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Publisher's Summary

State and Revolution (1917) describes the role of the state in society, the necessity of proletarian revolution, and the theoretic inadequacies of social democracy in achieving revolution. It describes the inherent nature of the state as a tool for class oppression, a creation born of one social class' desire to control all other social classes. Whether a dictatorship or a democracy, the state remains in the control of the ruling class. Even in a democratic capitalist republic, the ruling class will never willingly relinquish political power, maintaining it via various strategies. Hence, according to this view, communist revolution is the sole remedy for the abolition of the state.

©2019 BN Publishing (P)2019 BN Publishing

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Revolution, Not Reform

Lenin's most readable essay, in which he lays out his idea that "bourgeois democracy" is an integral part of capitalism, and cannot simply be taken over and re-staffed by socialism. Socialism will require new structures and political processes.

We can be inspired by the overall points without necessarily agreeing with Lenin's answer to the problem. Five stars!

10 people found this helpful

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Mainly about the Thesis

State and Revolution is a book largely based around a simple concept: defining the Marxist terminology surrounding the concept of the "state" and outlining in sharp detail the thesis by which this concept applies to socialist thought. Lenin's entire work is focused on this singular thesis of what it means that the state will "wither away" under socialism, and how the topics of revolution and class warfare as outlined in the Communist Manifesto relate to this concept.

The Manifesto is a necessary read preceding this. Overall, the main reason why this book is four hours long and not one or two is because of Lenin's meticulous attention to making sure that his interpretation of the modes of state and revolution are as ironclad as possible. In many ways this is a letter to his contemporaries, attempting to make clear why Lenin's interpretation of the relations of state and revolution are correct, and making sure to ward against any attempt by opportunists to contort the words of the Manifesto against proletariat interests. If this book were merely the thesis alone, it would probably be much shorter.

Good to read if you're in a Marxist book club and this comes up. The narrator is a bit lackluster but not the worst - somewhat lacking in passion and polish. Ultimately if you spend a lot of time discussing Marxism and socialism, State and Revolution is going to be mentioned, so its good having at least read the book in some way. The arguments outlined in this text are still relevant today, when the struggle between liberals and leftists in many ways outstrips the struggle between the left and the right.

Overall an enlightening read, and a worthwhile one for any socialist or politically-minded person. Just don't fall prey to opportunism of your own!

6 people found this helpful

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Read like a robot. Made it impossible to focus

One of the worst read audio books I've ever listened to. couldn't finish it. Weird mid-stences pauses that made the already dense text even less tractable. much better readings exist. Find them elsewhere.

3 people found this helpful

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Great book, mediocre performance

If you need to listen to this for the content, it’s fine enough. Somehow sounds like an infomercial. Also absolutely butchers “Proudhon”

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Brilliant! A political treatise for the ages.

One of the most important political works of the 20th century. Lenin's analysis is clearly presented, cutting through popular misconceptions regarding Marxist theory and the role of the state. I would highly recommend it to any and all who desire a deeper understanding of our political system and how to surpass it.

2 people found this helpful

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Lenin proves insightful as always

In this most principal work, Lenin castigates the revision of Marx and Engels' writings by opportunists in the Marxist movement of his time, and reinforces the position Marx and Engels took regarding the state and its role in revolutionary and post-revolutionary society. Though the narrator and many others claim this is a 'utopian' vision of society, it is based solely on an economic and political analysis of the development of society from primitive tribal subsistence communal living into the modern capitalist age, and what must necessarily take place over the coming decades to come in the course of human development. The dissipation of liberal capitalist democracies, which many reviewers here decry without properly understanding, is replaced with soviet proletarian democracy, fashioned after the experience of the Paris Commune which is covered in this work. Lenin briefly discusses the departure between Marxists and Anarchists surrounding the state--a split which exists even today--and properly lays out the case for Marxism in excruciating detail.

The narration is okay, though there are several points where the narrator stumbles through sentences as though he weren't paying attention to the text at all, but rather reading the sentence one word at a time on pure instinct. As mentioned in other reviews, he also at two different points stumbles in his reading and needs to repeat himself, which ruins immersion in the text but is quickly glossed over once the reading begins again. Otherwise, I found the narration just fine.

In short, don't listen to the petty bourgeois liberals and the anarchists leaving reviews here lest you leave with an inaccurate and distorted view of this seminal text of Marxist-Leninist theory.

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bad narrator

the narrator is just truly terrible. how did he get the job? He pronounces bourgeois as burjwa, so annoying.

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Illuminating Read; Poorly Read

Essential reading for those who would wish to familiarize themselves with the mature thinking of Vladimir Lenin, particularly those who continue to insist that Lenin’s interpretation of Marxism is compatible with democracy (it isn’t). However, the book’s narration for Audible leaves much to be desired, to say the least. Beyond numerous repetitions and restatements, the narrator mispronounces every name in the book (for example, the French anarchist Proudhon he pronounces “PROWD-hawn”; Bakunin he pronounces “BAWK-uh-nin”). The narrator obviously has no knowledge of German, either, as he renders indistinguishable the numerous German language excerpts (mostly article/book titles) throughout the text. Overall, one would think that any person endeavoring to narrate a text would at least familiarize themselves with the content to the extent that their narration would not create confusion for listeners.

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Excellent

Lenin's writing and prose are clear and easy to understand. Even novice marxists can grasp what he is saying. It is refreshing to re-read this after 10 years.

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Inspiring content that's influenced the world

Nearly all the great revolutions of the world have come from this book, and hopefully more to come.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-03-20

Based

Based explanation on how a communist state might come to be. A must read for any politically engaged/curious person.

4 people found this helpful

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  • TS
  • 11-19-20

To understand the mistakes of the past...

To understand the terrible mistakes of the Soviet Union this is an excellent insight into the thought processes that inspired Lenin to the actions he chose.

The book itself is typical of Lenin. His mind wanders angrily along various intellectual paths which he so fervently declares as the only Truth known to man! This is a man who knew one thing beyond all else - that his way was the only way and anyone who opposed him was beyond contempt!

I strongly suggest you listen to this audiobook and draw your own conclusions on a very poorly understood area of history.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Daniel
  • 07-14-20

essential reading

essential reading for anyone wanting to understand the foundations and strategic necessities of achieving a future without capitalist exploitation of man by man.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-29-21

Great book. Poor narration.

Fine and important words stumbled over, repeated, and lacking in emphasis or apparent interest from the narrator. Luckily the text transcends, but this is a brilliant book which deserves better.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Spuddy Spud
  • 01-24-21

Poor narration

You can get download a PDF of this for free, and I'd suggest that you do. The narrator puts emphases in odd places, making it more difficult to understand when listening to it than just reading it!

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  • Diolúin Ó'hUigín
  • 02-25-20

Narrator and editing needs work

Mispronunciation of some names. Many stutters and stops not edited out, so some sentences were read twice.

Overall still quite good.

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  • Joan Sartori
  • 06-21-20

tight af

my man Lenin talkin straight up facts no cap. 5 stars for solely the fact he did literally what he said he was gonna do.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-21-20

Clears some things up

Good but an unnecessary amount of time is spent berating anarchists while not clearly showing out the flaws in their ideas other, instead defeating flimsy strawmen

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