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Has "what is to be done" been written by Nikolai Chernyshevsky or by Lenin, or by both, or there are two different books with the same title in the same historical period, in the same nation and from similar political point of view?
Chernyshevsky was the first to use the title. Lenin was inspired by Chernyshevsky's novel in his youth and later re-used the title himself. I wouldn't call it the same historical period. Cherneshevsky is associated with the nihilism of the 1860s while Lenin is associated with the Russian Revolution almost 60 years later. thoreaubred 01:07, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
I would not regard Chernyshevsky as a nihilist - this is a name Turgenev coined for Pisarev and his followers - but instead as a Narodnik or Populist, because of his arguments about how a socialist society might be constructed on the basis of the obschina. NickJBEvans 01:30, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
Is the title a Biblical reference - to Luke 3:10-14? Shto delat'? ("What is to be done") is also translated as "What Shall We Do?"
Luke: 10 And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” 11 And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics[a] is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” 12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” 13 And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.” 14 Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”
At least according to the article What Is to Be Done? (Tolstoy) this is an intentional reference. Were all three making a biblical reference. I don't know Lenin's personal views on religion, but there does seem to be a notion on sharing wealth in the reference. Ileanadu (talk) 03:03, 2 April 2014 (UTC)