Of all the tomes published on the centenary of the Russian Revolution, none will reckon with a key part of the story: what if the revolutionaries' dreams had come true, instead of being dashed? Yet, no tale of the Russian Revolution is complete without asking 'what if ...?' Lenin Lives! lays out a narrative account of how history might have happened differently if Lenin had lived long enough to see the global spread of the Russian Revolution to Western Europe and the USA. In one alternative world, instead of the grim authoritarian and autarkic states of the East, socialist revolution in the world's most advanced economies ushers in an era of global peace, progress and prosperity, with global federations substituting for nation-states and international organisations. In keeping with the hopes of European revolutionaries of the time, the early achievement of socialism leads to a drastic improvement in human progress, economic growth, democracy and freedom at the global level.
Philip Cunliffe is Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the University of Kent, which he joined in 2009. He has written widely on a variety of political issues ranging from Balkan politics to Brexit, with a particular focus on international efforts to manage violent conflict since the end of the Cold War.