Brought up in comfort and with a passion for hunting and fishing, chess, and the English classics, Lenin was radicalized after the execution of his brother in 1887. Sebestyen traces the story from Lenin's early years to his long exile in Europe and return to Petrograd in 1917 to lead the first Communist revolution in history. Uniquely, Sebestyen has discovered that throughout Lenin's life his closest relationships were with his mother, his sisters, his wife, and his mistress. The long-suppressed story told here of the love triangle that Lenin had with his wife, Nadezhda Krupskaya, and his beautiful, married mistress and comrade, Inessa Armand, reveals a more complicated character than that of the coldly one-dimensional leader of the Bolshevik Revolution.
In Lenin, Victor Sebestyen has written a brilliant portrait of a complex figure, and he also brings to light important new revelations about the Russian Revolution, a pivotal point in modern history.
Victor Sebestyen was born in Budapest. He has worked as a journalist on many newspapers including The Times, The Daily Mail, and The London Evening Standard. He has written for many American publications, including The New York Times.
Rebecca Mead is a staff writer for The New Yorker. She is the author of The Road to Middlemarch: My Life with George Eliot and has recently contributed a new foreword to the Penguin Classics Deluxe edition of Eliot’s great classic. She is also the author of One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and son.