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Che Guevara joins the ranks of revolutionary thinkers and leaders – some peaceful, others very violent – who changed the course of history



Where: Russia

When: 1917

Fighting against: the ruling Tsarist regime and class divisions in society

Angered by the execution of his brother at the hands of the ruling regime, Lenin became a Marxist in his youth. In 1903 he formed the Bolsheviks, the leading faction of Russian Marxists and forerunner of the Communist Party. In 1917 Lenin, along with other radical thinkers including Leon Trotsky, led the Bolsheviks in the violent October Revolution, ending the Russian Empire and establishing the Soviet state that would become a global superpower. He acted as the first head of this regime till his death in 1924.


The synthesis of Lenin’s views with those of Karl Marx created Marxism-Leninism, the basis of Communism throughout the 20th century. Some celebrate Lenin as a proponent of workers’ rights, but he was prepared to inflict horrific suffering and sacrifice countless human lives in the pursuit of Communist goals.

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About BBC History Revealed Magazine

The August 2015 issue of History Revealed