FEW POLITICAL institutions in history have had the impact of the Soviet Communist Party. For over seventy years, it governed Russia, then the Soviet Union, only one of two Superpowers in the modern world. More than that, the Soviet Communist Party, as the Bolshevik Party, also seized power in Russia in 1917, bringing to an end three centuries of rule by the Romanov Dynasty.

The Bolshevik Party began as part of the Social Democratic Labor Party, which had its first Congress, or meeting, in Minsk, Russia, in 1898. From the beginning, its avowed goal was the overthrow of the Romanovs. Robert Service wrote in his Lenin: a Biography, the party “envisaged that a revolution would be led against the Romanov monarchy by the working class and ...

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