Odessa: Izdanie E.M. Alekseevoi (Tipografiia I. Kopel'mana), 1905. Octavo (18.5 × 13 cm). Original printed staple-stitched wrappers; 23 pp. About very good; toning to wrappers; small stain to upper margin; blue pencil number to title; else clean.
First edition. First publication of this text in the Russian Empire, at the height of the 1905 revolutionary unrest, which began in January 1905 with Bloody Sunday. The censorship stamp indicates that this text was released for publication in February 1905. Marxist reading circles were first organized in Odessa in the 1890s, assembling small libraries which included the works of Marx, Engels, Plekhanov and Axelrod among others. Initially the texts were published abroad and smuggled into Russia. By 1905 Odessa was home to the South Russian Workers Union, a variety of Marxist workers circles and several small printing presses, publishing the works of these and other authors domestically. Odessa became the symbol of the 1905 Revolution because of the June strike of the Battleship Potemkin sailors which has been immortalized in the eponymous film by Sergei Eisenstein. Other pamphlets released by this publisher in 1905 included Clara Tsetkin’s “Woman and her economic situation”, Karl Kautsky’s “The Republic and Socialist-Democracy in France”, as well as numerous works by Marx. The text of “The Speech” was written in French in 1847 and published as a freestanding pamphlet in the same year in Brussels. Like many of Marx’s works it was first published in Russian in Geneva in 1885, translated from German by Plekhanov. This seems to be the first translation into Russian from the original French.
As of January 2022, KVK, OCLC show two copies in North America.
Book ID: 51318