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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Anti-Semitic Biography Vilifies Figure of Lenin

For the reader used to the plodding Lenin biographies of the Soviet years, Vladimir Soloukhin's "In the Light of Day" may come as a bit of a surprise.

In this new paperback, released Tuesday, there are no lengthy polemics, no speeches, no insistent descriptions of Vladimir Lenin, great founder of the Soviet state, inspiring a devoted people to build a glorious Communist state.

Instead, in Soloukhin's version, Lenin is a fierce, calculating megalomaniac who was supported by only a handful of people, but still managed through sheer will systematically to destroy a rich and powerful culture. The book's cover shows a devil's horn on one half of Lenin's face.

Debunking Lenin has become almost a sport in recent years as Russian historians have worked their way back through the years dismantling the Soviet myth. But Soloukhin's book, which has strong anti-Semitic overtones, is the first to go this far in vilifying the man Soviets were indoctrinated to worship.

Lenin, Soloukhin says, was mentally disturbed from childhood, unusually aggressive and "clearly not healthy, something we all saw over the next 70 some odd years".

Mourning the loss of Russia's great traditions and culture to the impersonal, atheistic Soviet state, Soloukhin denounces Lenin as a Russian-hating Jew who systematically destroyed a culture allegedly hostile to him.

Because the majority of Russians did not support Lenin and the Bolsheviks after they seized power in October 1917, the revolutionary leader instead relied on "Jews and Latvians", Soloukhin said, for his power base.

In the book, Soloukhin tries to prove that Lenin's mother, Marya Blank, was Jewish -- a topic that has been widely debated and is often cited by nationalist political groups.

Soloukhin, 69, is a widely respected author of over 70 works, virtually all of which dote on the beauty of Russian nature and tradition. He is known as a stout defender of Russian culture, and is a professed monarchist. But like some of his colleagues before him -- the Siberian writer Valentin Rasputin and the filmmaker Stanislav Govorukhin for example -- his nationalism has taken an ugly turn.