- Paperback: 648 pages
- Publisher: Harvard University Press (14 Sept. 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0674062256
- ISBN-13: 978-0674062252
- Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.2 x 22.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,365,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Trotsky: A Biography Paperback – 14 Sep 2015
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'The best biography of Trotsky to date... it disregards all sentimental nonsense and gives us the facts.'
--George Walden, Standpoint
`an outstanding, fascinating biography of this dazzling titan. It is as compelling as an adventure story - the ultimate rise and fall - but also revelatory as the scholarly revision of a historical reputation.'
--The Sunday Telegraph
`Seldom has the pathology of the revolutionary type, and its murderous consequences, been more mercilessly exposed than in this exemplary biography.' --Sunday Times Culture
`Drawing on much previously unreleased material, this is a scholarly work, but one with a light touch.'
--Huddersfield Daily Examiner
'balanced and thoroughly researched life of Trotsky by Robert Service, a British scholar of Soviet communism. Service knows the period's personalities inside out: he has already trawled the archives to write well-received biographies of Stalin and Vladimir Lenin, founder of the Soviet state...Service paints a perceptive portrait.' --Financial Times
'In this astonishingly comprehensive book- Robert Service has trawled almost every archive on the planet that has any reference to Trotsky...This is a superb work of scholarship, and above all leaves the reader in no doubt as to the evil of Trotsky, not just in politics but in his personal life...if you seek to know about this crucial figure in the history of Marxism-Leninism, this book will tell you everything.' --Daily Telegraph
'Masterful new life of Trotsky. Yet the book is much more than a dry critique of Trotsky's place in the Communist pantheon. It is a pacy, compelling account of one of the most magnetic and gifted leaders of the Russian revolution.' --Mail on Sunday
'Robert Service's Trotsky is, as the author points out, the first full biography to be written by a non-Trotskyist...Trotsky is the final part of a triptych, and you can sense the author's enjoyment as he completes his heroic task.'
--Times Literary Supplement
'a fascinating biography of the revolutionary who was driven out and finally murdered by Starlin.'
'Outstanding' --The Tablet
'Magisterial... One of the strengths of Robert Service's superb biography is the way it effortlessly incorporates new material that sheds light on the private life of a public figure who was careful to shape his image in his autobiographical writings.'
--The Jewish Chronicle
'Robert Service has uncovered a mass of new information, some of which makes for a pretty unattractive view of the man. Trotsky A Biography is sparkling on his political and personal travails, and indeed his crimes and follies.' --The Independent
'gripping new biography.'
'This magisterial biography may be taken as a tarring of Trotsky with the brush of Bolshevism or proof that the spectre of communism is still at large.'
--Times Higher Education Supplement
`a fascinating study which is bound to become the definitive biography.' --East Riding News --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A riveting new biography of Leon Trotsky from the critically acclaimed author of Lenin and Stalin --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Fabulously written and wonderfully informative.
The main thing I would look for in any book about a subject like Trotsky, who seems to inspire adulation and loathing in equal measure, is that the writer should attempt, however unsuccessfully, to present both sides of the picture. This is something that Service does, however grudgingly. His very dislike of Trotsky means that his praise of the man's achievements and personal qualities has to be taken seriously. Conversely, his criticisms are backed up with quotes which seem to go some way to prove the point. For example, here is Trotsky's son Leva: "Papa never recognizes when he's in the wrong. That's why he can't bear criticism. When something is said or written to him with which he disagrees he either ignores it entirely or gets back with a harsh reply". For another side of Trotsky which is not normally acknowledged by his disciples, Service reveals that he treated the women in his life between badly to abominably.Read more ›
Isaac Deutscher's three volume study - The Prophet Armed; The Prophet Unarmed and The Prophet Outcast He seems to concede in his introduction that he can't write with Deutscher's style and verve, but more importantly Service lacks any passion. Not even the passion of a thoroughgoing hatchet job. Perhaps this was his idea in the first place, but in the face of the flawed grandeur of Trotsky's life, he resorts to minor quibbles and reservations - even missing,, as in his account of Kronstadt revolt the chance to challenge Trotsky's own version of events. What he doesn't seem to realise is that you can admire Trotsky without being a revolutionary Socialists - after all Duetscher's biography is Tony Blair's favourite book!.
Professor Service acknowledges Trotsky's undoubted rhetorical brilliance and the literary flourish of his written work, but does not allow himself to be blinded by it as a quality that should in itself let him off the historical hook. This is particularly important given the sometimes hagiographic feel of other Trotsky biographies like that of Isaac Deutscher and the often lamentable analyses by some of his political admirers, of Trotsky as the civilised face of socialism and a tragic hero who but for that nasty and uncouth Stalin would have led a more humane Soviet regime. Service's account convincingly rebuts the plausibility of such arguments, showing Trotsky as someone not averse to using terror and indeed as a central player in creating the Soviet institutions that allowed and encouraged it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very well researched and objective biography which gives you a valued insight into Trotsky. Especially how vague his politics were, his vanity and his lack of cunning which Stalin... Read morePublished 9 months ago by skywalker
A first-rate biography! One only wishes that Trotsky's assassin had used the blunt end of his ice pick some 40 years earlier. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Mr Pooter
This book has been completely discredited. It is full of errors, the use of evidence is poor and distorted. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Peter Angell
Amazingly well-researched. Quite fascinating. Well written...and sad. Good to learn so much about an ancestor! No wonder I'm a dedicated socialist.Published 23 months ago by Jef Harris
Gives a lot of information....Does clearly benefit from the new information after the archives has been opened....the author has an excellent stylePublished on 20 Jun. 2013 by Anders Hald
A lot of new information.It is a book I was looking for my reseaching about soviet revolt leaders.Very usefull for everyone who interested in Russian history.Published on 16 Dec. 2012 by algirdas paseveckas
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