PRINT February 1992


Lenin in Canada

BACK IN AUGUST, FOLLOWING the slapdash coup against Gorbachev, statues of Lenin toppled all over what was then the Soviet Union, only to pop up again in the Western media or in the hands of private collectors across the “free world.” Even as the media turned the tottering Bolshevik into an all-purpose stage prop for a political theater that had suddenly, briefly, gone all-out populist, a Japanese investor was said to be arranging for the resurrection of fallen monuments in a Lenin theme park in Tokyo.

It was high summer, winter breadlines were a long way off, and the Soviet ancien régime had been dispatched (apparently for good) in less time than it took the U.S. Army to outflank and bury (alive, in some cases) Saddam Hussein’s war machine in Kuwait. So I was somewhat bemused to come upon a Lenin of a different sort standing firm in Toronto, seat of Ontario’s socialist government. In June,

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