In July 1917, when the Provisional Government issued a warrant for his arrest, Lenin fled from Petrograd; later that year, the October Revolution swept him to supreme power. In the short intervening period he spent in Finland, he wrote his impassioned, never-completed masterwork on The State and Revolution. This book offers both the rationale for the new regime and a wealth of insights into Leninist politics. It was here that Lenin justified his personal interpretation of Marxism, savaged his opponents and set out his trenchant views on class conflict, the lessons of earlier revolutions, the dismantling of the bourgeois state and the replacement of capitalism by the dictatorship of the proletariat. Immediately established as a standard text, it was selectively cited by leaders from Stalin to Gorbachev in support of programmes which differed in important ways. As both historical document and political statement, its importance can hardly be exaggerated.