Red Giant

An Interview with Victor Sebestyen

Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov was a modest, middle-class boy from the sticks who grew up to become a violent revolutionary and ultimately the dictator of a totalitarian state. The story of how Lenin became Lenin is a fascinating one, and it forms a major theme in the essential new biography of the man from noted author Victor Sebestyen. We spoke to Sebestyen about Lenin’s own history and its connection to the fate of his country.

Octavian Report: What first inspired you to write a biography of Lenin?

Victor Sebestyen: There had not been a big biography of him in English in nearly 20 years — that was one of the main reasons. And there’s been quite a lot …

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