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History of the Russian Revolution by Leon Trotsky

The History of the Russian Revolution by Leon Trotsky
The History of the Russian Revolution by Leon Trotsky
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“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.اضافة اعلان

Revolutions, the Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin wrote, “must not by any means be regarded as a single act…but as a series of more or less powerful outbreaks rapidly alternating with periods of more or less intense calm.” To understand and navigate this process, revolutionaries must understand both the objective possibility of working-class rule, and the specific opportunities and challenges at every given moment. Leon Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution chronicles the revolutionary process of 1917, the challenges for the young working class, its “successive approximations,” as it forged a course through first overthrowing the ancient rotten monarchy of the tsar in February, then casting off the new-born, rotten bourgeois democracy of the Provisional Government in October.

Dozens of histories of the Russian Revolution have been written; what makes Trotsky’s History unique is its uncompromisingly working-class, Marxist account of the totality of the process, made all the more tangible from the point of view of a participant.

Beyond the analytical incisiveness of the History, it is a work of great emotion and poetry, and Trotsky’s success at communicating the sweep of the revolution is often achieved through the tiniest detail depicting the psychological transformation of the masses. A wink, a hesitation, the trembling but defiant voice of a soldiers’ deputy in the Soviet embodied the growing boldness of an oppressed class rising to its feet against its oppressors. Deutscher wrote of this aspect of the History: “He lets us feel that here and now men make their own history; and that they do it in accordance with the ‘laws of history,’ but also by acts of their consciousness and will. Of such men, even though they may be illiterate and crude, he is proud; and he wants us to be proud of them. The revolution is for him that brief and pregnant moment when the humble and downtrodden have their say.”

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.

“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.” —Isaac Deutscher

Leon Trotsky was one of the most prominent leaders of the Russian Revolution in 1917. He was one of the primary contenders for the leadership of the Bolshevik Party in 1922 after the death of Lenin. When Stalin took this post, Trotsky swiftly concluded that the Revolution had been undermined. He was expelled from the Communist Party in 1927 and subsequently went into exile in Mexico, where he was assassinated by Soviet agents in 1940.

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