© Copyright 2021 The Globe and Mail Inc. All rights reserved. He had a habit of using people until they were no longer politically useful. A charismatic man, with abundant literary gifts, including polemics and oratory, absolutely committed to revolution. Personally, he avoided self-negation precisely by not deviating from the cause, but one can't help to feel that his purpose and talents were compromised. One can roundly condemn Trotsky's methods and beliefs without insinuating that the USSR would have been no better off under his leadership than Stalin's. With Trotsky, Robert Service completes his sweeping biographical trilogy of the three leading Bolshevik revolutionaries. Even as we approach the 20th anniversary of the demise of the Soviet Union, it's legacy is still hotly debated. Service has done a remarkable job collecting, researching and writing the tome. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter . After his death Trotsky has enjoyed better press in the west than he had had in his lifetime. Read Trotsky: A Biography book reviews & author details and more at Amazon.in. Refresh and try again. Similarly, Service goes too far in trying to make the case that Trotsky and Stalin were in essence politically interchangeable. Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. Be the first to ask a question about Trotsky. His biography of Trotsky was positively reviewed in the British and American press on its publication, but two years later was strongly criticized by Service's Hoover Institution colleague Bertrand Patenaude in a review for The American Historical Review. But the method is always the same, and when you have the key, it is easy to win. He was a master political operator, a hard worker who avoided the drink, and created the Red Army from the pieces of the Imperial Russian Army despite having no prior military experience. Rather than being … Probably the best biography of Trotsky available, but not for the timid or the merely curious; those who do not want to know every available detail of Trotsky's life, but only an overview, best look elsewhere. Even as we approach the 20th anniversary of the demise of the Soviet Union, it's legacy is still hotly debated. Charismatic, fiery, arrogant, convinced of the … Service draws upon a range of fascinating sources - including early drafts of Trotsky's own autobiography - to paint a complex and contradictory picture of the revolutionary as both a leader and a man. The repeated snide comments on Trotsky's family relationships jar uncomfortably with the accompanying evidence that Trotsky in fact cared deeply about his family members and went out of his way to support them. She co-edits the journal Review of International Political Economy. More than any other Bolshevik, it was Trotsky, the penseur with the pince-nez, who became the brand of the revolution, and not just the revolution in Russia—revolution everywhere. These two facts alone would have made the mythical Soviet Union under Trotsky quite different than the victorious Stalinist version, if still not especially laudable. Also, Service does not provide any sort of primer for basic marxist thought, which can make it difficult for beginners to follow what is going on when Stalin and Bukharin gang up on Trotsky. If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org. He was an individualist who advocated collectivism. He not only led very successfully the October Revolution but also the Red Army to victory in the Civil War as the Commissar of Foreign Affairs. To see what your friends thought of this book, It was interresting to read both a biography of Staline and Trotsky. This was a really interesting book, I wish it would've talked more about his ideas though. But it tells the Old Man's story well, painting him as a brilliant, self-centred, erudite, historic yet ultimately self-destructive global political force. Review: Trotsky, a Biography by Robert Service. He led the Red Army in the Civil War. This article was published more than 10 years ago. We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. When local authorities finally allowed him to continue his journey a month later, Trotsky reportedly "shook his fist at the English officers and cursed England" as the ship sailed away from port. Overall the cast was set for the Soviet Union during the creation of the "dictatorship of the proletariat". I found this book both insightful and thorough. Trostsky, Robert Service's debunking biography, proves that being Stalin’s great enemy does not make Trotsky in any way a good man, says Simon Sebag Montefiore in a review first published in 2009. He and the other Communists were intellectuals and revolutionaries who spent most of their time pre-1917 going to meetings and furiously denouncing one another, along with bourgeois capitalism. His factiousness led to his demise from party leadership, expulsion, exile, death, and murder. Perhaps this is because unlike with Trotsky, the faults of the others have been unanimously agreed upon by historiography. Trotsky: A Biography by Professor Robert Service, has been brought out with considerable fanfare. How one of the most Powerful and best orator of Bolshevik party was killed by an ice pick in mexico and it didn't even made news in "PRAVDA" the national newspaper of SOVIET RUSSIA which he help started and headed in his golden years . It is a good school for manipulation and success in business. I think I have to disagree with the other reviewers who accuse Robert Service of being non-partial, or biased against Trotsky. The world likes its underdogs. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted. Thank you for your patience. This has occurred for a variety of reasons, including his break with Stalin, his exhaustive writings that critiqued Stalin, and his assassination (which made him a martyr), most likely ordered by Stalin. The years of the man to admire oppressive & murderous outcome Revolution. of modern and. Service vividly describes Trotsky 's opinions and especially in relation to raging Soviet debates and hypocritical your Goodreads account sympathetic... Track to an oppressive & murderous outcome which the human impulse towards so just keep a. If your write the biography of Staline and Trotsky. 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