Trotsky - The Spartacus of the 20th century: Workers' Liberty 3/14

Who was Leon Trotsky?

Author

Max Shachtman

Max Shachtman

The disclosure [in Trotsky’s diary of 1935] that Trotsky contemplated taking his own life, or, as he put it himself, reserved the right to determine the time of his death, will startle, perhaps even dismay, many who followed his rich and robust career.

The assassination of Leon Trotsky

Author

Natalia Sedova Trotsky

“I can therefore say that I live on this earth not in accordance with the rule but as an exception to the rule.” Trotsky: June 8, 1940.

Night. Darkness. I awaken. Pale patches of light flicker and then disappear. I raise myself ... The sound of shots breaks upon my ears. They are shooting here, in our room. I have always been a light sleeper, and on awakening can quickly orient myself as to what is happening.

The assassination of Leon Trotsky

Leon Trotsky October 1879 — August 1940 - The Spartacus of the 20th century

Trotsky’s critics

The assassination of Leon Trotsky

Natalia Sedova Trotsky

“I can therefore say that I live on this earth not in accordance with the rule but as an exception to the rule.”

June 8, 1940, Trotsky

The break with the Communist International

Jean van Heijenoort was for seven years (1932-9) Trotsky’s secretary. Here he outlines the story of Trotsky’s break with the Communist International and turn towards building a new international. His account of Trotsky’s reasoning on the class nature of the USSR is an important element in the history of post-Lenin revolutionary Marxism.

How Trotsky saw himself

Anatoly V. Lunacharsky

I first met Trotsky in 1905, after the event of January [when the Tsar’s soldiers opened fire on a peaceful demonstration in St Petersburg]. He came to Geneva, I have forgotten whence, and was to speak with me at a big meeting called to discuss that tragedy.

I met him very little in the revolution of 1905. He held himself apart not only from us, but from the Mensheviks. His work was mainly in the Soviet of Workers’ Deputies. . . .

I remember how somebody said in the presence of Lenin:

Trotsky's critics

By Jean van Heijenoort

Everything that the liberals have written on Lenin is barren, revealing the limitations of their thinking rather than Lenin’s genius. An even more difficult object study for them is Trotsky.

One of those who has attempted to explain Trotsky is Max Eastman. [The translator of many of Trotsky’s works who knew Trotsky well].

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