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Marx for the Odessa 1905 Revolution

Rech o svobodnoi torgovle, proiznesennaia v publichnom zasedanii Demokraticheskoi Assotsiatsii v Briussele 9 ianvaria 1848 goda [Speech on the Question of Free Trade, delivered to the Democratic association of Brussels on January 9th 1848].

Odessa: Burevestnik (Tip. I. Kopel'mana), 1905. Octavo (21 × 13 cm). Original decorative staple-stitched wrappers; 24 pp. Light foxing and soil to wrappers and title; rust to staples; inventory number in pencil and ink to front wrapper; book store stamp to rear wrapper; still about very good.

First edition. One of the first publications of Marx’s 1847 speech in the Russian Empire, with several of his texts published in the same year at the height of the Russian Revolution of 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 and others. Initially the texts were published abroad and smuggled into Russia, with this text first appearing in Russian in Geneva in 1885. 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.

The translator of this 1905 volume, Vasilii Ul'rikh, was one of the first Latvian Social-Democrats (LSDRP) and eventually head of the Riga Bolshevik Committee (nickname “Methodius”). Ul'rikh worked from the German (Stuttgart) edition of 1895, and provided his own notes and introduction to this volume. Born in a noble family to a German father and Russian Mother in Latvia, Ul'rikh became a Narodnik during his student days. For his open political activity he was arrested and exiled to the Irkutsk region in 1899-1904. In 1904 he returned to Latvia, which was the center of revolutionary radicalism in the turn of the twentieth-century Russian Empire, where he continued his agitation work. He seems to have joined the Socialist Democrat Party in Latvia in 1904. A native German speaker, Ul'rikh translated another work for “Burevestnik” publisher by Maks Shippel’. Permitted by the censor in July 1905. Publisher’s catalog to rear wrapper includes the works of Marx, Engels, Babel, Liebknecht, Lenin, Kautsky, Axelrod and other prominent revolutionaries.

As of January 2022 KVK, OCLC show two copies in North America.

Book ID: 51319

Price: $750.00