robert service, trotsky reviewEven with Trotsky's brilliance, he was ultimately, much like his former comrades, far too willing to allow an ill defined end to justify some pretty horrifying means. Leon Trotsky checks both boxes. Robert John Service (born 29 October 1947) is a British historian, academic, and author who has written extensively on the history of the Soviet Union, particularly the era from the October Revolution to Stalin's death. Even more so than Lenin, Trotsky's connection to 'the source' seems to have been idiosyncratic, to say the least. His factiousness led to his demise from party leadership, expulsion, exile, death, and murder. quite good a biography of Trotsky avoiding the hagiography around his name, Gustave Flaubert wrote that, if you write the biography of a friend, you should write it as if you were taking revenge for him. They mostly just keep it a bit more quiet in public than they used to. (Should preface this by saying that I'm not a Trotskyist, Leninist, Stalinist, or Communist of any brand whatsoever.). Even without Stalin, somebody would've sidelined him after 1924. It would be safe to say that Robert Service has done a great DISSERVICE to Trotsky. He... Leon Trotsky’s Struggle Against Stalinism. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published But the method is always the same, and when you have the. Review: Trotsky: A Biography. Robert Service, who authored biographies of V. I. Lenin and Joseph Stalin and a history of world communism, has now published a biography of Leon Trotsky. Objective and not a hagiography by any means. Robert Service draws on hitherto unexamined archives and on his profound understanding of Russian history to draw a portrait of the man and his legacy, revealing that though his followers have represented Trotsky as a pure revolutionary soul and a powerful intellect unjustly hounded into exile by Stalin and his henchmen. For the rest of us, the history nuts or the student of modern history, this is the biogra. In Stalin's biography, there is many photos, short chapter, it is reading like a novel. By Robert Service Macmillan, £25. Read this after watching Hitchens and him debate at some stuffy Hoover Institute roundtable. It suffers from needed detail about Trotsky's philosophy and the internal (and interminable) disputes between communist factions. Fans of Russian history will find much to enjoy in these pages, from the carefully documented discussion of Trotsky's failed attempts to unify Russia's leftists before the revolution to an intriguing section on his tragicomic interlude in Turkish exile from 1929 to 1933. Lost the power struggle against Stalin leading to his expulsion from the Soviet Union. Free delivery on qualified orders. And does the failure of the Soviet experiment discredit all of the nobler aims which the human impulse towards so. Give your brain a workout and do today’s Daily Cryptic Crossword. Robert John Service FBA (born 29 October 1947) is a British historian, academic, and author who has written extensively on the history of the Soviet Union, particularly the era from the October Revolution to Stalin's death. But perhaps the biggest reason he has escaped comparatively unscathed is that for those on the far left. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. This was a really interesting book, I wish it would've talked more about his ideas though. Perhaps this is because unlike with Trotsky, the faults of the others have been unanimously agreed upon by historiography. He is currently a professor of Russian history at the University of Oxford, a Fellow of St Antony's College, Oxford, and a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.As an author Service is … Welcome back. This has occurred for a variety of reasons, including his break with Stalin, his exhaustive writings that critiqued Stalin, and his assassination (which made him a martyr), most likely ordered by Stalin. Trotsky was one of the most important figures of the Russian Revolution. By embracing Trotsky, Marxists can pretend to distance themselves from reality and sustain the canard that Marxism has anything of worth to offer us. Trotsky is, I think, an innately fascinating historical figure. Robert Service documents who he was personally and politically through this new scholarly work. Without Lenin, as Trotsky himself acknowledged, there would have been no October Revolution in 1917. This makes the book … Canadian readers will especially appreciate Service's recounting of Trotsky's detention in Halifax while en route to Russia in April, 1917, at a time when Trotsky desperately wanted to return home to take part in the evolving revolution. The world likes its underdogs. Service shows how it was/is out of proportion to his qualities as a person and as a political leader. Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted. For the rest of us, the history nuts or the student of modern history, this is the biography to get. Trotsky: A Biography By Robert Service Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009 600 pages . Trotsky in 1937, when he first arrived in Mexico. He was until 2013 a professor of Russian history at the University of Oxford, a Fellow of St Antony's College, Oxford, and a senior Fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.He is best … He was a brilliant leader. I wouldn't read this as the only source of information, but it does--with its faults--balance some of the more praising interpretations. Service's biography is replete with curiously mean-spirited commentary on Trotsky's relationships with his parents, wives and children. Trotsky was vain, but at the same time lacked self-conscious of his actions. Littered with factual errors, which are at least finally getting exposed at the academic level. Service focuses more on Trotsky's intellectual development, rather than on the more exciting elements of his life. Robert Service draws on hitherto unexamined archives and on his profound understanding of Russian history to draw a portrait of the man and his legacy, revealing that though his followers have represented Trotsky as a pure revolutionary soul and a powerful intellect unjustly hounded into exile by Stalin and his henchmen. He was an idealist. It follows that, if your write the biography of an enemy, you should write it as if you were taking revenge. Was what happened in Soviet Russia even worthy of the name of communism? Robert John Service (born 29 October 1947) is a British historian, academic, and author who has written extensively on the history of the Soviet Union, particularly the era from the October Revolution to Stalin's death. Trotsky: A Biography by Professor Robert Service, has been brought out with considerable fanfare. March 9, 2019...conflicting social and political forces. I had previously read Service's biography of Lenin, and I'm coming to really enjoy his writing style. Trotsky was instrumental in the creation of the secret police services during the Red Terror, which would later claim a higher body count than the Nazi SS (and also killed more communists than Hitler). An even-handed review of the complex and contradictory character of Trotsky. The reality is very different, as this masterful and compelling biography reveals. " He even brought physically and mentally unstable Zina to live with him in Turkish exile in order to look after her health, during which time she set fire to the house and burned Trotsky's entire book collection. Excellent biography of an extraordinary historical figure. Despite his gifts and unquestionable dedication to the cause, there was little in the man to admire. But Service's dogged determination to set the record straight means that the book often reads as a response to earlier works rather than a self-contained volume. Despite his many gifts, the myth of Trotsky is debunked by his egotism, coldness, lack of introspection, and human empathy. Stalin's decisions to exile Trotsky from the Soviet Union and then to order his assassination turned Trotsky into a martyr for many Western leftists. Trostsky, Robert Service's debunking biography, proves that being Stalin’s great enemy does not make Trotsky in any way a good man, says Simon Sebag Montefiore in a review first published in 2009. (I have read them both.) Was what happened in Soviet Russia even worthy of the name of communism? We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner. Well written, well supported, though actually a bit lean through the years of the Revolution. 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