The Life and Death of Trotsky

The Life and Death of Trotsky

ISBN: 0070489408 | 2015 | EPUB / MOBI | 498 Pages | 708.09 / 462.18 KB

Who was Trotsky?

Leon Trotsky was a Jew, a Russian, a European, a cosmopolitan.

Handsome, eloquent, possessing physical courage and grace of manner, he strode across the world as though it belonged to him. Like Napoleon he dared to do impossible things, and like Napoleon he was deeply troubled when he learned that not everyone admired him.

He was a man whose revolutionary passion and brilliance inspired a nation of millions to rebellion, whose influence spanned continents, whose flamboyant and formidable aura spawned Trotskyites from Petrograd to London.

Payne penetrates the web of myth that for years has distorted the real Trotsky - the man of boundless contradictions : a devoted family man, who abandoned his first wife; a civilized scholar with a pronounced streak of cruelty; an anti-imperialist who contemplated the conquest of India and schemed revolution in the U.S.; a man who never succeeded in reconciling his absolutism and his love of freedom.

In this compelling biography, Payne recreates the man in all his facets. He reveals Trotsky's inner seeds of self-destruction, his terrible errors, his excessive pride, his supreme contempt for others. He unravels power plays at the highest levels of the Russian government, the immense struggle between Stalin and Trotsky, the twisted path of international intrigue that led to Trotsky's political downfall and, ultimately, his death at the hands of a mysterious assassin.

'The biographer of Lenin, Stalin ... can't miss with Trotsky, whose life is arresting in bare chronology ... and Payne pursues him through a breathless sequence ... the book cannot help but move fast' - Kirkus Reviews

'The important things about Robert Payne are his sensitive, astute intelligence, his vast erudition, and his magic power over words' - The New York Times

'Probably no author of this century has produced so many books at such a relatively high level of scholarship' - The Times

Robert Payne (1911-1983) had over a hundred books published on a wide range of subjects during his lifetime. Critics raved about 'his vast erudition,' 'his magic power over words,' and that rare ability 'to capture the spiritual essence of his subject.' The Russian series, in particular 'The Life and Death of Lenin' and 'The Rise and Fall of Stalin', raised his reputation as biographer to enormous stature.

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