Leon Trotsky (1879-1940; born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein) was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army. As Stalin rose in the Soviet Union, Trotsky was removed from power, expelled from the Communist Party, deported from the Soviet Union, and assassinated on Stalin's orders.
Most of this book was written and revised by Trotsky by 1940, but the rest was put together by an editor after his 1940 murder.
He begins with a biography of Stalin, who originally was a theology student, but "decidedly lost all taste for theology" (pg. 15) and led a "double life" for about five years. (Pg. 25) During the October Revolution, he states coldly, "Others did the fighting; Stalin supervised them from afar." (Pg. 103)
Once later in power, Stalin removed from circulation, counterfeited, and substituted new material (particularly about his own history) for publications such as Pravda. (Pg. 199; shades of Orwell's "Memory Hole" in 1984!) Trotsky's name was also deleted from revised publications such as Lenin's Works (Pg. 227).
He even suspects that Stalin may have taken steps to advance Lenin's final illness, despite the "monstrosity of such suspicion." (Pg. 372) He concludes that "Stalin remains a mediocrity" (pg. 393).
He observes with satisfaction that "The vengeance of history is more terrible than the vengeance of the most powerful General Secretary. I venture to think that this is consoling." (Pg. 383)