Lev Davidovich Trotsky (Bronshtein)

Copyright 1998 by Hugo S. Cunningham
first posted 980829
latest minor update 050128

As seen by George Orwell?

This photo, earlier appearing in "Fourth International" (Nov 1940), was reproduced in Leon Trotsky, The Man and His Work: Remarks and Appraisals by [various authors],
Merit Publishers
873 Broadway
New York, NY 10003
Published 7 Nov 1969; p. 34.

Lev Davidovich
7 Nov 1879 - 20 Aug 1940

Revolutionary, political leader

Arrested for revolutionary activity and sent to Siberia 1898-1902?. Joined Social Democratic party. When party split in 1903, chose Mensheviks over Bolsheviks. Major organizer of 1905 revolution in S-Peterburg. After failure of revolution, went abroad (1907) to Vienna, Switzerland, and USA. Returned after "February Revolution" (1917), joined Bolsheviks in 1917 and played key role in Nov 1917 Bolshevik coup. Organized Red Army and was widely credited for its victory in civil war 1918-1921. Brilliant orator. Had trouble getting along with other members of ruling Politburo; after Lenin's death (1924), they all united against him. Expelled from Party 1927, expelled from USSR 1929. Abroad, wrote about Soviet history and politics, and tried, with marginal success, to organize a "Fourth International" of anti-Stalin Communists. Assassinated by NKVD 1940.

The exiled Trotsky fascinated some democratic Leftists in the West; anyone Stalin hated so much couldn't be all that bad. Even if Trotsky had an attractive writing style, however, he was just as much a Communist as Stalin. Some of his less informed Western admirers might be uncomfortable with the following:

1947 "Great Soviet Encyclopedia" article on "Trotskyism".

Trotsky photographed with Nguyen Ai Quoc (the future Ho Chi Minh), 1924:

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