He had an older brother and sister; two other siblings died in infancy. When he moved to Nikolayev in to complete his schooling, he was drawn into an underground socialist circle and introduced to Marxism. Arrested in January for revolutionary activity, Bronshtein spent four and a half years in prison and in exile in Siberiaduring which time he married his coconspirator Aleksandra Sokolovskaya and fathered two daughters. He escaped in with a forged passport bearing the name Trotsky, which he adopted as his revolutionary pseudonym.
Assassinated inhe defended the ideas of democratic socialism to the end — against both capitalist exploitation and Stalinist dictatorship. The timely republication of an important biography is a chance for a new generation to discover what Trotsky stood for.
And, Peter Taaffe writes, of his vital relevance today. In truth, the political influence of Trotsky never went away. Now, the fundamentally changed economic and social situation — an intractable and enduring economic crisis of capitalism and right-wing social democracy typified by discredited Blairism — has meant that workers and youth are searching for a fighting alternative.
So when the ideological bedfellows of Blairism — like Watson — attack Trotsky it naturally kindles an interest in precisely what he stood for. And the republication of The Life and Death of Leon Trotsky is an excellent introduction to one of the greatest leaders of the Russian and world working class.
It is complementary overall to My Life. This is despite some deficiencies, particularly in the criticisms by Serge of Trotsky and of the Bolshevik political method at the end of the book, which are published here for the first time.
Without his theoretical clarity, subsequent generations would have been able to grasp perhaps only with difficulty and delay the complex and contradictory phenomenon of Stalinism. Secondly, the th anniversary of the Russian revolution falls next year. It is likely that the ideas and methods of Trotsky, alongside those of Lenin, will occupy centre stage.
Inevitably, they will be distorted by bourgeois historians, academics, journalists, etc. There is, unfortunately, an increasingly similar reaction today from the leaders of Momentum, originally set up to support Jeremy Corbyn in his leadership campaign but increasingly resorting to bureaucratic attempts to suppress and shout down alternative viewpoints, particularly of Socialist Party supporters.
This book shows the futility of such methods. If Stalin, with the resources of a mighty state, could murder Trotsky and wipe out a whole generation of revolutionaries but not defeat his ideas, what chance is there for petty-bourgeois bureaucratic methods to triumph in this period, when workers and young people have a thirst for discussion and debate?
Dust is being thrown into the eyes of the new generation in particular over the Russian revolution and its place in history.
Natalia Sedova and Victor Serge answered many of these expected charges in advance. Trotsky also anticipated this in My Life, when commenting on the first world war: The same applies to the class war.
Yet truth will out despite the monstrous lying machines of capitalism and, in the past, Stalinism. This is necessary in order to understand the nature of capitalism and to forge the political weapons to effect socialist change.
Leadership and democracy The honesty and modesty of Lenin and Trotsky before history is recognised again and again in this book. One incident illustrates the method of Lenin in relation to his own role. He demanded that the Bolsheviks should prepare for power immediately, even if this meant assuming responsibility for this in their own name.
He feared that the exceptionally favourable period to take the revolutionary initiative which existed in September, October and November could be lost. The consequences of this would have been a catastrophic defeat and the ultimate triumph of some kind of military dictatorship, as the failure of the Chinese revolution of later illustrated with the victory of Chiang Kai-shek.
At the time, however, Lenin was not in possession of the full facts because he was in hiding in Finland. Trotsky, who was in Petrograd, was more in touch with the pulse-beat of the revolution.Leon Trotsky’s Living Legacy by Peter Taaffe Posted by: nm in In defence of October, New articles September 29, 0 2, Views Review by Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party general secretary, of “The Life and Death of Leon Trotsky”, published in the October issue of Socialism Today.
The following is a chronological list of books by Leon Trotsky, a Marxist theoretician, including hardcover and paperback books and pamphlets published during his life and posthumously during the years immediately following his assassination in the summer of Included are the original Russian or German language titles and publication.
Leon Trotsky and the First Russian Revolution.
by Michael G. Livingston. A version of this article is scheduled to appear in the May issue of Socialist Action newspaper. For a one-year subscription, send $8 to Socialist Action, . Leon Trotsky played a fundamental role in the Russian Revolution, together with Lenin. There have been many attempts to distort and even to deny the role of Trotsky, especially on the part of the official Stalinist historians.
Leon Trotsky, byname of Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, (born November 7 [October 26, Old Style], , Yanovka, Ukraine, Russian Empire—died August 21, , Coyoacán, Mexico), communist theorist and agitator, a leader in Russia’s October Revolution in , and later commissar of foreign affairs and of war in the Soviet Union (–24).
Introduction by New International. The material here presented in article form is, perhaps, Leon Trotsky’s best contribution toward clarifying the differences between the views held by himself and those of Lenin in the period before on the historical character of the Russian Revolution.