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'Absorbing... I now place Volkogonov's great biographical triptych [Stalin, Lenin, Trotsky] at the top of my reading list on the Russian revolution.' Niall Ferguson, Sunday Times Following Stalin (1991) and Lenin (1994), Dmitri Vokogonov completes his grand trilogy of biographies of the giants who dominated the history of the Soviet Union. A dynamic and inspiring public speaker, military hero of the Russian civil war, and a brilliant organiser and theorist, Trotsky also played a large part in advocating the system of state terror which was ultimately to lead to the nightmare of Stalinism. Widely regarded as Lenin's likely successor, he was outmanoeuvred by his implacable enemy, Stalin, expelled from the Communist Party, exiled, and finally murdered in Mexico in 1940 by Stalin's agents. This book is available as a print-on-demand publication only. / This book is available as a print-on-demand publication only!
By Dmitri Volkogonov
Although for years Trotsky had condemned Lenin as a potential dictator, in 1917 he became a radical Bolshevik, a hard-line Leninist committed to a one-party state with a monopoly of power sustained through terror and violence. Together with Lenin, the military leader and fiery orator (born Lev Davidovich Bronstein in 1879) liquidated opponents, inaugurated forced collective labor and unleashed a violent campaign against religion. Using hitherto unavailable materials from Soviet archives, Volkogonov, special assistant to Boris Yeltsin, persuasively argues that Trotsky, while preaching global revolution, helped Lenin lay the foundations of a repressive domestic system that grew organically into the totalitarian dictatorship presided over by Stalin, Trotsky's rival. Assassinated in Mexico in 1940 by one of Stalin's henchmen, Trotsky, according to this meticulous, dense political biography, shares responsibility for the Red Terror that claimed him as victim. Complementing Volkogonov's recent critical biographies of Stalin and Lenin, this compelling study lays to rest the image of Trotsky as a persecuted idealist, blameless victim of Stalin's duplicity. (Mar.)
'Volkogonov is the first historian to have had access to the enormous archives in Moscow adn to make full use of his opportunity... there's plenty for hte general reader in Harold Shulman's admirable translation.' David Floyd, Daily Telegraph 'In every part of his narrative Volkogonov has deployed previously unknown detail, often in striking and illuminating fashion.' Robert Conquest, New Republic
Currently a special assistant to Russia's President Boris Yeltsin, Volkogonov (Lenin: A New Biography, LJ 10/15/94, and Stalin: Triumph and Tragedy, LJ 9/15/91) has carefully mined mountains of newly released sources in this study of Trotsky. The latest effort is a well-conceived political biography that clearly redresses the paucity of reliable works on the enigmatic Trotsky. It captures his enormous energy, his restless intellect, and his unswerving faith in the inevitability of world revolution. Volkogonov's subject has a tragic Greek cast‘from his meteoric rise under Lenin to his brutal demise under Stalin. The present work complements and frequently overshadows Isaac Deutscher's comprehensive three-volume study (1954-63). Recommended for all but the smallest collections.‘Mark R. Yerburgh, Fern Ridge Community Lib., Veneta, Ore.