Trotsky: The Eternal Revolutionary

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9780006380702: Trotsky: The Eternal Revolutionary

Together with Lenin, Trotsky was the most charismatic and dominating figure of the Russian revolution. A dynamic public speaker, a brilliant organizer and theorist, he was largely responsible for advocating the system of state terror which was ultimately to lead to the nightmare of Stalinism. This biography describes Trotsky's career as a revolutionary before World War I and his roles successively as chief organizer of the October revolution, military hero of the Russian civil war and outspoken critic of the Stalinst style of leadership. Widely regarded as Lenin's likely successor, Trotsky was outmanoeuvred by his enemy, Stalin and found himself expelled from the Communist Party, written out of the history of the revolution, exiled and finally murdered in Mexico by Stalin's agents. The author tracked down members of Stalin's overseas hit-squad and found relatives of Trotsky in Russia. Combined with his access to Soviet archives, this biography lends insight into one of the most influential figures of the 20th century, whose faith in the world socialist revolution remained undimmed to the end.

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From the Back Cover:

At last, based on full access to Soviet and Western archives, as well as interviews with surviving members of the Trotsky family and others, Dmitri Volkogonov offers a breakthrough reinterpretation. No source is ignored: Volkogonov even interviewed a member of Stalin's NKVD hit squad that assassinated Trotsky. Through his access to internal memos sent between Trotsky, Lenin, and Stalin, we learn of the blistering intensity of the animus between Stalin and Trotsky that began under Lenin with petty disputes over military strategy, continued under Stalin with a series of public trials of so-called Trotskyites, and culminated in the extensive planning for and eventual assassination of Trotsky. The result is a stunning work, one that compares the flesh-and-blood Trotsky with the Orator-in-Chief of revolutionary ideology, and discovers contradictions both profound and deadly. Volkogonov unsparingly illustrates Trotsky's rigidity and ruthlessness, and he takes issue with Trotsky's military leadership. He shows us that Trotsky's unwavering, monomaniacal commitment to world communist revolution made him, at times, both corrupt and foolishly myopic. We learn that Trotsky was both the man who gave away his own gold watch to a brave Red Army soldier and the man who advocated the use of blocking units, in which a rear line of soldiers were ordered to shoot their frontline comrades if they failed to charge. Ultimately, as Volkogonov shows, the tragedy of Trotsky is that his internal inconsistencies were a natural part of the entire revolutionary movement, for "Trotsky had declared intellectual war on virtually everyone". Volkogonov's account of the "eternal revolutionary" will stand as definitive formany years to come.

About the Author:

By Dmitri Volkogonov

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Volkogonov, Dmitri. Translated + Edited By Harold Shukman
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Book Description HarperCollinsPublishers, London, 1996. Soft Cover. Book Condition: Very Good. Reprint. pp 488 includes notes + index.*1996 is the date of the first publication; this is a reprint. Illustrated with photographs. The author's view of Trotsky. Bookseller Inventory # 1008995

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Book Description Harper Collins, London, 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Reprint. xxxvi, 524 pp. Light dents and a shallow crease to illustrated wraps. Spine uncreased. Edges of text block yellowed, with a small, faint REM stamp to lower edge. Internally uncreased, unmarked, tightly bound. Illustrated with b/w map and plates of b/w photos. Bookseller Inventory # 003134

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