Paris: Izdanie Tsentral’nogo Komiteta (A. Gnatovskii), 1909. Octavo (20.7 × 14.5 cm). Original orange printed wrappers; 484 pp. In later red cloth portfolio, with gilt title to front board. Wrappers somewhat discolored; tear to first leaf; else very good.
First edition of speeches and other proceedings from the Congress, which was planned to take place in Denmark, but forbidden by the government, after which it moved to London for April and May of 1907. The 342 delegates included members of all factions, Mensheviks, Bolsheviks, Bundists, Polish, Latvian, and Lithuanian Social Democrats. The volume reproduces the list of attendees, the protocols of the meetings, the resolutions, and additional material in the supplements. After the seeming reconciliation of the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks during the Fourth Congress (Stockholm, 1906), this congress firmly established the Bolsheviks’ leadership role and set the stage for lead-up to the October Revolution and the ensuing coup under Lenin. Although the proposal to help organize an armed insurrection in Russia was prevented by Martov and fellow moderate social democrats, under Lenin’s lead the Bolsheviks took the majority at the congress and would control the Party’s Central Committee in subsequent years. “This was the most remarkable galaxy of talent ever assembled at a Social Democrat congress. Plekhanov, Martov, Axelrod, Deutsch, and Dan were brilliant exponents of the Menshevik cause. The Bolshevik delegates included… Lenin, Bogdanov, Zinoviev, Kamenev… Gorky… Trotsky, recently escaped from exile” (Alan Woods, Bolshevism: The Road to Revolution, p. 114. The congress was even attended by a young Stalin, lurking under the cover “Ivanov” and “Koba” and able to observe Lenin and Trotsky up close.
Book ID: 50572