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3.5 out of 5 stars
42
3.5 out of 5 stars
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on 13 September 2017
Good if you into Russian politics
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on 20 February 2014
Service's problem is that his biography has to be compared with perhaps the greatest political biography of the 20th Century,
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!.
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on 30 December 2014
This is a good general account of Trotsky's life, making use of very extensive research. It lacks the sheer excitement of Deutscher and the in-depth study of Trotsky's ideas found in Knei-Pax, but it is well worth reading. Apart from reading Trotsky himself, and Service on Lenin and Stalin, a good further source would be the writings of Ian Thatcher.
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on 12 February 2017
A meticulously researched biography of the man and his politics. His arrogance meant he had no enduring friendships in the Comintern which meant after Lenins death it was Stalin who was in charge of Russia.
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on 18 July 2016
A well researched biography which provides plenty of detail and leaves you feeling you have a good grasp of Trotsky's roll in Soviet history. Robert Service has also written on Lenin and Stalin.
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on 11 May 2015
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 had in spades.
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on 13 October 2012
I am, I must admit, a fan of Trotsky, his ideas and ideology were the best of any communist leader and his intellect and rhetorical skill unmatched by almost any other man of the period. Despite this I can, unlike some of my obtuse comrades, accept that he was not flawless. He was brilliant but we must accept that he was also arrogant and brutal. The Cold Warriors such as Deutscher were eager to praise him as the arch-enemy of Stalin and the Soviets however this is not history but hagiography. This has changed and historians, both sides of the Iron Curtain, are presenting him not as a deity but a man, talented but far from perfect.
Fabulously written and wonderfully informative.
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on 28 August 2017
Wife very happy with it!!
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on 30 May 2015
Very interesting and comprehensive coverage.
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on 17 May 2017
Fair to middling.
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