By Isaac Deutscher
Few political figures of the twentieth century have aroused as much controversy as the Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky. Trotsky’s extraordinary life and extensive writings have left an indelible mark on revolutionary conscience, yet there was a danger that his name would disappear from history. Originally published in 1954, Deutscher’s magisterial three-volume biography was the first major publication to counter the powerful Stalinist propaganda machine. In this definitive biography Trotsky emerges in his real stature, as the most heroic, and ultimately tragic, character of the Russian Revolution.
This second volume of the trilogy, first published in 1959, is a self-contained account of the great struggle between Stalin and Trotsky that followed the end of the civil war in Russia in 1921 and the death of Lenin. From the narrative of Trostsky's uncompromising opposition to Stalin's policies emerge character studies of the important Soviet leaders; a brilliant portrait of Trotsky the man of ideas, the Marxist philosopher and literary critic; and a new assessment of the causes of defeat which led to his expulsion from the party, his exile, and his banishment from Russia.