Paul Flewers on Dmitri Volkogonov's *Lenin: Life and Legacy*

Paul Flewers paul.flewers at
Mon Aug 2 22:00:46 MDT 1999

Jim Farmelant posted my review of Volkogonov's Lenin together with a
response from the newsgroup's self-appointed anti-communist historian
Hunter Watson. Many thanks to Jim for doing this.

I must say that he seemed very unhappy with my review. List members may
like to note that lecturers at my college, the University of London's
School of Slavonic and East European Studies, by no means a hot-bed of
radicalism, who have seen this review also liked it.

I'm happy to discuss things with almost anyone, but having studied
Western Soviet studies published over the past eight decades, I've had
my fill of the right-wing hackery that sees What Is To Be Done as the
be-all and end-all of Leninism. It just will not do. Mr Watson clearly
thinks that all I can muster is a load of Trot clichés; well, as far as
I'm concerned, he's just blasting out a load of anti-communist blather
that has been the norm for eight decades, and -- more importantly -- has
been firmly nailed by considerable amounts of academic work since the
1960s, most of which has been written by people who are mainly not
Leninists -- Steve Smith, David Mandel, Robert Service, Stephen Cohen,
Ziva Galili, Diane Koenker, Alexander Robinowitch, to name just a few.

A question to Jim and other list comrades. Who is this guy? Has he
nothing better to do than bash away at all us lefties? I have a bash now
and again at right-wingers in letters to their larger circulation
magazines, but I don't make a habit of intervening on right-wing
websites, discussion lists, etc. I've got too many other things to do.
Seeing that guys with his ideas like Richard Pipes, Vladimir Brovkin,
etc, teach at big colleges, get their books published by major bourgeois
publishers and prestigious US university presses, and even, like Pipes,
get government jobs (he was on Reagan's Security Council), what's he
doing spending his time sparring with us?

Paul F

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