Building the Party: Lenin 1893–1914

Building the Party: Lenin 1893–1914

by Tony Cliff

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The first volume of Tony Cliff’s biography of Lenin traces the construction of the Russian
Bolshevik Party – from its early roots in the struggle against tsarist oppression, to its
emergence as a mass party which would eventually lead the working class to power in
the 1917 Russian Revolution.

Cliff chronicles the efforts of Lenin and his supporters to forge a group of committed
revolutionaries who could apply Marxist ideas in action to help advance the fight against

This book shows that Lenin’s ideas about party organisation didn’t spring fully-formed
from his head. They were political conclusions drawn from the actual experience of the
workers’ movement and the debates that ran through all its upsurges and downturns.

Bringing to life the events that served as a prologue to the Russian Revolution, Building
the Party is filled with lessons for those seeking to build socialist organisations today.