robert service, trotsky review

robert service, trotsky review

Here it is an university work. For Trotsky's part, his unique skill in organizing the Red Army allowed the Bolsheviks to win the Civil War. 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. The last chapter baldly states that "most of [Trotsky's] immediate family had gone to their deaths because of him," bizarrely blaming Trotsky rather than Stalin for the political repression of Trotsky's family members in the Soviet Union in the 1930s. Trotsky is, I think, an innately fascinating historical figure. Peter Savodnik reviews Robert Service's "Trotsky." Click here to subscribe. His inconsistencies prove the point. Here's what you need to know about Trotsky: Service closes his trilogy with another captivating portrait. Perhaps more seriously, it leads him to overstate Trotsky's sins in two key realms: his family life and his similarities to Stalin. Charismatic, fiery, arrogant, convinced of the … This makes the book … Again, as with Lenin and Stalin, Service clearly points out how Trotsky was never the idealised socialist, but an architect of state terror and other aspects easily condemned in hindsight. 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. Probably the best biography of Trotsky available, but not for the timid or the merely curious; those who do not want to know every available detail of Trotsky's life, but only an overview, best look elsewhere. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. He is remembered today as a dissenter, a maverick, and a man of supreme passion. In the end, though, the great contribution of Service's trilogy of biographies is to further demonstrate that individual leaders can indeed change the course of history. Leon Trotsky has long sidestepped the sort of scrutiny and criticism meted out to Vladimir Lenin and Josef Stalin for their roles in the establishment of totalitarianism in the Soviet Union. Of course, that is a reflection of Trotsky's milieu. Based on Service's biography of Trotsky, the conversation covers Trotsky's influence on the Russian Revolution, his influence on policy alongside Lenin, his expulsion from Soviet Union in 1928 and his murder in 1940 by Stalin's order. For the rest of us, the history nuts or the student of modern history, this is the biography to get. As Service notes, the Civil War "was truly a close-run conflict between the Reds and the Whites." But the method is always the same, and when you have the key, it is easy to win. 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Read this after watching Hitchens and him debate at some stuffy Hoover Institute roundtable. Service shows how it was/is out of proportion to his qualities as a person and as a political leader. Interest in his personal life suffers just a little as a result perhaps. All of those qualifiers are quite accurate however this book contributes proportion to the figure by. Yet Service then blames Trotsky for Zina's suicide in 1933, claiming that Trotsky had mishandled her schizophrenia and, as a result, "Zina had gone to her death when a little dosing of paternal consideration might have made all the difference." He was a brilliant leader. His reaction to the Kronstadt rebellion was he. Editor, October 15, 2009 Reading Time: 9 minutes. Robert John Service 29 Oktober 1947 (umur 73) Britania Raya: Karya akademis; Minat utama: Sejarah Rusia (1917–53) Karya terkenal: Biografi Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, dan Leon Trotsky: Robert John Service (lahir di Britania Raya, 29 Oktober 1947; umur 73 tahun) adalah seorang sejarawan, akademisi, dan pengarang Inggris yang menulis tentang sejarah Uni Soviet, terutama era dari Revolusi Oktober … Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter . An even-handed review of the complex and contradictory character of Trotsky. He is a professor of Russian history at the University of Oxford and a Fellow at St. Antony's College, Oxford. Trotsky comes through as a very power-hungry person, not position-hungry (he displayed self-restraint in moments of acquisition of power because of his being a Jew); he tried to rub his meditated ideological positions against the party, nation, and populace. Similarly, Service goes too far in trying to make the case that Trotsky and Stalin were in essence politically interchangeable. Leon Trotsky has long sidestepped the sort of scrutiny and criticism meted out to Vladimir Lenin and Josef Stalin for their roles in the establishment of totalitarianism in the Soviet Union. A “Dis-Service” to Leon Trotsky – Review of Robert Service’s Biography This book is very thick – running to 600 pages – but is very thin when it comes to an honest political examination and analysis of the ideas of Leon Trotsky, the subject of Service’’s tome. Of course, that is a reflection of Trotsky's milieu. That means: If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour. A charismatic man, with abundant literary gifts, including polemics and oratory, absolutely committed to revolution. All of this is not to diminish the self evident talents of Lev Trotsky the man. This is an entertaining biography of one of the (flawed) giants of the 20th century. (I have read them both.) The book is most interested in that. The disastrous dilettante . Be the first to ask a question about Trotsky. Trotsky was one of the most important figures of the Russian Revolution. Service draws upon a range of fascinating sources - including early drafts of Trotsky's own autobiography - to paint a complex and contradictory picture of the revolutionary as both a leader and a man. He has written several books, including the highly acclaimed Lenin: A Biography, Russia: Experiment with a People, Stalin: A Biography and Comrades: A History of World Communism, as well as many other books on Russia's past and present.Trotsky: A Biography was awarded the 2009 Duff Cooper Prize.Married … Despite his many gifts, the myth of Trotsky is debunked by his egotism, coldness, lack of introspection, and human empathy. Freedom could not be begged for: it had to be won.”, New African American Histories and Biographies to Read Now. © Copyright 2021 The Globe and Mail Inc. All rights reserved. Leon Trotsky is the paradigmatic revolutionary. It was interresting to read both a biography of Staline and Trotsky. I have read Stalin by the same author and saw his book chat with Brian Lamb on C-Span Book TV. An exhaustive (you can tell my how long it has taken me to finish it), dense and illuminating biography of Leon Trotsky. One thing to note though is that some history of the USSR, and the other major figures of this time are needed otherwise you may be scratching your head a few times. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to, To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. He forces us to reinterpret drastically what it was Trotsky believed and fought for. Trotsky: A Biography By Robert Service Harvard, 648 pages, $35. His fearless leadership and organizational skills are celebrated in his pivotal roles in the October Revolution and the Red Army. Without Lenin, as Trotsky himself acknowledged, there would have been no October Revolution in 1917. How one of the most Powerful and best orator of Bolshevik party was killed by an ice pick in mexico and it didn't even made news in "PRAVDA" the national newspaper of SOVIET RUSSIA which he help started and headed in his golden years . 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. The world also likes cruel men who are less cruel than other men. Littered with factual errors, which are at least finally getting exposed at the academic level. 351 King Street East, Suite 1600, Toronto, ON Canada, M5A 0N1, Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks, var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o? Rather than being … Read Trotsky: A Biography book reviews & author details and more at Amazon.in. The world likes its underdogs. 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 … Some information in it may no longer be current. For what it is worth though Robert Service does a superb job of summarizing Trotsky’s life in as simple a way as possible. An even-handed review of the complex and contradictory character of Trotsky. by Belknap. 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). If only Trotsky had won the leadership struggle after Lenin's death in 1924, the story goes, the Soviet Union would never have become the murderous totalitarian state built under Stalin. Obviously there was several character flaws in David Bronstein that inevitably must appear in any true study of the man. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published (Should preface this by saying that I'm not a Trotskyist, Leninist, Stalinist, or Communist of any brand whatsoever.). Probably the best biography of Trotsky available, but not for the timid or the merely curious; those who do not want to know every available detail of Trotsky's life, but only an overview, best look elsewhere. He and the other Communists were intellectuals and revolutionaries who spent most of their time pre-1917 going to meetings and furiously denouncing one another, along with bourgeois capitalism. It feels like every meeting he ever went to is described in detail, while the two years he spent leading the Red Army during the wars after the Revolution (despite having no military experience) go by too quickly. What emerges is a picture of a selfish man who really didn't know better even when things were turning against him in the battle of succession after Lenin's death. This book explains why this vision is naive and ignorant, based solely on Trotsky`s better verbal skills. Was there ever a moment when the Russian experiment with full market socialism was not on the track to an oppressive & murderous outcome? Service's biography is replete with curiously mean-spirited commentary on Trotsky's relationships with his parents, wives and children. Trotsky: A Biography By Robert Service Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009 600 pages . I read this book for a very VAIN reason- the fact that it was discredited by the American Historical Review. This article was published more than 10 years ago. 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. If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Overall the cast was set for the Soviet Union during the creation of the "dictatorship of the proletariat". We are made by history.” So, this January, as we celebrate Martin Luther King... Robert Service completes his masterful trilogy on the founding figures of the Soviet Union in an eagerly anticipated, authoritative biography of Leon Trotsky. Service makes it his overt mission to destroy this rosy image of Trotsky, and his successful but heavy-handed efforts in this regard pepper the entire biography. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. But it tells the Old Man's story well, painting him as a brilliant, self-centred, erudite, historic yet ultimately self-destructive global political force. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Trotsky: A Biography at Amazon.com. Even 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. 74 reviews Robert Service completes his masterful trilogy on the founding figures of the Soviet Union in an eagerly anticipated, authoritative biography of Leon Trotsky. Give your brain a workout and do today’s Daily Cryptic Crossword. Obviously there was several character flaws in David Bronstein that inevitably must appear in any true study of the man. This biography of Trotsky is part of a trilogy, the other two being biographies of Lenin & Stalin. Robert Service, one of our finest historians of Soviet Russia, has written the first full-length biography of Trotsky in English for over half a century. Even as we approach the 20th anniversary of the demise of the Soviet Union, it's legacy is still hotly debated. Here it is an university work. Trotsky was one of the most important figures of. But perhaps the biggest reason he has escaped comparatively unscathed is that for those on the far left, Trotsky is the only potential hero they can dredge up from the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. He and the other Communists were intellectuals and r. A straight forward biography of the real life Emmanuel Goldstein. He led the Red Army in the Civil War. To admit that Trotsky was as much of a tyrant and cold blooded killer as his compatriots in that fateful year is to admit that the entire Marxist enterprise was incapable of efficiently producing anything other than corpses, and to be forced to confront Marxism's responsibility for creating Stalin. He approved of using terror on "class enemies" during the Civil War and supported the 1921 repression of the radical Kronstadt sailors, who had demanded that the Bolsheviks create a more inclusive workers' state. 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. 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. 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 … Leon Trotsky checks both boxes. (Soviet politics proceeded along the same path until Stalin put an end to all that fussin' & fightin'). Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. He not only led very successfully the October Revolution but also the Red Army to victory in the Civil War as the Commissar of Foreign Affairs. From his early intellectual ferment to his heroics in the October revolution and Civil War, Service illustrates a man of fixed ideological belief - a demagogue, an intellectual, but most importantly a deeply inhumane individual. It is a good school for manipulation and success in business. He was brilliant, an outstanding writer and polemicist, decisive, and personally brave. He had a habit of using people until they were no longer politically useful. His fearless leadership and organizational skills are celebrated in his pivotal roles in the October Revolution and the Red Army. Trotsky is, I think, an innately fascinating historical figure. Review of Robert Service's Trotsky By David North 11 November 2009 €€€This essay is available in pdf format (letter or A4). International Reviews Theory & History. Robert Service of Stanford University's Hoover Institution and the University of Oxford talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the life and death of Leon Trotsky. This one is quite different than Kersaudy's book. When local authorities finally allowed him to continue his journey a month later, Trotsky reportedly "shook his fist at the English officers and cursed England" as the ship sailed away from port. Trotsky interest me because it is a french passion (not the better). At the same time, he was personally austere, avoiding alcohol and cigarettes, taking offence at foul language and preferring to live modestly. Robert Service is an Englishman, decidedly NOT a communist, and is something of an expert on the Soviet Union. Practical concerns overrode theory even when the man was clearly at his best as a provider of ideological justification for the October Revolution and its (embattled) legacy. Very good. 2009 Excellent biography of an extraordinary historical figure. The Leninist who wanted to outlenin Lenin, the purist of the communist world revolution, the mightiest pen of Oktober. Again, for me at least, the most interesting aspect was Service's analysis of Trotsky's marxism. Leon Trotsky checks both boxes. The repeated snide comments on Trotsky's family relationships jar uncomfortably with the accompanying evidence that Trotsky in fact cared deeply about his family members and went out of his way to support them. Apology. Trotsky dedicated his life to the 'proletarian revolution.' 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. This book is very thick – running to 600 pages – but is very thin when it comes to an honest political examination and analysis of the ideas of Leon Trotsky, the subject of Service’s … 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. I think I have to disagree with the other reviewers who accuse Robert Service of being non-partial, or biased against Trotsky. Trotsky: A Biography by Professor Robert Service, has been brought out with considerable fanfare. Which despite the context of two decades of aristocratic led war and conflict in Russia is a very dangerous thing to excuse or advocate. Trotsky also saw Nazism as a menace from early on, and a Trotsky-led Soviet Union would never have signed the 1939 Nazi-Soviet non-aggression pact. Yet Trotsky's first wife, Alexandra, a revolutionary herself, supported his decision, and Trotsky maintained regular contact with her and his two daughters, Nina and Zina, afterward. But the method is always the same, and when you have the. He is remembered today as a dissenter, a maverick, and a man of supreme passion. 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.. Service is best known … He was an individualist who advocated collectivism. On the other hand he is an amazing character in the history of the Soviet Union. His factiousness led to his demise from party leadership, expulsion, exile, death, and murder. Even as we approach the 20th anniversary of the demise of the Soviet Union, it's legacy is still hotly debated. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Robert Service documents who he was personally and politically through this new scholarly work. They mostly just keep it a bit more quiet in public than they used to. Review: Trotsky, a Biography by Robert Service. (Stalin set the bar awfully high, but it can be convincingly argued that his excesses were a logical extension of what Lenin had started.) Trotsky always wanted to be in the thick of the action. Trotsky in 1937, when he first arrived in Mexico. She co-edits the journal Review of International Political Economy. Just maybe this shows he is doing a good job of providing all the necessary complexities and nuances for such interesting historical figures. An exhaustive (you can tell my how long it has taken me to finish it), dense and illuminating biography of Leon Trotsky. Still, for all the talk of Trotsky's writings, I still couldn't tell you what a "Trotskyist" is, except maybe that they are an admirer of Trotsky. Trotsky was vain, but at the same time lacked self-conscious of his actions. Trotsky in a conscious way, … Also, Service does not provide any sort of primer for basic marxist thought, which can make it difficult for beginners to follow what is going on when Stalin and Bukharin gang up on Trotsky. Start by marking “Trotsky: A Biography” as Want to Read: Error rating book. Publication date 2009 Topics Trotsky, Leon, -- 1879-1940, Revolutionaries -- Soviet Union -- Biography, Statesmen -- Soviet Union -- Biography, Exiles -- Russia -- Biography, Communism -- Soviet Union -- History, Russia -- Politics and government -- 1894-1917, Soviet Union -- Politics and … It feels like every meeting he ever went to is described in detail, while the two years he spent leading the Red Army during the wars after the Revolution (despite having no military experience) go by too quickly. I feel like there could be a better biography out there, but will take this over the lame-o apologias that have preceded it. A critical biography of Leiba Bronstein (Better known to the world as Leon Trotsky), Service does an excellent job of exploring the life, the complexities, and the many hypocrisies of this giant of 20th century history. Since 1991, though, the balance has shifted, even if plenty of Communist-loving propaganda is still published by major historians, because the global Left has always, and continues to, fully support the goals and methods of Communism. Refresh and try again. Service focuses more sharply on Trotsky's negative aspects. 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. Free delivery on qualified orders. Despite his gifts and unquestionable dedication to the cause, there was little in the man to admire. Objective and not a hagiography by any means. Patenaude, reviewing Service's book alongside a rebuttal by the Trotskyist David North(In Defence of Leon Trotsky), charged Service with making dozens of factual errors, misrepresenting evidence, and "fail[ing] to examine in a serious way Trotsky's political ideas". I also like how many of the reviews from the left claim he's a horrible anti-communist and reviews from the right call him a communist sympathizer. Yet Trotsky, unlike Stalin, did not seek supreme power and much preferred collective party leadership (Service even cites this as a key reason for his defeat at Stalin's hands). 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. A straight forward biography of the real life Emmanuel Goldstein. Service has done a remarkable job collecting, researching and writing the tome. In moments where the book explores his charisma in public visible life, Trotsky glitters glamorously. Here is a great and highly readable, extremely opinionated account of the life of one of the most venerated communist heroes of the twentieth century. Scoop a new vibe in the numbers and do today’s Daily Sudoku. Service points out (& I tend to agree) that Trotsky was in some senses the communist idealist's last hope, in the sense that both Lenin & Stalin held & abused power to a degree that Trotsky never did. 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. He had a habit of using people until they were no longer politically useful. “ In this astonishingly comprehensive book—Robert Service has trawled almost every archive on the planet that has any reference to Trotsky—we get a clear picture of Trotsky’s political development, his part in the 1917 revolution, his differences with Lenin, his break with Stalin and, finally, the years of exile and agitation in which he attracted a ragbag of bizarre followers and made the mistake of professing … While Lenin's and Stalin's dramatic roles in Russian and Soviet history are well known, Trotsky is perhaps most famous in popular culture for meeting an untimely death by ice axe in Mexico in 1940. 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. Also, Service doesn't state this explicitly, but Trotsky was clearly a dictatorial personality who did not hesitate to use the power of the state to kill off those whom he considered the enemies of the Revolution.

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