enabling them to distribute the work and to survey the overall results achieved by their organized labour. With the aid of the newspaper, and in connection to it, a permanent organization will take shape that will engage not only in local activities, but also in regular, general work, which will train its members to closely monitor political events, assess their significance and their influence on various strata of the population, and develop effective means for the revolutionary party to influence those events. Just the technical tasks of regularly supplying the newspaper with material and promoting its regular distribution will make it necessary to create a network of local agents of a united party, agents who are in active relationship with each other, who know the general state of affairs, the varied functions of All-Russian work, and who try their hand at organizing various revolutionary actions. This network of agents will be the backbone of precisely the kind of organization we need.[39]

In an almost classically Leninist manner, Martov played the role of just such an “agent” throughout his life—a journalist, scholar, and organizer whose work facilitated the construction of a political current. His role in Lenin’s “all-Russian” unity project was foundational. From 1900 until 1903, he was, together with Potresov and Lenin, a core member of the “Triple Alliance” as they worked together to shape Iskra and Zaria, the poles around which the party was to be reconstructed. In this organizing work, according to P. Iu. Savel’ev and S. V. Tiutiukin, “Martov was simply irreplaceable.” When it came to work on Iskra, “Lenin acknowledged” that “he and Martov performed all editorial and technical functions for every issue.” Martov was “a first-rate socio-political commentator, one of those who defined the paper’s persona. Forty-nine of Martov’s pieces were published in Iskra from 1900 through 1903, including thirteen lead articles, while Lenin published thirty-two articles, including sixteen leaders.”[40] The subsequent split with Lenin would not end this aspect of Martov’s activism; indeed, he continued in this role as a journalist/scholar/organizer until his death.

However, the famously acrimonious 1903 Second Congress of the RSDRP, as we have seen, permanently shattered the Triple Alliance, dividing Lenin from Martov and Potresov and, for a time, dividing Martov and his supporters from the Bund. How did the Iskra/Zaria quest for left unity result in its opposite—the most extreme disunity?

The split with the Bund can be relatively easily understood. The Russian socialists would not countenance recognizing the Bund as an autonomous section within the RSDRP, a section with sole responsibility for the Jewish, Yiddish-speaking proletariat. The Bund—which was a genuine mass party within the Pale of Settlement—saw no reason to relinquish this autonomy to the much smaller, more rigid and doctrinaire sections of the party outside the Pale. Their autonomy denied, the Bund delegates left the congress. However, the split between Lenin and Martov is much less easy to understand. The relatively circumscribed nature of the differences between the two men—a subtle disagreement over the party’s membership criteria and the composition of the Iskra editorial board—was completely out of proportion to the extreme emotions on full display in what Getzler described as “that stormy session in which Lenin and his twenty ‘hards’ purged the editorial board.”[41] Brian Pearce says that there was “an atmosphere of extreme tension” at that session. One delegate “had to be restrained from beating up another delegate.”[42] Pearce cites the testimony of Nadezhda Krupskaya:

The struggle became exceedingly acute during the elections. A couple of scenes just before the voting remain in my memory. Axelrod was reproaching Bauman (“Sorokin”) for what seemed to him to be a lack of moral sense, and recalled some unpleasant gossip from exile days. Bauman remained silent, and tears came to his eyes.

Another scene I remember. Deutsch was angrily reprimanding “Glebov” (Noskov) about something. The latter raised his head, and with gleaming eyes said bitterly: “You just keep your mouth shut, you old dodderer!”[43]

At that stormy session, this same Nikolai Bauman, whom Getzler calls “one of Lenin’s best-trusted men,” was among those who heckled Martov while he was speaking.[44] Bauman’s name will reappear in the course of this narrative.

Tony Cliff articulates what is probably the hegemonic understanding of this unexpected and difficult-to-explain division—a premonition of necessary, inevitable divisions to come: namely, the split between Lenin’s “revolutionary” Bolsheviks and Martov’s “reformist” Mensheviks.[45] Lars Lih invites us to trouble this standard interpretation, arguing that “the somewhat frustrating debate of 1903–4 was not over the profound issues many people have wanted to read into it. All the same, neither was it a trivial squabble. We can best call it a characteristic split over empirical questions.”[46]

In “Truth Behind Bars” I point out that, in the moment, key individuals from what came to be called the “Menshevik” side of the division developed a third position, articulating a socialist politics explicitly based on the concept of self-activity. According to Leopold Haimson, “samoupravlenie, samostoiatel’nost’ samodeiatel’nost’ [lit. self-government, autonomy, self-activity] were terms used by the Mensheviks to express the need for the ‘active involvement’ of workers in public affairs,” and these “were developed by the Menshevik editors of Iskra following their 1903 split with Lenin.”[47] Pavel Axelrod, in an influential article, the first part of which was published in late 1903, the second in early 1904, outlined these ideas at some length, arguing that “the development of class self-awareness and the self-activity of the proletariat is a process of self-development and self-education of the working class,” the indispensable foundation for the “process of social-democratic self-development and self-education.”[48]  The young Leon Trotsky (at the time just twenty-four years old), in his first major work, Our Political Tasks, argued that the publication of Axelrod’s article marked “the beginning of a new era in our movement.”[49] “The basic task,” Trotsky argued, “may in general be formulated as consisting of the development of the self-activity of the proletariat.”[50]

An in-depth exploration of self-activity and its opposite, substitutionism, is undertaken in “Truth Behind Bars. Relevant here is another, fourth aspect to the bitter divide, prominent at the time but largely hidden from history in subsequent decades, one with profoundly ethical rather than simply empirical dimensions.

The Ethical Dimension

In the months leading up to the 1903 split, the principal protagonists had become enmeshed in a private and increasingly toxic cauldron of dysfunctional personal relations. Potresov describes the atmosphere among the members of the Iskra editorial board as one of “increasingly fierce political struggle” leading to “an extremely unpleasant aggravation” in their common work.[51] Lenin described this time as “three years of ‘legalistic wrangling.’”[52] He would also famously pin the blame for this toxicity on what he believed to be the psychological indecisiveness inherent to the intelligentsia—an aspect of his thought covered in extenso in “Truth Behind Bars. Potresov sees it quite differently, pinning the blame on Lenin, whom he called “a sectarian who had a serious Marxist training behind him, a Marxist sectarian!”[53] Potresov goes on to say that “the atmosphere surrounding Lenin was poisoned from the very outset by the fact that Lenin, in essence, was organically incapable of tolerating opinions that differed from his own, and consequently every editorial dispute tended to degenerate into a conflict accompanied by an acute aggravation of personal relations.” Lenin approached these debates deploying “war-like measures,” struggling to “gain the upper hand for his views, no matter the cost.”[54]

In early 1903, six months before the formal split, these tensions indeed exploded into open warfare. The issue was no longer one of mere personal friction but differences over standards of behaviour inside the party. Potresov’s account is grim:

Half a year before the party congress of 1903, at which the split in the party became a fact, relations between Lenin on the one hand, and Martov, Vera Zasulich and myself on the other—relations which had already become strained—broke down completely. The chance occasion that drew our attention to this Leninist amoralism and knocked the bottom out of the barrel was the resistance Lenin put up—with boundless cynicism—to the investigation into an accusation made by a complainant against one of the agents closest to him. All such accusations, even if they involved the death of a human being, were for Lenin only annoying obstacles standing in the way of his political successes, and as obstacles they were simply to be brushed aside.[55]

Lenin acknowledged the bitterness of this incident, saying that in the heat of debate, his opponents had called him and his ally Plekhanov “fiends and monsters” for defending a man whom Martov, Potresov, and Zasulich “all but ‘condemned’ . . . politically for an incident of a purely personal nature.”[56] But neither Lenin nor Potresov offer any meaningful details as to the nature of this incident.

To get those details, the best account comes from Lidiia Osipovna Dan (Martov’s sister), an account she provided to Leopold Haimson as part of a series of remarkable interviews recorded from exile in New York in the 1960s. Dan was a lifelong socialist, a key activist in the Iskra project, and from 1903 until her death in 1963, a committed member of the Menshevik wing of the party. Nikolai Bauman—referred to above as “one of Lenin’s best-trusted men”—was someone Dan knew “fairly well,” someone she described as being “rather derisive” and “enormously successful [sic] among his women comrades.” When in exile in Viatka province in the late 1890s, Bauman developed a relationship with another party activist, Claudia (Klavdiia) Prikhodko. After the couple broke up, Prikhodko “took up with” with another party activist, Metrov, who “helped her out, since she was very depressed.”[57] Getzler tells a very similar story, although in his account (and those of all others) Claudia Prikhodko remains anonymous.[58]

These intertwined personal relationships became a party issue after Prikhodko discovered she was pregnant. Bauman, who “could draw rather well . . . drew a caricature which everyone immediately recognized—Klavdiia as the Virgin Mary with a child in her womb, and a question mark asking who the baby looked liked. In short, it was pretty malicious, on the verge of being indecent. She was apparently very distraught, and committed suicide, hung herself.”[59]

Metrov (identified as “M.” by Getzler) brought to the Iskra editorial board, “as the highest party tribunal,” Claudia Prikhodko’s fifteen-page suicide note, dated 28 January 1902. In that note, according to Getzler,

she appealed to the party, “the party of the struggle for freedom, the dignity, and the happiness of man”: she complained of the “prevailing indifference” in the party to the “personal morality” of comrades, and expressed the hope that her “undeserved end” might “draw the attention of comrades to the question of the private morals of public figures.”[60]

The appeal was unsuccessful. Lenin, to the dismay of Potresov, Martov, and Zasulich, ruled it out of order as a purely personal matter, outside the competence of Iskra and detrimental to the interests of the party.”[61] Together with the grandee of the movement, G. V. Plekhanov, Lenin outlined the minority “dissenting” position in October 1902: “We find that the case, raised by Comrade Metrov, is a purely personal matter. . . . It cannot and, we firmly believe, should not be examined by any revolutionary organization at all. In particular, we, for our part, do not see at the present time absolutely any grounds for instituting actions against N. E. B[auman].”[62] Ultimately, on 17 October 1902, Lenin and Plekhanov accepted a resolution from Martov to shelve the issue. Martov wrote that “in view of the differences revealed in the meeting . . . the editorial board and the administration did not consider it possible to investigate it.”[63] How did Lenin and Plekhanov, by all accounts in a clear minority on this issue, get their way over the majority? “We were in the minority,” Lenin wrote, “but we won by sheer persistence, by threatening to bring everything into the open.”[64]

To the extent that this incident has stayed in the historical record, it has done so perversely. Bauman’s name is ubiquitous and revered inside Russia. During the turmoil of the 1905 revolution, Bauman was imprisoned for his role leading the Bolshevik organization in Moscow. According to Abraham Ascher, just after his release in October 1905, while leading a demonstration, he was “shot and then beaten to death by a worker sympathetic to the Black Hundreds,” a far-right anti-revolutionary group. His funeral procession was the occasion for one of the Bolshevik Party’s first mass demonstrations, attracting anywhere from 30,000 to 150,000 people.[65] In subsequent decades, he has had factories, schools, streets, and even an entire district of Moscow named after him.[66] By contrast, Bauman’s victim, Claudia Prikhodko, remains almost unknown—in most accounts, anonymous.

Potresov links the months-long personal friction on the editorial board with the sharp disagreement over how to deal with Bauman’s sexual misconduct, saying that, together, they provided evidence of Lenin’s firm belief that it did not matter how something was accomplished, only that the desired result be achieved. Potresov saw this as extraordinary, labelling it with an exclamation mark as “the end justifies the means!” and calling Lenin “the most consistent adherent of this Machiavellian political recipe.”[67] Potresov uses the term “amoralism” (Amoralismus) to describe such an approach, where in today’s language we might instead talk of an “ethical deficit.”

Potresov, in many ways, was ahead of his time: he insisted on the inseparability of the “political” and the “personal” at a time when many of his contemporaries maintained a sharp distinction between the two. Indeed, it would take the rise of second-wave feminism later in the century for an explicit and widespread recognition of the fact that the personal is political. In its first iterations, the concept was applied specifically to the situation of women. As Barbara Ryan articulated it, “what appeared to be a personal issue was actually a political one that occurred because of unequal gender relations.” In the decades since, this insight has been extended to all manifestations of oppression. “Domination of one group over another,” continues Ryan, “whatever the guise, leads to the awareness that the personal is, indeed, political.”[68] The personal is political—or perhaps better, relations within the realm we designate as “personal” often reflect, or are connected to, relations at a societal level, relations we designate as “political.” We now understand that everyday bullying and microaggressions are manifestations not only of psychological issues but of systemic oppression as well. The bully, simply put, is socially constructed.[69] This understanding is the necessary foundation for our century’s #MeToo movement. A personally abusive and bullying relationship between a man and a woman is not something that we leave them to sort out on their own. These behaviours have public and political dimensions—and consequences. These insights from contemporary movements were developed generations after the early twentieth-century debates inside the Russian Left. But that should not prevent us from using these insights to adjust and focus our own rear-view mirror, helping us to more clearly see the contours of those long-ago events.

The Hamlet Distraction

Martov’s organizing work in the years following the 1903 split are far less known than Lenin’s. But his efforts were intense and effective—and always framed by his principled anti-war internationalism.

An iconic moment in the reconstruction of an internationalist Left occurred in 1915 with the convening of the anti-war conference in Zimmerwald, Switzerland. Bruno Naarden says that the Russian Axelrod, “the Italian Morgari, the Swiss Grimm and the Dutchman Troelstra were of importance in launching international socialist discussion about the war and in opening up the way to Zimmerwald. Martov performed a comparable role in Paris.”[70] Getzler confirms Martov’s importance to this project:

Though the original initiative came from the Italian socialists, it seems to have been Martov who . . . during his visit to Paris in April 1915 . . . appealed to Robert Grimm to replace what was planned as a conference of socialists of neutral countries only, by an international conference of all socialists pledged to peace.[71]

Similarly, with the outbreak of the Great War, Martov played a crucial role as a journalist-scholar-organizer. In France, the newspaper Golos (The Voice) “had been founded by unemployed typesetters, who invited Martov to head the publication.”[72] Martov declined that onerous role, most likely because of his chronic tuberculosis, a disease that would kill him just a few years later. He did, however, agree to participate in what was to become an extraordinary collective of fellow journalists, scholars, and organizers.[73] According to Savel’ev and Tiutiukin, “Martov immediately emerged as the foremost contributor to that low-circulation internationalist newspaper, small but attention-getting, which came to occupy a conspicuous place in the life not only of the Russian revolutionary intelligentsia but also, perhaps, of the entire international socialist movement.”[74] This description might be too modest. Golos was the first of three names for a daily socialist anti-war paper that was published in Paris from 13 September 1914 until being banned by French authorities after its 26 January 1915 issue—reappearing as Nashe slovo (Our word) from 29 January 1915 to 15 September 1916, in turn replaced by Nachalo (The Beginning), which continued to March 1917.[75] At one point, Lenin described Golos as “the best socialist newspaper in Europe.”[76] This newspaper was crucial in the organizing and training of an internationalist anti-war cadre—all of whom were to play key roles in the events of 1917. In its first years, Martov was central to this project.

This Martov—the anti-war journalist-scholar-organizer, the person of strong ethical conviction—is rarely visible in discussions of the Russian Revolution. This is true even in the account of Victor Serge, who, on meeting with Martov in 1920, praised him as someone “whose honesty and brilliance were of the first order” but also described him as “puny, ailing, and limping a little . . . a man of scruple and scholarship, lacking the tough and robust revolutionary will that sweeps obstacles aside.”[77]

Serge’s masculinist, ableist gaze has no place in serious scholarship. From a very young age, Martov, along with his friends and family, faced obstacles that he had constantly to sweep aside, in the process exhibiting plenty of “tough and robust revolutionary will.” In May 1881, at the age of seven, he witnessed his family’s response to an anti-Jewish pogrom in Odessa. Getzler, relying on Martov’s memoirs, describes the events vividly:

The father being away in Petersburg, the Tsederbaum household “began to prepare itself for the pogrom”; his uncle rushed in bearing a revolver, while his mother boiled water to pour on the hooligans. Significantly enough she refused the offer of Captain Pereleshin, the chief of police, to post two cossacks for their protection, “convinced as she was, that the cossacks would be the first to take part in the pogrom.” . . . Luckily the pogrom had spent itself before it reached their street.[78]

After surviving this pogrom, Martov, while travelling by train back to St. Petersburg, heard from a person Getzler describes as “an Old Jew” the story of another terrible pogrom, this one in Elizavetgrad. In 1922, writing near the end of his life, Martov reflected on the formative nature of these experiences:

Would I have become what I became had not Russian reality in that memorable night speedily impressed her coarse fingers into the plastic young soul, and under the cover of that burning pity which she stirred up in the childish heart, have planted with care the seeds of saving hatred.[79]

In St. Petersburg, where Martov’s family moved in the autumn of 1881, Getzler says that he “had to face the rough-and-ready world of the state gymnasium,” and offers the following comment: “Thus it came about that the well-behaved, diligent and rather quiet little boy, who had entered the high school, had turned before the year was over into a fully-fledged rebel, constantly breaking school regulations, daily detained after class, and becoming a sure candidate for expulsion.”[80]

As for the limp? When just a baby, he was dropped by a wet nurse, who “kept the incident secret. It was noticed only when he began to walk.”[81]

Unfortunately, Serge’s dismissive attitude reflects a hegemonic approach to assessments of Martov, one that focusses on aspects of his physicality, and according to which his political contributions are typically subsumed under the headline of psychology rather than politics. Getzler says that Martov’s critics claimed that “he was too intellectual (Sukhanov), lacked the will to action and power (Trotsky and Rappoport), had too many scruples (Lunacharsky), and was too doctrinaire (Kuskova, Ryss, and Vishniak).”[82] Leon Trotsky, in a 1919 profile of Martov, predicted that he would “enter the history of the workers’ revolution as its leading minus. His thought lacked courage, his insight lacked will. . . . Deprived of the mainspring of a strong will, Martov’s thought invariably directed all the strength of its analysis to theoretically justifying the line of least resistance.”[83] In 1930, Trotsky deployed the English language’s most iconic metaphor for indecision, labelling Martov the “Hamlet of democratic socialism.”[84] This approach to Martov’s scholarship has remained common practice this century. Ben Lewis calls Martov “politically indecisive”.[85] In the same book, without comment or mention of Trotsky as the source, we are offered “Martov: Hamlet of the Russian Revolution” to serve as a caption for a photo of the man.[86] China Miéville, who on the centenary of 1917 published a very helpful contribution to the literature on the Russian Revolution, does weave Martov sympathetically into his story. But when he first introduces Martov, he describes him as “a scrawny figure peering through pince-nez over a thin beard. . . . Weak and bronchial, mercurial, talkative but a hopeless orator, not much better as an organiser, affecting, in these early days, a worker’s get-up, Martov is every inch the absent-minded intellectual.”[87]

There are at least three serious problems with these glosses on the man’s life. First, most of these commentators turn again and again to questions of psychology—specifically, to speculation as to Martov’s willpower (or lack thereof). About this we can ask the same question posed regarding speculations concerning Lenin’s personality and lifestyle in “Truth Behind Bars”: How do we know? While Trotsky, Sukhanov, Lunacharsky, Serge, and the other authorities cited here have credentials as political scholars and political organizers, they have none as psychologists.

Second, what about Martov’s many crucial intellectual contributions to the movement, noticed by Miéville and Serge but ignored by most others? We hear that he is “too intellectual,” “too doctrinaire,” “absent-minded”—but we hear nothing about the rich and varied content of his intellectual output. There is no need to summarize that content again—Martov’s many intellectual contributions have been outlined in extenso here and in “Truth Behind Bars.

Third, labelling Martov as a poor organizer, let alone someone lacking in willpower or courage, simply flies in the face of the evidence. This was a man whose youthful political writings were foundational to the first generation of Bund leaders, whose organizing efforts played a central role in the creation and early operation of Iskra and Zaria, in the establishment of the RSDRP and the Menshevik-Internationalists, in the building of an anti-war Left in the teeth of imperialist slaughter, and in the development of a robust and vocal, if harassed and hounded, opposition to the degeneration of the Russian Revolution. How can someone who paid for this lifetime of organizing with repeated bouts of repression and exile (where he contracted the tuberculosis that would ultimately kill him) be called a poor organizer or accused of lacking in courage? He overcame the deep antisemitic prejudice characteristic of the Russian Empire (and most of Europe, for that matter) to become a central figure in both Russian revolutions. Martov’s life incorporates achievements of intellect and organization matched by very few who call themselves political journalists, scholars, or organizers. A century’s worth of flippant dismissals of a key historical figure—as well as being misleading and full of factual errors—are both insulting and unhelpful.

Let us return to Trotsky’s 1919 sketch of Martov’s life and work, referred to above—an article made widely available, for a time, when published in 1926 in Politicheskie siluety (Political profiles), volume 8 of Trotsky’s Sochineniia (Works). The latter was an important but unfortunately incomplete publishing project brought to an abrupt halt when Trotsky became persona non grata—driven from leadership, expelled from the Soviet Union, shunned, and ultimately assassinated.[88] I. M. Pavlov, editor of the truncated Sochineniia project, decided to include Trotsky’s piece in a section of volume 8 titled “Russian Social-Patriotism.” This section contains five articles, the first three of which are devoted to G. V. Plekhanov, one of the founders of Russian Marxism. When, on 4 August 1914, the world’s largest and most powerful socialist party, Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD), voted to provide government funds for the war, it began a stampede by socialists almost everywhere to discard anti-war internationalism in favour of nationalism and support for their own countries’ militaries. In Russia, Plekhanov became the embodiment of this “social patriotism”—a phrase used to refer to socialists who supported Russia’s war against Germany and tried to justify it as a “defensive” or “just war,” their socialist ideas inevitably sinking under what Trotsky calls “the weight of national-patriotic ideology.”[89] The fifth article is devoted to Grigorii Aleksinskii, a one-time Bolshevik who in 1914 emerged as what Pavlov describes as “one of the most rabid Russian social-chauvinists.”[90] Toward both men, Trotsky deploys his not inconsiderable skills as a polemicist. Both “Negodiai” (The Scoundrel), which was directed at Aleksinskii, and “Ostav’te nas v pokoe” (Leave us alone), directed at Plekhanov, ooze with the contempt Trotsky felt for social patriotism and the betrayal it represented to the anti-war movement.[91]

Sandwiched between his deconstruction of Plekhanov and Aleksinskii is the equally sarcastic and dismissive piece on Martov.[92] This is an extraordinary and unjustifiable editorial choice. In no way can Martov—against the world war from the beginning, one of the principal animators of the Zimmerwald anti-war movement, and a key organizer of Golos in 1914, which was to become the chief Russian-language anti-war newspaper—be categorized as a “Russian social patriot.” The editorial decision to place in this category Trotsky’s article on Martov makes no sense—unless, of course, the object of the exercise is to shovel mud onto Martov’s reputation by placing him in the same category as Plekhanov and Aleksinskii. Trotsky, who knew very well Martov’s anti-war credentials, evidently did not object to this editorial shaming of Martov; indeed, he directed toward the editor Pavlov “and his colleagues” his “heartfelt gratitude for the work done on this book.”[93] The injustice to Martov’s reputation has, unfortunately, been perpetuated in English translation. In 1972, when the first section of volume 8 of Trotsky’s Sochineniia was translated and published, the article on Martov remained in the “Russian Social-Patriotism” section, an error in judgment that was replicated once again when the 1972 translation was made available online by the Marxists Internet Archive.[94]

Behind by a Century

Martov struggled with repression and illness till the very end of his life. The debilitating effects of the disease he contracted as a result of tsarist repression were on full display on 15 October 1920. Martov had been invited to a congress of the Independent Social Democratic Party (Unabhängige Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands, or USPD) in Halle, Germany, to debate Bolshevik leader Grigory Zinoviev, who was urging the USPD to join forces with the Bolsheviks in the new Communist International, something Martov believed would doom the Left in Germany to replicating the mistaken policies being carried out in Russia. The difficulty of Martov’s situation cannot be overstated. The USPD was a mass party in 1920, with something approaching 800,000 members and a lively press that “included over 50 daily papers,”[95] but it was bitterly divided over its attitude to the Bolshevik state. Martov’s speech was delivered before 392 mandated delegates sitting in a hall “divided in two sections,” according to his opponent Zinoviev, “as if a knife has cut them sharply in two,” along with “many observers . . . crammed into the gallery at the back of the hall.”[96] He had to follow on the heels of Zinoviev, who spoke for over four hours![97] Lars T. Lih, in introducing his translation of Martov’s speech, says that Martov that day was “in poor voice and his speech was read aloud for him.”[98] But “poor voice” completely minimizes the situation. Martov was in “poor voice” because of the tuberculosis that was shortly to prove fatal.[99] He wrote the speech out in longhand. It was then read to the audience in German by Aleksandr Nikolaevich Shtein (Rubinshtein), who had “difficulty reading Martov’s handwriting.”[100] In spite of these extraordinary obstacles, Savel’ev and Tiutiukin write that the speech “made a powerful impression on the delegates and palpably undercut the effect of the rather emphatic address delivered by Zinoviev.”[101]

It became clear after the Halle congress that Martov was, in Getzler’s words, “mortally ill.” In exile in Germany, he was confined to a health-care facility for four months in 1921, and then again from November 1922 until his death in April 1923.[102] But, until the end, he continued his role as one of his generation’s leading political figures. As a “member of the Executive of the ‘Vienna International’ the International Union of Socialist Parties,” writes Getzler, Martov “maintained close connections with the socialist centre parties of Europe.”[103] He was also central to the founding, in Berlin, of the biweekly Russian-language publication Sotsialisticheskii vestnik (Socialist courier), which, in the estimation of Savel’ev and Tiutiukin, “printed nothing more vivid and profound from 1921 to early 1923 than Martov’s own eighty-plus articles.”[104] Though Martov would only be present for two years of the publication’s existence, Vestnik, which André Liebich describes as “a unique and respected journal of Soviet developments and socialist theory,” would continue for over forty years.[105]

Raphael Abramovitch wrote eloquently about his friend and mentor in a 1959 article whose title—including as it did the phrase “World Menshevism”—was a riff on Martov’s own World Bolshevism, written forty years earlier. Abramovitch noted that the mocking and deconstruction of Martov, summarized here, was a well-established practice as early as 1918. What Abramovitch labelled the “pro-Bolshevik gutter press” would portray Martov “in a somewhat ridiculous and caricatured form,” often mocking his physical attributes, including his voice made hoarse by tuberculosis. In reports on meetings at which Martov and Lenin were both present, the two would regularly be painted with quite opposite colours. In those reports,

Martov always went up to the podium, limping, his jacket pockets stuffed with bundles and bundles of newspapers, documents and manuscripts. He would turn to Lenin and wheeze something not quite intelligible. Lenin would look away, so as not to meet the eyes of his former closest friend. The contrast between the physical weakness of the leader of the anti-Bolshevik socialists and the spectacle of the iron cohort of Bolsheviks—sitting or standing on the podium like knights clad in “leather armour” (an expression that often appeared in the afore-mentioned press)—would symbolize the weakness and helplessness of the defeated opposition and the power and dynamism of victorious Bolshevism.

But if this was the image created by what Abramovitch described as the “jaundiced journalism of Bolshevism,” a very different impression was given by those willing to listen to Martov during his many speeches. “In 1918 and 1919 Martov invariably spoke during the stormy sessions of the Congress of Soviets, the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, and at even larger meetings.”

His face, though already emaciated, still inspired with its wonderful eyes, chiselled nose, and high forehead. He emanated some kind of attractive force, which atoned for his physical limitations, and testified to an elevated flight of thought and great spiritual honesty and warmth. There was no trace of demagoguery, no pursuit of cheap effects, nor any attempt to hide behind fake phrases and paradoxes. He spoke simply, clearly, with a tremendous persuasiveness, which made him trusted.[106]

We are in fact, “behind by a century.”[107] We need to foreground this Martov and rescue his reputation from decades of calumny. Taking seriously Martov as a person will help remove the obstacles to taking seriously the framework he advanced for understanding the events of 1917. Martov, in an offhand way, says in World Bolshevism that the central role of a temporary new class, the peasants-in-uniform, had been “in its time, adequately analyzed.”[108] Perhaps that was true for the milieu of embattled dissidents in which he was immersed. For analysts in the twenty-first century, however, it is no longer true. Some emphasize the minimal role of workers and the central role of the armed forces in the October overturn. But very few view the armed forces through the lens of historical materialism, seeing this in class terms—the formation, through war, of a temporary new class. Many concur that the events of October should not be seen as a “great, socialist” revolution. But very few do so with a sense of loss—the lost opportunity of an alternative to capitalism opened up by the events of February and March 1917. As a reflection of this, few insist on the use of the descriptor perevorot (overturn) as an alternative to the binary of “revolution” or “coup.”

One of the last to weave these themes together was another of the Mensheviks in exile, Grigorii Aronson. His last book, published in 1966, touches on all of the major points mentioned above. “It is very important to note,” he writes “that, in the factories and plants of Petrograd, work was in full swing on 25 October,” the point on the old calendar when the Bolsheviks took power—an event that Aronson agrees is best described as an “overturn.” As to the role of the proletarian Red Guards, he says this “turned out to be a bluff. Suffice it to mention that at the Putilov factory,” by most accounts the most important Bolshevik-influenced workplace, “there turned out to be only 80 Red Guards available for Bolshevik operations, not the mythical 1,500.”[109] In the one chapter from his book that has achieved a wider circulation, he embeds this observation in an analysis completely in step with Martov’s:

It should not be forgotten that the broad strata of the Russian workers—especially new workers, created by the demands of the war—were intimately connected to the peasantry: and it was the peasantry in the form of soldiers, peasant sons dressed in grey overcoats, that was the main social base of Bolshevism during October and was the main factor in the movement.[110]

However, this kind of emphasis is the exception rather than the rule. Martov died before his fiftieth birthday. Intellectuals like Aronson and Abramovitch developed and deepened his insights, but by the end of the 1960s, both had also passed away, along with most of the other Mensheviks in exile. While these intellectuals had seen their ideas circulate widely within the Yiddish- and Russian-speaking Soviet diaspora, with their passing and the decline of the diaspora as a distinct entity within Western society, their ideas, too, faded into the background. A century on, Martov’s thesis—his description of the pivotal role played by the temporary new class of peasants-in-uniform—has been pushed into the background, along with Martov himself. This aspect of the revolution has been inadequately analyzed and its chief theorist too little appreciated. Making available again this 1919 monograph allows us—a century after the fact—to listen again to this important framework and to hear at least an echo of Martov’s voice.


1. Michel Surya, Georges Bataille: An Intellectual Biography, 160.

Boris Souvarine (né Boris Konstantinovich Lifschits, 1895-1984) was a cofounder of the French Communist Party and, from May 1921 until January 1925, a resident in Moscow—where he “became a member of three of the leading bodies of the Comintern,” acronym for the Third or Communist International. Ibid., 161.

In the early years following the Russian Revolution of 1917, the name of Leon Trotsky (né Lev Davidovich Bronstein, 1879-1940) was as widely known as that of Vladimir Lenin (né Vladimir Il’ich Ul’ianov, 1870-1924). From the mid-1920s on, Trotsky came to symbolize the socialist opposition to Stalin and Stalinism. A victim of Stalin’s Great Terror, Trotsky was forcibly exiled from the Soviet Union in 1929 and assassinated by a Soviet agent in 1940. Unlike many victims of the Great Terror, he has never been “rehabilitated.” Nelson P. Lande, “Posthumous Rehabilitation and the Dust-Bin of History,” 267.

Alexander (or Solomon) Lozovskii (né Solomon Abramovich Dridzo, 1878-1952), is best known for his leading role in the Red International of Labour Unions (RILU). During the world war—in exile in Paris, along with Martov, Trotsky and others—he collaborated in the anti-war publication launched under the name Golos (The Voice). Arrested in 1949 on fabricated (and antisemitic) charges, he was executed in 1952—posthumously rehabilitated. Albert Resis, “Lozovskii, A,” in The Modern Encyclopedia of Russian and Soviet History (hereafter MERSH), 20: 167–70); Reiner Tosstorff, The Red International of Labour Unions (RILU) 1920-1937, 821–32.

2. Israel Getzler, Martov: A Political Biography of a Russian Social Democrat, 232–33.

3. Iulii Martov, Izbrannoe [Selected works], 645.

4. The Mensheviks in the Russian Revolution, edited by Abraham Ascher (with translations by Paul Stevenson), provides a small selection of Martov’s writings; see also Martov and Zinoviev: Head to Head in Halle, edited by Ben Lewis. For the Martov material on the Marxists Internet Archive, see

5. V. Ia. Zevin and T. V. Panchenko, “Lenin, Works of,” from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia

6. “Index Translationum: ‘Top 50’ Author,” UNESCO, accessed 29 October 2018, The database compiles information received from 1980 to the present, although most of the published information dates to no later than 2010.

7. Alexander Potressov [Potresov], “Lenin: Versuch einer Charakterisierung” [Lenin: An attempt at a Characterization], 415.

Alexander Nikolaevich Potresov (pseudonym Starover, 1869-1934) in 1895 “helped establish the St. Petersburg League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class with Martov and Vladimir Lenin.” Potresov divided from Lenin in 1903 and drifted apart from Martov after 1905. He supported Russia during the world war. Jonathan Davis, Historical Dictionary of the Russian Revolution (hereafter HDRR), 189 and 208–9.

8. Raphael R. Abramovitch, The Soviet Revolution, 1917–1939, 18–21.

Raphael R. Abramovitch (Rafail Abramovich, né Rein, also known as Rein-Abramovich, 1880-1963), was a leading member of both the Mensheviks and the Bund—from the Yiddish word for “union”, shorthand for the General Jewish Labour Bund in Lithuania, Poland, and Russia, first mass working class party in the Russian empire. HDRR, 23 and 72.

9. During the late eighteenth-century revolution in France, the Jacobin clubs according to Paul Hanson “were the most important of the popular societies … By early 1790 there were roughly 1,000 members in the Paris club, and that number more than doubled by June 1791.” The Jacobins achieved the peak of their influence during the “Jacobin dictatorship” beginning in April 1793 when the Committee of Public Safety became the executive power in the French government. The dictatorship presided over the peak of the Great Terror in 1793 and 1794. Albert Soboul says that during the Terror, between 100,000 and 300,000 people were detained and between 35,000 and 40,000 executed. Paul R. Hanson, Historical Dictionary of the French Revolution (hereafter HDFR), 74-76, 167; Albert Soboul, Précis d’histoire de la révolution française, 321–22.

10. Getzler, Martov, 37.

11. V. Markus and R. Senkus, “Kharkiv.”

12. Getzler, Martov, 192.

13. Dmitrii Dobrovol’skii and Liudmila Peppel’, “Revoliutsiia, vosstanie, perevorot: Semantika i pragmatika” [Revolution, uprising, overturn: Semantics and pragmatics], 91.

14. Ibid., 90.

15. Ibid., 78–79.

16. The distinctions between revoliutsiia [revolution], perevorot [overturn] and vosstanie [uprising] are quite different today than they were in Martov’s time. “Many of the distinctions” between these three words “typical of modern usage, turn out to be uncharacteristic for the use of these words at the beginning of the 20th century . . . there have been significant shifts in their meaning over the last hundred years.” Dobrovol’skii and Peppel’, 99.

17. Leopold H. Haimson, The Making of Three Russian Revolutionaries: Voices from the Menshevik Past, 19.

18. By “Extraordinary Commissions,” Martov is referring to the first iteration of the post-revolutionary secret police, the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counter-Revolution and Sabotage, the institution that we now know as the Cheka. HDRR, 75–76.

19. Iulii Martov, “Doloi smertnuiu kazn’!” [Down with the death penalty!] (July 1918), in Martov, Izbrannoe [Selected works], 375, 379.

20. N. N. Sukhanov, Zapiski o revoliutsii [Notes on the revolution], 7:226. Compare with Sukhanov, The Russian Revolution, 1917: A Personal Record, 649–50.

Nikolai Nikolaevich Sukhanov (né Gimmer, 1882-?) was a founding member of the Petrograd Soviet in 1917. His Zapiski o revoliutsii (Notes on the Revolution)—seven-volumes and approximately 2,700 pages in the original Russian—“has placed scholars in his debt and has made Sukhanov known to history.” The Notes—in which he described Joseph Stalin as a “grey blur”— undoubtedly played a role in his arrest in the late 1920s and prosecution in the Menshevik trial in 1931, one of a series of show trials carried out in the Soviet Union (trials which have now all been completely discredited). Sent to the Gulag along with thousands of other political prisoners, the circumstances of his death are unknown. John D. Basil, “Sukhanov, Nikolai Nikolaevich,” in MERSH, 38: 25–28.

The two papers referred to were both liberal in the sense that they expressed views supporting the positions of the Kadets (acronym for Konstitutsionno-demokraticheskaia partiia or Constitutional-Democratic Party). They were both mass-circulation daily papers, a survey published in May 1916 indicating that Sovremennoe slovo had a daily circulation of 76,000, Rech 45,000. “News from Russia,” 248.

The term auto-da-fé—used here by Sukhanov in a bitterly sarcastic manner—refers to a practice which Francisco Bethencourt says dates from “the medieval Inquisition” that “used its elaborate ceremonies to emphasize the triumph of Catholic faith over heresy.” Francisco Bethencourt, “The Auto da Fé: Ritual and Imagery,” 155.

21. Central Committee of the Russian Social Democratic Workers’ Party (United), “Suppression of the Press,” 107–8. The committee to which this translation refers is usually translated as the “Military Revolutionary Committee.”

22. The Social (or Socialist) Revolutionary (SR) Party (formally the Partiia sotsialistov-revoliutsionerov or PSR) was “the most important non-Bolshevik socialist party in Russia from about 1901 to 1921.” It had “possibly a million members at its peak.” Its internationalist (anti-war) minority separated from the majority between February and October 1917. The new party, the Left SRs, governed together with the Bolsheviks in a short-lived coalition government from the end of 1917 to March 1918. Maureen Perrie, “Socialist Revolutionary Party,” in MERSH, 36: 95–102.

23. Getzler, Martov, 181, 182.

24. Abramovitch, The Soviet Revolution, 1917–1939, 165.

25. F. Dan, Dva goda skitani (1918-1921) [Two years of wandering (1918-1921)]. Berlin: 1922, 13, 14. Quoted in David Dallin, “Between the World War and the NEP,” 227.

Fedor Il’ich Dan (né Gurvich, 1871-1947) was a physician by profession, and a leading member of the Russian Marxist left from the mid-1890s until his death. He worked closely with Martov, taking an internationalist (anti-war) position during the world war. John D. Basil, “Dan, Fedor Il’ich,” in MERSH, 8: 162–65.

Viktor Mikhailovich Chernov (1873-1952) was a founder of the SRs, its leading ideologist and theoretician. During the world war, Chernov was part of the internationalist (anti-war) minority inside the party. He was elected in 1917 to the Petrograd Soviet’s Central Executive Committee, becoming its deputy chairman, and was elected president for the one and only session of the Constituent Assembly, forcibly disbanded by the Bolsheviks in January 1918. Maureen Perrie, “Chernov, Viktor Mikhailovich,” in MERSH, 7: 4–7.

26. Dallin, “Between the World War and the NEP,” 228.

In fact, we now know that later that decade, there were mass oppositional meetings organized by the anti-Stalinist United Opposition. Ivan Khoroshev (writing under the pseudonym Mikhail Nil’skii) reports that in the Autumn of 1927, opposition students took over “the largest auditorium of the Moscow Higher Technical School” as the venue for a 3,000 strong meeting which heard speeches from United Opposition leaders Leon Trotsky, Lev Kamenev and Grigory Zinoviev. Mikhail Nil’skii [Ivan Mitrofanovich Khoroshev], Vorkuta, 74–78.

Lev Borisovich Kamenev (né Rozenfel’d, 1883–1936) and Grigory Evseevich Zinoviev (né Radomysl’skii, 1883–1936) were “Old Bolsheviks” and among Lenin’s closest associates. Both became victims of the Great Terror under Stalin and were executed in August 1936—belatedly “rehabilitated” in 1988. R.C. Elwood, “Kamenev, Lev Borisovich,” in MERSH, 15: 212–17; HDRR, 313–17. Lande, “Posthumous Rehabilitation and the Dust-Bin of History,” 267.

27. Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin (né I. V. Dzhugashivili, 1879–1953) was born in Georgia and became a leading member of the Bolsheviks. He “did not distinguish himself in the October Revolution” but emerged in the 1920s as the dominant figure in the Soviet government, a position he was to hold until his death in 1953. Revered by many, including through a cult of personality which is “usually dated from his fiftieth birthday in 1929” Stalin has also been associated with the horrors of the 1930s – the “liquidation of the kulaks as a class,” the rise of the gulag forced labour system of mass incarceration, and the years of the terror. Robert McNeal, “Stalin, losif Vissarionovich,” in MERSH, 37: 63–72.

28. Raphael Abramowitsch [Abramovitch], Vassily Suchomlin, and Iraklii Zeretelli [Tsereteli], Der Terror Gegen Die Sozialistischen Parteien in Russland Und Georgien [The Terror against Socialist Parties in Russia and Georgia]. Portions of this, at the time, were translated into English. [Raphael R. Abramovitch], Bolshevik Terror Against Socialists.

29. Applebaum, Gulag: A History, 20.

30. An approach to politics first developed by Kimberle Crenshaw, “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex”; Crenshaw, “Mapping the Margins.”

31. Getzler, Martov, 19–20.

32. Ibid., 21.

33. Ibid., 1.

34. Ibid., 22.

35. Ibid., 24.

36. Ibid.

37. Sidney Hook, “Introduction,” in Abramovitch, The Soviet Revolution, 1917–1939, viii.

38. Potressov, “Lenin,” 412.

39. V. I. Lenin, “S chego nachat’?” [Where to begin?], Iskra, no. 4 (May 1901), in Polnoe sobranie sochinenii [The complete collected works] (hereafter PSS), 5:11–12. For the standard English translation, see Lenin: Collected Works (hereafter LCW), 5:22–23.

40. P. Iu. Savel’ev and S. V. Tiutiukin, “Iulii Osipovich Martov (1873–1923): The Man and the Politician,” 18.

41. Getzler, Martov, 81.

42. Rossiiskaia sotsial-demokraticheskaia rabochaia partiia [Russian Social Democratic Labour Party], 1903, Second Ordinary Congress of the RSDLP, 529n7.

The translator, Brian Pearce, has chosen to take the acronym for the party from its English translation, rather than the Russian transliteration, hence RSDLP as opposed to RSDRP.

43. Nadezhda K. Krupskaya, Memories of Lenin, 75. In this translation, the name Bauman is written “Baumann.”

Nadezhda Konstantinovna Krupskaya (1869-1939) was a senior Bolshevik leader, as well as being life partner with Lenin. Co-founder in 1910 of what is today known as International Women’s Day, in 1914, she helped to establish the newspaper Rabotnitsa (The Woman Worker). Krupskaya was briefly a member of the anti-Stalinist opposition. HDRR, 165–66.

In 1926, according to Trotsky, “Krupskaya said, in a circle of Left Oppositionists: ‘If Ilyich [Lenin] were alive, he would probably already be in prison’” Leon Trotsky, The Revolution Betrayed, 93–94.

Pavel Borisovich Axelrod (1850-1928) grew up in a poor Jewish family in the Ukrainian town of Pochep. In 1883, together with Georgii Plekhanov and Vera Zasulich, he helped found the first Russian Marxist organization, the Group for the Emancipation of Labour. In 1900 Axelrod helped Martov, Lenin and Potresov found Iskra. After the 1903 division, Ascher says that: “For the next two and a half decades Axelrod was the outstanding ideologist though not necessarily the most influential political leader, of Menshevism.” Sukhanov calls him the “founder of Russian Social-Democracy.” Abraham Ascher, “Axelrod, Pavel Borisovich,” in MERSH, 2: 197–203; Sukhanov, The Russian Revolution, 1917: A Personal Record, 351. Leopold H. Haimson, The Russian Marxists and the Origins of Bolshevism, 26.

44. Getzler, Martov, 66.

45. Tony Cliff, Lenin, vol. 1, Building the Party, 98–139.

46. Lars T. Lih, Lenin Rediscovered: What Is to Be Done? in Context, 495.

47. Haimson, The Making of Three Russian Revolutionaries: Voices from the Menshevik Past, 482 n13.

48. Pavel Axelrod, “Ob’edinenie rossiiskoi sotsial-demokratii i ee zadachi” [The Unification of Russian social democracy and its tasks]. 15 December 1903 and 15 January 1904. An abridged version of this article exists in English translation but does not include the section here quoted. The Mensheviks in the Russian Revolution, edited by Abraham Ascher, 48–52.

49. Leon Trotsky, Nashi politicheskie zadachi [Our political tasks], 25; Compare with Trotsky, Our Political Tasks, 39.

50. Trotsky, Nashi politicheskie zadachi [Our political tasks], 68.

51. Potressov, “Lenin,” 413.

52. V. I. Lenin, “A. M. Kalmykovoy” [To A. M. Kalmykova] (1903 first published 1927), in PSS, 46:301. Compare with “To Alexandra Kalmykova,” in LCW, 34:168–70.

53. Potressov, “Lenin,” 407.

54. Ibid., 413.

55. Ibid., 417.

Vera Ivanovna Zasulich (1849-1919), a populist in her youth, attained notoriety in 1878 for the attempted assassination of the Governor of St. Petersburg. On the editorial board of Iskra from 1900 to 1905, in 1912, she aligned with Plekhanov, and in 1914, supported Russia in the world war. HDRR 310-15; Michael Ellman, “Zasulich, Vera Ivanovna.”

56. Lenin, “A. M. Kalmykovoy” [To A. M. Kalmykova] in PSS, 46:301. Getzler renders the first phrase “scourge and monster” (Martov, 67), while the standard translation offers “flayers and monsters” (LCW, 34:169). “Scourge” is somewhat better than “flayer,” but both have an archaic feel to them.

Georgii Valentinovich Plekhanov (1856–1918), is often called the “Father of Russian Marxism.” In 1883, together with Axelrod and Zasulich, he helped found the first Russian Marxist organization, the Emancipation of Labour Group (or Group for the Emancipation of Labour). In 1900, he assisted Lenin, Martov and Potresov in the launching of Iskra. In the world war, he supported Russia and its allies against Germany. Samuel H. Baron, “Plekhanov, Georgii Valentinovich,” in MERSH, 28: 126–30.

57. Lydia [Lidiia] Osipovna Dan, ‘Tenth Interview’, 181–82.

Dan, Lidiia Osipovna (née Tsederbaum, 1878-1963), served on the editorial board of Iskra from 1901 until she was arrested in 1902 and banished to Siberia. After escaping in 1904, she resumed her role on Iskra. Internationalist during the war, she was expelled from Russia in 1922 for opposing Bolshevik policies. She was the sister of Martov, and life partner with Fedor Dan. “Dan, Lidiia Osipovna,” in MERSH, 8: 165–66.

58. Getzler, Martov, 66–67; The interview with Dan uses “Mitrov” rather than “Metrov”. Another account that reads very similarly, is in Jane Casey’s fictionalized biography of Krupskaya, I, Krupskaya: My Life with Lenin, 179-86.

59. Dan, ‘Tenth Interview’, 181–82.

60. Getzler, Martov, 66.

61. Ibid.

62. V. I. Lenin and G. V. Plekhanov, “Proekt osobogo mneniia po delu N. E. Baumana” [Draft dissenting opinion in the N.E. Bauman case].

63. Quoted in ibid.

64. Lenin, “A. M. Kalmykovoy,” 301. For the English translation used here, see Lenin, “To Alexandra Kalmykova,” in LCW, 34:169. Getzler’s translation reads “sheer obstinacy and threats of making it a public issue.” Getzler, Martov, 67.

65. Abraham Ascher, The Revolution of 1905: Russia in Disarray, 1994, 1:262–63.

66. Orlando Figes, A People’s Tragedy: The Russian Revolution, 1891-1924, 198–99.

67. Potressov, “Lenin,” 417.

68. Barbara Ryan, “Personal Is Political,” 2.

69. Abigail Bakan has, with tongue only partly in cheek, called our attention to the way in which this creates problems for the Left with her coining of the phrase “Communist Urgent Man,” which she uses to describe someone who too often devolves into simply a small group bully. See Bakan, “Marxism, Feminism, and Epistemological Dissonance.”

70. Bruno Naarden, Socialist Europe and Revolutionary Russia: Perception and Prejudice, 1848–1923, 274.

71. Getzler, Martov, 144–45.

72. Savel’ev and Tiutiukin, “Iulii Osipovich Martov,” 40.

73. James D. White, Lenin: The Practice and Theory of Revolution, 108. Among those involved were—Antonov-Ovseenko, Kollontai, Larin, Lozovskii, Lunacharshky, Manuilskii, Martynov, Pavlovich, Pokrovskii, Trotsky, Uritskii, and Zalewski.

74. Savel’ev and Tiutiukin, “Iulii Osipovich Martov,” 40.

75. Alfred Erich Senn, “The Politics of Golos and Nashe Slovo,” 675-76; White, Lenin, 108.

76. Isaac Deutscher, The Prophet Armed, 216, quoting Golos, no. 38 (27 October 1914).

77. Victor Serge, Memoirs of a Revolutionary, 128.

Victor Serge (né Victor Lvovich Khibalchich, 1890-1947), was born in Belgium to Russian emigré parents. Before the world war he was a libertarian anarchist. In exile in Russia in 1919, he became a prominent supporter of the Bolsheviks, with a particularly key role in the Communist International. David M. Walker and Daniel Gray, Historical Dictionary of Marxism (hereafter HDM), 283–84.

A member of the anti-Stalinist opposition in the 1920s, he spent time in the Gulag, until being expelled from the Soviet Union just prior to the years of the Great Terror and mass execution of oppositionists. He famously broke with Trotsky in the 1930s over the 1921 Kronstadt uprising. Serge, “A Letter and Some Notes.”

78. Getzler, Martov, 4, quoting Iulii Martov, Zapiski sotsial-demokrata [Memoirs of a social-democrat]. (Berlin-Petersburg-Moscow, 1922), 18.

79. Ibid., 4, quoting Martov, Zapiski sotsial-demokrata [Memoirs of a social-democrat],19.

80. Ibid., 4, 5.

81. Ibid., 4n23, quoting L. O. Dan, “Sem’ia (iz vospominanii)” [The Family: Fragments from memory], in Grigorii Aronson, ed., Martov i ego blizkie: Sbornik [Martov and his circle: a Compilation], New York: s.n., 11.

82. Ibid., 218–19.

83. Leon Trotsky, “Martov,” in Trotsky, Politicheskie siluety [Political profiles], 66–67. Originally published in Trotsky, Voina i revoliutsiia [War and revolution]. Petrograd: Gosudarstvennoe izdatel’stvo [State publishing house], 1922.

84. Leon Trotsky, The History of the Russian Revolution, vol. 3, Triumph of the Soviets, 311.

85. Ben Lewis “The four-hour speech and the significance of Halle,” 27.

86. Ben Lewis, ed., Martov and Zinoviev: Head to Head in Halle, 166.

87. China Miéville, October: The Story of the Russian Revolution, 12.

88. The qualifier “for a time” is necessary because “original copies of Trotsky’s Sochineniia must be regarded as extremely rare.”

89. Leon Trotsky, “Beglye mysli o G. V. Plekhanove” [Passing thoughts on G. V. Plekhanov], in Trotsky, Politicheskie siluety [Political profiles], 59.

90. I. M. Pavlov, “Primechaniia” [Notes], in Trotsky, Politicheskie siluety [Political profiles], 334 n46.

91. Leon Trotsky, “Negodiai” [The scoundrel] and “Ostav’te nas v pokoe” [Leave us alone], both in Trotsky, Politicheskie siluety [Political profiles], 68–69 and 62–64, respectively. “Negodiai” was first published in the 22 October 1916 issue of Nachalo [The beginning], while “Ostav’te nas v pokoe” appeared a year earlier, in the 14 October 1915 issue of Nashe slovo [Our word].

92. Trotsky, “Martov,” 66–67.

93. Leon Trotsky, “Ot avtora” [From the author], in Trotsky, Politicheskie siluety [Political profiles], v.

94. See “Leon Trotsky: Political Profiles,” Marxists Internet Archive, 2007,

95. Lewis “The four-hour speech,” 8.

96. Grigory Zinoviev, “Twelve Days in Germany,” 67 and 91.

97. Lewis “The four-hour speech,” 30.

98. Lih, “Martov in Halle,” 161.

99. Naarden, Socialist Europe and Revolutionary Russia, 413.

100. Savel’ev and Tiutiukin, “Iulii Osipovich Martov (1873–1923),” 81; Jane Burbank, Intelligentsia and Revolution: Russian Views of Bolshevism, 1917–1922, 272.

101. Savel’ev and Tiutiukin, “Iulii Osipovich Martov (1873–1923),” 81.

102. Getzler, Martov, 212.

103. Ibid.

104. Savel’ev and Tiutiukin, “Iulii Osipovich Martov (1873–1923),” 83–84.

105. André Liebich, From the Other Shore: Russian Social Democracy after 1921, 1. According to Liebich: “Every document published in Vestnik in the 1920s relating to the intra-Bolshevik struggle has proven authentic.” Ibid., 142.

106. Raphael R. Abramovitch, “Iu. O. Martov i mirovoi men’shevizm [I. O. Martov and world menshevism],” 73.

107. With apologies to the Tragically Hip, “Ahead by a Century,” Trouble at the Henhouse, 1996.

108. Iulii Martov, Mirovoi bol’shevizm [World bolshevism], 11.

109. Grigorii Aronson, Rossiia v epokhu revoliutsii: Istoricheskie etiudy i memuary [Russia in the age of the revolution: Historical sketches and memoirs], 67. The figures for Putilov are taken from S. P. Mel’gunov, Kak bol’sheviki zakhvatili vlast’ [How the bolsheviks seized power]. Paris: La Renaissance, 1953. Available in abridged English translation. Melgunov, The Bolshevik Seizure of Power, 95.

110. Aronson, Rossiia v epokhu revoliutsii [Russia in the age of the revolution], 181; Compare with Grégoire Aronson, “Ouvriers russes contre le bolchévisme,” 201; The chapter of Aronson’s book from which this is taken, is an updated version of an article published in 1952. Aronson, “Rabochee dvizhenie v bor’be s bol’shevistskoi diktaturoi” [The labour movement in the struggle against the bolshevik dictatorship].