One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

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Author(s) Lenin
Written February 1904


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Written: in February-May 1904
Published in book form in Geneva, May 1904. Published according to the book text after collation with the manuscript and with the text in the collection: Vl. Ilyin, Twelve Years, 1907.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1964, Moscow, Volume 7, pp. 203-425.

Lenin devoted several months to the writing of One Step Forward Two Steps Back (The Crisis in Our Party), making a careful study of the minutes and resolutions of the Second Party Congress, of the speeches of each of the delegates and the political groupings at the Congress, and of the Central Committee and Party Council documents.

The book evoked fury among the Mensheviks. Plekhanov demanded that the Central Committee disavow it. The conciliators on the Central Committee tried to prevent its publication and circulation.

Though published abroad, One Step Forward, Two Steps Back had a wide circulation among advanced workers in Russia. Copies of the book were found during arrests and house-searches in Moscow St. Petersburg, Riga, Saratov, Tula, Orel, Ufa, Perm, Kostroma Shchigri, Shavli (Kovno Gubernia), and elsewhere. Lenin included the book in the Twelvee Years collection published in 1907 (the date on the title-page is 1908), omitting sections J, K, L, M, O, and P making abridgements in other sections, and adding a few explanatory notes.

The present edition contains the full text as originally published in 1904 and all the additions made by the author in 1907.

🔍 See also : Criticism by Rosa Luxemburg.