.."". we are indebted to the author for a stimulating and balanced study of Lenin -- a study that presents many valuable insights and a good deal of new material based on his archive research, and that sharpens our picture and understanding of 'the dreamer in the Kremlin.'"" -- The Russian ReviewLenin: A Political Life is a major three-volume work on Vladimir Ilich Lenin, his ideas, activity, and environment. The first volume, covering the years from 1870 to 1910, traces his rise to authority and his political troubles after 1903. Service ably demonstrates the complex interplay of ideas, activity, and environment that prompted the choice of title for the first volume: The Strengths of Contradiction.