Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Revolution at the Gates: Zizek on Lenin: The 1917 Writings” as Want to Read:
Revolution at the Gates: Zizek on Lenin: The 1917 Writings
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Revolution at the Gates: Zizek on Lenin: The 1917 Writings

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  288 ratings  ·  22 reviews
The idea of a Lenin renaissance might well provoke an outburst of sarcastic laughter. Marx is OK, but Lenin? Doesn’t he stand for the big catastrophe which left its mark on the entire twentieth-century?

Lenin, however, deserves wider consideration than this, and his writings of 1917 are testament to a formidable political figure. They reveal his ability to grasp the signifi
Paperback, 356 pages
Published June 17th 2004 by Verso (first published January 1st 2002)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Revolution at the Gates, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Revolution at the Gates

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  288 ratings  ·  22 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Paul Hansel
Apr 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Lenin stuff was interesting, but hard to understand if you don't have much context. Zizek stuff was fun, but touched on too many subjects and was not very clear. This is my first Zizek though, so, bad place to start. He demands intense focus and to really get at all of his references I would have to be read much more widely (mostly in Marx and Hegel). I thought the talk about 9/11 was good.
Ivan Pretorius
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
There are some great insights on contemporary culture and politics in this book, if you want to read Lenin's essays definitely the book for you , but if you are like me, and hoping that Zizek will offer some keen insight into Lenin, you'll be mostly disappointed.
Jan 29, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wstawione

Slavoj Žižek zaplusował sobie u mnie występem w filmie dokumentalnym pod tytułem "Žižek", tam właśnie poznałem jego podejście do rzeczywistości, filozofii, filmów i od cholery innych tematów. Ale nie mnogość zainteresowań sprawiła, że zacząłem go lubić, a sposób przekazywania swoich racji.

Slavoj Žižek do każdej rzeczy podchodzi filozoficznie. Sam uważa się za marksistę, jest komentatorem psychoanalityka Jacques'a Lacana. Jeśli sprawdzi się jego umiejętności, to można zauważy
Dec 27, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a tough one to rate, as a nice Stalinist revisionist (kidding), I want people to read these writings by Lenin, therefore I feel it my duty to rate the book highly; but Christ almighty Zizek's afterword, which comprises 200 or so of the 350 pages, is insane, stupid, illiterate, belligerent, and inconsistent. Quoting Jesse, as I find myself doing more and more in these reviews, while reading the pages you get the feeling he's "locked himself in a room" just to "scream" until he faints. For ...more
Nic Don
May 27, 2016 rated it did not like it
This is a strange collection. It is part of the "Essential Zizek" series, but the listed author is Lenin. It presents several of Lenin's 1917 writings, with a brief Foreword and extended Afterword by Zizek. The foreword is just fine, and situates the context of the initial writings fairly well, though Zizek leans on a few early footnotes for most of the detail. The afterword, on the other hand, is classic Zizek: rambling, obscurantist, preachy, and oddly reliant on pop culture references. Moreov ...more
Jun 18, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the writings of Lenin better than I liked the author's afterword. Unfortunately the author's own opinion seemed to be rather all over the place and none of it seemed to be very fluid. I think he was criticing modern life...perhaps all of modern life, but to tell the truth I couldn't comprehend enough to actually finish his afterword. I really can't say it had anything to do with anything about Lenin, however, he may have got around to it later on...The possible end result could have be ...more
Zizek goes on for pages about The Fight Club, and, like D&G, he totally gives away the ending! Perhaps this explains his key philosophical error of selecting as principle the separation between Subject's limited ability to know and the vastness of what cannot be known, and further internalizing that division within the Subject. Hence the rejection of totality and covert resurrection of Kant's thing-in-itself.

Also his reactionary denial of sexual harassment's reality.

Thomas Estabrook
Feb 18, 2015 rated it liked it
In addition to providing an interesting selection of Lenin's writings from a critical moment in history, this book provides a decent introduction to Zizek's philosophy (in a series of essays comprising almost half of the book). Zizek has a tendency to get caught up in various tangents and he sometimes verges on being incomprehensible, but overall he presents many interesting ideas and makes a good case for why Lenin is still relevant in the 21st century.
May 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On the one hand, I really enjoyed the book, on the other - the language Žižek uses is so over-sophisticated that sometimes it was easier to bang my head against the wall than to understand what he means. What I liked, though, were his thoughts about stalinism, atheism, and sex. I've never met such a logical explanation of how violence is inherent in stalinism, the latter being still grand in its intention to create a radically new society.
Michael Mintz
The first 150 pages or so (which consisted of a selection of Lenin's writing between the two Russian revolutions of 1917) were very good. Žižek also provided useful notes which contextualized some of the letters and pamphlets Lenin wrote. However, the remainder of the book (a collection of essays by Žižek) unsurprisingly failed to meet Lenin's standard.
Jul 12, 2007 rated it liked it
zizek indicts the material capitalist world and advocates a return to lenin's revolution. he keeps it interesting by mixing in many allusions to movies like the matrix, fight club and speed and psychoanalytically relates it back to human relation to government.
The Lenin excerpts are all great. Zizek's analysis is, too. I dropped off a star because in the long afterword he seems to lose focus on Lenin and veer off into familiar Zizek territory (Lacanian analysis of modern movies etc), and while good, it dilutes the otherwise exemplary effort.
This book could have used a better proofreader.

There are some brilliant insights and commentary on contemporary culture and politics in this book, but as usual with Zizek you have to wade through quite a bit of aggrandizing name-dropping and unnecessary theoretical jargon.
Feb 06, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Mniej niż połowa książki to listy Lenina, a cała reszta to przedmowa, wprowadzenie i posłowie (które zajmuje więcej niż same pisma z tytułu). O ile z listów Lenina można wyczytać jego poglądy polityczne, to około 300 stron to wariacja na temat nie wiadomo czego.
William West
Most of the Lenin pieces are available in English in other, older volumes.

Zizek's long intro/ afterwards is occasionally fascinating, but at the end I wasn't sure if it had amounted to a cohesive statement. That, however, may have been intenional on Zizek's part.
Jan 01, 2017 added it
Uplifting in the maelstrom of the modern world
Jan 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lenin is a clear and forceful writer with a pretty inspiring dialectic, I'm a bit ashamed I haven't gotten to reading him before. Zizek's extensive rambling afterword is less important.
Oct 18, 2010 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
nduwe ebook-nya. masiyo ra diwoco.
Mar 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: zizek, marxism
I liked this book, i felt discussing Lenin's theoritical jump from possibility to practice was interesting. Zizek's idea of taking a leap was nice to read.
May 14, 2011 added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Josefina Duran
Jan 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
Im going to also read this book for my political science class.
rated it really liked it
Apr 06, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Apr 17, 2012
Karlo Mikhail
rated it really liked it
Jun 18, 2017
rated it it was ok
Nov 16, 2011
rated it it was amazing
Jul 29, 2011
Jim Plank
rated it really liked it
Jul 07, 2009
rated it really liked it
Sep 18, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Sep 19, 2010
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Terrorism and Communism: A Reply to Karl Kautsky
  • German Ideology
  • In Defense of Lost Causes
  • On Practice and Contradiction
  • Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution: A Political Biography, 1888-1938
  • The Idea of Communism
  • Critique of Everyday Life, Volume II
  • The Future Lasts Forever: A Memoir
  • Contingency, Hegemony, Universality: Contemporary Dialogues on the Left
  • Marx's Capital
  • The New Class: An Analysis of the Communist System
  • Virtue and Terror
  • Late Capitalism
See similar books…
Lenin, Vladimir Ilyich (1870-1924) - one of the leaders of the Bolshevik party since its formation in 1903. Led the Soviets to power in October, 1917. Elected to the head of the Soviet government until 1922, when he retired due to ill health.

Lenin, born in 1870, was committed to revolutionary struggle from an early age - his elder brother was hanged for the attempted assassination of Czar Alexande
“There is an old joke about socialism as the synthesis of the highest achievements of the whole human history to date: from prehistoric societies it took primitivism; from the Ancient world it took slavery; from medieval society brutal domination; from capitalism exploitation; and from socialism the name..” 25 likes
“The Guchkov government is held in a vice: bound by the interests of capital, it is compelled to strive to continue the predatory, robber war, to protect the monstrous profits of capital and the landlords, to restore the monarchy. Bound by its revolutionary origin and by the need for an abrupt change from tsarism to democracy, pressed by the bread-hungry and peace-hungry masses, the government is compelled to lie, to wriggle, to play for time, to “proclaim” and promise (promises are the only things that are very cheap even at a time of madly rocketing prices) as much as possible and do as little as possible, to make concessions with one hand and to withdraw them with the other. Under” 0 likes
More quotes…