Few figures from the revolutionary struggles of the early twentieth century continue to be more polarizing than Vladimir Lenin. Caricatured by both the defenders of the market and those remaining political apologists for state socialism as an inflexible and impatient insurrectionist, in this pamphlet—perhaps his most important and relevant work—Lenin makes a clear argument that for radicals, struggling through existing democratic channels is not an option, but an essential step on the road to revolution. This new edition provides a critical introduction and additional explanatory materials.

Ahmed Shawki is the editor of International Socialist Review and author of Black Liberation and Socialism (Haymarket Books, 2006).