By Leon Trotsky
This is one of the most astounding books ever written: a biography of the world's most powerful dictator by the man who was his greatest antagonist. As a historical document it is especially significant, for not only was Trotsky the one important founder of the Bolshevik state to survive a Stalinist purge and live to write about it, but the book itself preceded Nikita Khrushchev's sensational denunciation of Stalin by fifteen years.
This biography is more than merely an appraisal of the secretive, plotting man who held the Communist world in ruthless captivity for over a quarter of a century. It is one of the clearest and most authentic witnesses to the Russian revolution and the men who made it. It is an entry into the very heart of the proletarian dictatorship-its methods and growth, its bitter internal power struggles, and its agonizing acts of good and evil. Few books are as important to their time as this one, and few books are worthier of closer study.