Friday, April 13, 2012
Leon Trotsky's History of the Russian Revolution
“During the first two months of 1917 Russia was still a Romanov monarchy. Eight months later the Bolsheviks stood at the helm. They were little known to anybody when the year began, and their leaders were still under indictment for state treason when they came to power. You will not find another such sharp turn in history especially if you remember that it involves a nation of 150 million people. It is clear that the events of 1917, whatever you think of them, deserve study.”
--Leon Trotsky, from History of the Russian Revolution
Regarded by many as among the most powerful works of history ever written, this book offers an unparalleled account of one of the most pivotal and hotly debated events in world history. This book reveals, from the perspective of one of its central actors, the Russian Revolution’s profoundly democratic, emancipatory character.
Originally published in three parts, Trotsky’s masterpiece is collected here in a single volume. It serves as the most vital and inspiring record of the Russian Revolution to date.
About the author
Leon Trotsky was a key leader of the Russian Revolution. Forced into exile in 1928, Trotsky devoted the rest of his life to fighting the degeneration of the revolution and rise of a new dictatorial regime. Vilified and isolated, he fought an uncompromising battle with the Stalinist bureaucracy, defending the revolutionary and internationalist principles upon which the revolution was based. In 1940, he was murdered by an agent of the Stalinist regime.
“[T]he greatest history of an event that I know.”
--C. L. R. James
“In Trotsky all passions were aroused, but his thought remained calm and his vision clear.... His involvement in the struggle, far from blurring his sight, sharpens it.... The History is his crowning work, both in scale and power and as the fullest expression of his ideas on revolution. As an account of a revolution, given by one of its chief actors, it stands unique in world literature.”
“[I]t’s hard to keep potent historical truths bottled up forever. New data repositories are uncovered. New, less ideological, generations of historians grow up. In the late 1980s and before, Ann Druyan and I would routinely smuggle copies of Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution into the USSR—so our colleagues could know a little about their own political beginnings.”
Available at Haymarket Books