WHEN MY BOOK Plekhanov: The Father of Russian Marxism was published in 1963, 1 I had been closely involved with G. V. Plekhanov for some fifteen years. My research for a dissertation on a phase of his life and thought began in 1948, but my involvement did not end with the completion of the dissertation four years later. Believing that what I had produced was too narrow in focus to warrant publication, except perhaps in article form, I resolved to write a full-scale biography, with scant appreciation of the implications. Because the sources were so voluminous, the subject so complex, and my free time so limited, it took eleven years to see the plan through. During these years, although I was burdened with a heavy teaching load and had a home and family to care for, Plekhanov was rarely out of mind. I spent many an evening during the teaching year, as well as weekends, holidays, and vacations, in research and writing. Over the years my research took me to New York, Cambridge, and Palo Alto; to London, Paris, and Leningrad. My sleeping as well as my waking hours were often filled with reflections and refractions of my subject. The task I had set myself seemed so interminable that sometimes I wondered out loud whether it would finish me before I finished it. Yet there could be no thought of quitting. I had too much invested, and so I continued doggedly at my Sisyphean labor. A turning point came in 1959, when, thanks to the encouragement given by a leading university press, I was able to muster the vigor and enthusiasm to complete the book in the next few years.