- Old age is the most unexpected of all things that happen to a man.
Diary in Exile (1959) 8 May 1935
- Civilization has made the peasantry its pack animal. The bourgeoisie in the long run only changed the form of the pack.
History of the Russian Revolution (1933) vol. 3, ch. 1
- You [the Mensheviks] are pitiful isolated individuals; you are bankrupts; your role is played out. Go where you belong from now on—into the dustbin of history!
History of the Russian Revolution
(1933) vol. 3, ch. 10; see Birrell
- Art, it is said, is not a mirror, but a hammer: it does not reflect, it shapes.
Literature and Revolution (1924)
- If we had had more time for discussion we should probably have made a great many more mistakes.
My Life (1930)
- Where force is necessary, there it must be applied boldly, decisively and completely. But one must know the limitations of force; one must know when to blend force with a manoeuvre, a blow with an agreement.
What Next? (1932)
- It is clear that the twentieth century is the most disturbed century within the memory of humanity. Any contemporary of ours who wants peace and comfort above all has chosen a bad time to be born.
often quoted as ‘anyone desiring a quiet life has done badly to be born in the twentieth century’
‘On the New Germany’ in Manchester Guardian 22 March 1933
- Not believing in force is the same thing as not believing in gravitation.
G. Maximov The Guillotine at Work (1940)