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short unbound or paper-bound book of from 64 to 96 pages. The pamphlet gained popularity as an instrument of religious or political controversy, giving the author and reader full benefit of freedom of the press. Relatively inexpensive to purchaser and publisher, it is less complicated to publish and therefore can be more timely than a hard-cover book. Several examples of this generally ephemeral literary form have proved to have permanent value (e.g., works by John Milton and Thomas Paine), and have been reprinted separately or in collections, such as the Harleian Miscellany (1744–46). See also chapbookchapbook,
one of the pamphlets formerly sold in Europe and America by itinerant agents, or "chapmen." Chapbooks were inexpensive—in England often costing only a penny—and, like the broadside, they were usually anonymous and undated.
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a publicistic work, the direct aim and motivation of which is concrete, civic-minded exposure of wrongs, primarily sociopolitical ones; usually, a short work. As a publicistic genre, the pamphlet, which F. Engels described as an “epigrammatic work,” is openly tendentious and is designed to influence public opinion directly. Stylistically, it is characterized by pungent aphorisms, rhetorical intonations, vivid epithets, and expressiveness. Irony distilled to sarcasm is an inherent feature of the genre, as is pathos. A deliberately insulting, caricaturing pamphlet is known as a lampoon.

The pamphlet as such emerged during the late Renaissance— specifically, during the Reformation. However, similar works had been written in classical antiquity (for example, Lucian’s The Liar). Pamphlets by Luther, Erasmus of Rotterdam, and T. Murner had wide repercussions. As the political orientation of religious conflicts grew more intense, the pamphlet became saturated with social content. This is evident in many of the pamphlets written during the 17th-century English revolution by Milton, J. Lilburne, and G. Winstanley, as well as in later pamphlets by Defoe and Swift.

During the Enlightenment the pamphlet (particularly as developed by Voltaire) became a powerful political weapon of the Encyclopedists and later of the French revolutionaries (for example, Sieyès’ famous work What Is the Third Estate?). Outstanding among the many pamphlets written during the 19th century are P.-L. Courier’s A Pamphlet About Pamphlets (1824), L. Börne’s Menzel the French-eater (1837), T. Carlyle’s Latter-day Pamphlets (1850), Hugo’s Napoleon the Little (1852), and E. Zola’s I Accuse (1898). The antifascist pamphlets of H. Mann and E. E. Kisch, as well as T. Wolfe’s Radical Chic (1971), are among the most distinguished 20th-century pamphlets.

In Russia the genre was used by A. N. Radishchev (certain chapters of the Journey From St. Petersburg to Moscow, 1790), V. G. Belinskii (Letter to Gogol, 1847), A. I. Herzen, D. I. Pisa-rev, the Narodniki (Populists), and L. N. Tolstoy (I Cannot Be Silent). Pamphlets denouncing the enemies of socialist ideology were written by K. Marx (Herr Vogt), V. I. Lenin (In Memory of Count Geiden), P. Lafargue, A. V. Lunarcharskii, and M. Gorky.

Pamphleteering is characteristic of sharply satirical, revelatory literary works that disclose and emphasize the author’s ideological and political position, directly subordinating the entire imaginal structure of the work to the tasks of parody and exposé. Such works are referred to as pamphlet-novels, pamphlet-plays, and pamphlet-sketches. Features of the pamphlet are encountered in many Utopian novels, beginning with T. More’s Utopia, as well as in antiutopian novels, including Gulliver’s Travels by J. Swift and A. Huxley’s Brave New World. Elements of the pamphletary style are also found in M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin’s Pompadours and Pompadouresses, B. Brecht’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, I. G. Ehrenburg’s Trust D. E., V. V. Mayakovsky’s My Discovery of America (literary sketches) and his verses on “Soviet pompadours” (bureaucratic martinets), and S. Lewis’ novel It Can’t Happen Here (1935).


Ozmitel’, E. Sovetskaia satira: Seminarii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1964.
Burlak, L. Publitsisticheskii roman. Saratov, 1970.
Waugh, A. The Pamphlet Library, vols. 1–4. London, 1897–98.


References in classic literature ?
In the first pamphlet the battle between Don Quixote and the Biscayan was drawn to the very life, they planted in the same attitude as the history describes, their swords raised, and the one protected by his buckler, the other by his cushion, and the Biscayan's mule so true to nature that it could be seen to be a hired one a bowshot off.
To show how wrong persecution was, Defoe wrote a little pamphlet which he called The Shortest Way with the Dissenters.
They greeted the author of this pamphlet as a friend and ally.
Milton, rising to the occasion, defended the act in a pamphlet, thereby beginning a paper controversy, chiefly with the Dutch scholar Salmasius, which lasted for several years.
Directly after the doctor, who had taken up so much time, came the celebrated traveler, and Alexey Alexandrovitch, by means of the pamphlet he had only just finished reading and his previous acquaintance with the subject, impressed the traveler by the depth of his knowledge of the subject and the breadth and enlightenment of his view of it.
With visible reluctance Pollyanna laid down the pamphlet and turned toward the closet.
We had but one candle lighted, but it was in a magnificent old silver candlestick, and after a very few questions from my lady, I had my choice of amusement between a volume of sermons, and a pamphlet on the corn-laws, which Mr.
Oftentimes, a pamphlet would be followed by rebuttal pamphlets and counter-rebuttal pamphlets.
The logic pamphlets of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson and related pieces.
The department's most recent project has been to produce a series of pamphlets designed to give rape survivors the key information they need after a rape.
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PAN): Pamphlets claiming that President Hamid Karzai will withdraw in favour of his key rival Dr.
All of the early childhood pamphlets are written to appeal to parents and caregivers and are colorful and include photographs.