Moscow: Gos. izd-vo, . Item #1450
In original publisher’s wrappers. Uncut. Fragments of spine and front cover lost, few stains on front cover, otherwise very good and clean internally.
One of the most important theoretical works by Stalin’s closest ally Nikolay Bukharin (1888-1938). Marxist philosopher and prolific author on revolutionary theory, Bukharin was the chief associate of Stalin ousting Trotsky, Grigory Zinoviev, and Lev Kamenev from the party at the 15th Communist Party Congress in December 1927. From 1926 to 1929, Bukharin served the role of the General Secretary of the Commintern’s executive committee. However, Stalin’s decision to proceed with collectivisation drove the two allies apart, and Bukharin was expelled from the Politburo in 1929. Arrested in February 1937, Bukharin was charged with conspiring to overthrow the Soviet state. After a show trial that alienated many Western communist sympathisers, he was executed in March 1938. From the late-1930s, the Soviets launched a massive anti-campaign against the politician: Bukharin’s works were banned and vigorously destroyed.
In his autobiography, Nikolay Bukharin referred to the collection Ataka [i.e. Attack] as one of his most important theoretical works. For the most part, the articles were compiled abroad, where Bukharin fled to in 1910 to avoid hard labour in court after exile to Onega (Arkhangelsk).
The edition is dedicated to the younger sister of Vladimir Lenin, Maria Ulyanova (1878-1937), together with whom the author worked in the Russian and Soviet newspaper Pravda [i.e. Truth]. In the late 1920s, Bukharin, the editor of the newspaper, wrote in one of the articles: ‘The Stalinist regime is no longer acceptable to our party’. Nikolay was accused of being head of the right opposition and removed from Pravda together with his assistant Maria.
The book includes a number of articles dedicated to the following 11 topics: Bohm-Bawerk’s theory of subjective value, theoretical conciliation, political economy without value, liberal socialism theory, Mr. Strune’s tricks, theory of proletarian dictatorship, the formulation of problems in the theory of historical materialism, Emmanuil Enchmen’s theory of new biology, world revolution, bourgeois and proletarian revolutions, Lenin as a marxist, and draft program of the Communist International.
The articles presented in the collection are characterized with polemical nature. Almost all of the writings were previously published in Russian Marxist journals printed abroad until 1917. Bukharin’s criticism is directed both at foreign and Russian theoreticians and scientists: Mikhail Tugan-Baranovsky, Bohm-Bawerk, Ivan Pavlov, etc. The author referred to the former, a representative of the Austrian economic school, as the most powerful enemy of the Marxist doctrine. Alongside with the theory of value designed by Baranovsky, Bukharin denounces the theory of subjective value and marginal utility developed by Bohm-Bawerk, whose lectures Nikolay diligently attended during his stay in Vienna. Especially interesting is the article about the noted Russian scientist and one of the most vigilant opposers of the October Revolution Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936). Bukharin acknowledges Pavlov’s immense scientific contribution, yet advises him to stay in his lane and refrain from commenting on things the scientist doesn’t understand (such as Pavlov’s protest against destruction of cultural and scientific values by ignorant communists). Pavlov, who spent most of his life criticizing the Soviet rule, accepted the Communist regime a few years before his death. The scientist was soon hailed as the embodiment of Soviet spirit with Bukharin commenting: ‘Pavlov is ours entirely, and we will not give him to anyone’. The edition also includes articles about Lenin, the author’s greatest inspiration, with whom he met while living abroad.
Overall, an interesting evidence of the time when Nikolay Bukharin was still considered the chief ally of Joseph Stalin.
Worldcat shows copies of the edition at University of Albany, Stony Brook University, Princeton
University, Pittsburgh University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Washington
Libraries, University of Berkeley, and Stanford Universities.