Description - And God Created Lenin by Paul Gabel
When the Bolsheviks took power in Russia in November 1917, they used a wide range of techniques - some subtle, some violent - to eradicate religion in areas under their control. The new Soviet government arrested priests, closed church buildings, exposed fraudulent monastic relics, forbade the printing of religious literature, and denied religious education to the young - all the while proclaiming abroad that there was no religious persecution in Russia. They set out to crush not only all organised religion but even the likelihood of religious thought. "And God Created Lenin" examines in depth the conflict between Lenin's logic-driven efforts to stamp out religion and the churches' passionate attempts to save themselves from obliteration. It looks at both sides objectively and admits that they both presented strong cases. In this thoroughly researched yet accessible study, historian Paul Gabel offers a new understanding of the only effort in world history to upset the universality of religion. Besides the main conflict between the Russian Orthodox Church and the atheist state, Gabel also considers the tensions that this campaign against religion caused within the Communist Party.
In addition, he discusses the bitter hatred dividing the Orthodox factions that refused cooperation with the government from those that tried to adapt the church to communism. Was the failure of Soviet communism to eradicate religion simply a matter of practical miscalculation, or was this effort, in light of the persistence of religion throughout history, ultimately unrealistic and doomed from the start? This is the key question that Gabel's fascinating, insightful narrative attempts to answer.
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Publisher: Prometheus Books
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Book Reviews - And God Created Lenin by Paul Gabel
Author Biography - Paul Gabel
Paul Gabel, trained as a historian at the University of California at Berkeley, is a retired educator and the creator of the educational software "The Vietnam War."