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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for the facts about Soviet history
Excellent analysis and insight into why the Russian revolution floundered, helping to understand more recent events in Russia (its full reversion to capitalism).

There are however, many typos, which is a pity.
Published 12 months ago by Terry Crow

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2.0 out of 5 stars I wasn't convinced by the arguments.
Whilst I do not fault the particular edition of this book,I do,however,criticize the arguments that Trotsky used to oppose Stalin- which I think he was right to do.Trotsky seems to be saying that everything that went wrong with the soviet regime under Stalin,came down to 'socialism in one country' instead of keeping to the original,international socialist,aims of the...
Published 13 days ago by A reader


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2.0 out of 5 stars I wasn't convinced by the arguments., 7 Dec 2014
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This review is from: The Revolution Betrayed (Paperback)
Whilst I do not fault the particular edition of this book,I do,however,criticize the arguments that Trotsky used to oppose Stalin- which I think he was right to do.Trotsky seems to be saying that everything that went wrong with the soviet regime under Stalin,came down to 'socialism in one country' instead of keeping to the original,international socialist,aims of the Russian revolution.

The points that I think he really should have been trying to get across,concern the top-down, anti-democratic nature of the Bolshevik revolutionary organization of which he,with Lenin,was part,
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for the facts about Soviet history, 5 Dec 2013
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Excellent analysis and insight into why the Russian revolution floundered, helping to understand more recent events in Russia (its full reversion to capitalism).

There are however, many typos, which is a pity.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book on Russian history after the Revolution, 9 Aug 2013
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This review is from: The Revolution Betrayed (Paperback)
Although this is a good book by Leon Trotsky on communist Russia I think it is written from the viewpoint of some one who is already familiar with the works of Lenin. Otherwise a good book on the state of Russia post revolution.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Insight, 1 May 2013
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Mr. K (North East) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Revolution Betrayed (Paperback)
Quite a dry read detailing why Trotsky feels the revolution was betrayed and a true socialist state never achieved. I'm finding it pretty hard to read, but informative all the same.
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11 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the great "on second thoughts" books in the history of socialism, 30 April 2008
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Lark (North Coast of Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Revolution Betrayed (Paperback)
While most of the content of this book is available online its sometimes cool to have the thing itself for the book shelf.

Trotsky begins with a defence of what he sees as the achievements of the regime he himself had been instrumental in creating out of the collapse of Czarism and deposed parliamentary provisional government, these are mainly industrial, infrastructural, modernisation of the country, there is some discussion of social and political issues too, a consideration that central plan collectivisation has been tardy.

Then its on to a grand criticism of Stalin as a great traitor and the rise of bureaucracy, the supreme irony of this is that Lenin and Trotsky had paved the way for the rise of stalin with "one party in power and the rest in prison" tactics from the outset when they overthrew the unarmed parliamentry provisional government and other opposition.

As a great "on second thoughts" book its a land mark, however its a serious shame that there ever had to be one, while Trotsky provides his own literary twists on it, labelling it casaerism, there was a huge amount of political theory both socialist and other which foreshadowed the developments Trotsky critises and its hard to see how he would have over looked it all.

The final impression the reader is left with, even if they dont know a great deal of the history surrounding the rise of Stalin and the preceeding history, is that Trotsky wrote this book with a clear idea of what it would mean and was consciously constructing a narrative within which he would fit. Its not as messianic as some socialist leaders turned writers but its definitely there.
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17 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The "prophet" forgets., 30 Nov 2010
This review is from: The Revolution Betrayed (Paperback)
Leon Trotsky, after exiled from the state he helped to create, became an active criticizer and an opponent of Stalin's Russia. In his analysis he described the Soviet Union as a "degenerated worker's state", that would either overthrow Stalin and get back to the road of Socialism, or fall apart.
The Revolution Betrayed is a decent critique from the left, concerning Stalinist Russia, and a good primary source. Trotsky writes in a simple and easy to read manner, using numbers and data to prove his point of view.
What Trotsky forgets to mention, however, is how he helped to create an one-party state that gave no civil liberties and human rights to its people, that he played a central role in defending the dictatorship of a minority party, and that he actively supported a regime that instituted a police state, abolished a democratically elected Constituent Assembly, promoted economic policies that resulted to famine and economic disaster, created concentration camps that were ran by slave labor, used torture and established totalitarianism, under the guidance of Lenin.
Stalin's rise to power was not an accident, but a consequence of a system of government that lacked separation of powers, allowing an individual to rise to the level of a dictator. A system that Lenin established, and Trotsky supported.
With the Soviet Archives open since 1991, the history of the Russian Revolution and the Soviet Union can finally be revealed without speculation and propaganda. It is simply a matter of facts that the Soviet Union did not suddenly become bureaucratic and dictatorial under Stalin, but in reality it started to take its form under Lenin and Trotsky.

It is therefore, in my opinion, quite an irony that Trotsky is preaching against what in actuality he helped to create.

I give this book 3 stars for it is a good edition of a book that is now of historical importance. I do not give it a higher rating because of the background of the writer and the effect that this has on his own arguments.
It can also be found on the internet for free.
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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Analysing a workers' state as an evolving-degenerating phenomena moving, 6 Dec 2009
By 
R. E. Rising "Questioner" (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Revolution Betrayed (Paperback)
Leon Trotsky here further developed the scientific task of analysing the first workers' state as means to teach about the origins of the Stalin-led bureaucracy in the style and in comparison with the Thermidorian reaction to the French revolution of 1789 (in much the way K Marx characterised 'bonapartism' in his '18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte'). Notwithstanding the historical differences in that the French republic had earlier been progressively bourgeois within a generally monarchist/feudal Europe and the Soviet Republic was progressively socialist within an out-moded imperialist encirclement. It was whilst working through his historical comparisons with that earlier counter-revolution, that Trotsky both expounded and developed his complimentary defence of the socialised property relations gained in 1917 Russia, alongside his call for a political revolution to overthrow the usurping clique who were daily undermining nationally (socialism in one country) and internationally (control of Comintern) those very same achievements. He followed by studying and exemplifying all the benefits that the new property relations in Russia had created, alongside the debilitating stranglehold of Stalin's clique. He shrugged off accusations of 'lending support to reaction and counter-revolution' by calling things by their real names and citing the lack of quality in manufacture as a measure of the degenerative 'dead-handedness of Stalinism'. By applying a Marxist method of diligent research and comparison with the highest levels of technique manufacture and distribution world-wide, he was able to formulate and dissect his subject in a non-formal(i.e. dialectical way). This new creature 'a deformed workers state', was a 'living Marxian conceptualisation' that was, for many of his sympathisers, who were in a daily ideological battle with both Stalinism and Con/Lab/Lib ideas(capitalist ideology), a difficult 'creature' to comprehend. He expounded the source of pluses and minuses precisely because it wasn't a good-good versus bad-bad outline (an outline he argued - in dynamic movement politically and economically). He presented his case with tenacity against critics from whichever quarter ever mindful of those who would throw the baby (workers state) out with the filthy bath water (Stalinism). Because of the belatedness of neighbouring social revolution the spectre of Fascism was threatening historical progress too. The legacy of social democratic betrayal beside the Stalinist accommodation of appeasement to capital/parliamentary forms this presented workers in the 1930's with tremendously difficult situations. Trotsky's insistence, on telling workers and others in the mix the essential truth no matter the situation, stands the test of time. Pedants and worshippers of the accomplished fact may argue that since 1989, the lessons of his thesis - antithesis - synthesis and correct prognosis of the future Soviet Union, is meaningless following the bureaucracy's demise. Quite the opposite is true however. Mankind was given a brilliant lesson in the living social laboratory whereby the science teachers removal has in no way invalidated this work then or by way of subsequent events. Here the joint leader of the Bolshevik party and creator of the Russian revolution alongside Lenin, made his appraisal in neither a Platonic nor contemplative manner - he was attempting to arm with his pen, those international supporters for a new 'International' fully cognisant of the need to launch anew a spotless banner and balance sheet for a modern guide to action. We are in debt to this brilliant book. Essential reading for those wishing to really learn and act today.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The danger of bureaucrats, 27 Jun 2009
This review is from: The Revolution Betrayed (Paperback)
Essential reading for any study of Marxism, Trotsky shows how the original (naive) ideas of the revolutionaries were overtaken to produce the Soviet state. Yet it wasn't in stock in any of Oxford's bookshops: "not on the reading list"!!
Quite apart from showing how the Soviet Union as we knew it came into being, the parallels as to how a second-rank group of people took over from the original revolutionaries and turned the system to their advantage are as relevant today as ever (MPs' expenses, today's Russia, many other countries' ruling "elites"). A lesson for us in how bureaucracies take over if they are given half a chance, and garner the fruits of other people's work.
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5 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable, 13 Mar 2008
By 
Mr. John Conrad Mullen "johncmullen" (Agen, France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Revolution Betrayed (Paperback)
One of the most important questions posed in the twentieth century was the potential for a society which is not based on profit. Trotsky's work traces the history of Russia between the takeover by the working class in 1917, to the counter-revolution led by Stalin.

Trotsky attempts to show that the defeat of the revolutionary spirit by Stalin was not inevitable, and that therefore a future revolution can hope for success.

The weakness of his analysis is to overstate the rôle of the bureaucracy in the counter revolution, or rather to understate the pressure of international capital. Under this pressure, Stalin chose to reestablish capitalism in Russia (while keeping the vocabulary of communism), and the result was a massive demoralization and confusion in the revolutionary movement whose consequences are still present today.
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The Revolution Betrayed
The Revolution Betrayed by Leon Trotsky (Paperback - 27 Mar 2004)
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