History of the Russian Revolution
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--Leon Trotsky, from History of the Russian Revolution
Regarded by many as among the most powerful works of history ever written, this book offers an unparalleled account of one of the most pivotal and hotly debated events in world history. This book reveals, from the perspective of one of its central actors, the Russian Revolution’s profoundly democratic, emancipatory character.
Originally published in three parts, Trotsky’s masterpiece is collected here in a single volume. It serves as the most vital and inspiring record of the Russian Revolution to date.
“[T]he greatest history of an event that I know.”
--C. L. R. James
“In Trotsky all passions were aroused, but his thought remained calm and his vision clear.... His involvement in the struggle, far from blurring his sight, sharpens it.... The History is his crowning work, both in scale and power and as the fullest expression of his ideas on revolution. As an account of a revolution, given by one of its chief actors, it stands unique in world literature.”
The less good-natured among the patriots made references to the sealed train. Stankevich testifies that Lenin’s speech greatly delighted his enemies: “A man who talks that kind of stupidity is not dangerous. It’s a good thing he has come. Now he is in plain sight…. Now he will refute himself.” Nevertheless, with all its boldness of revolutionary grasp, its inflexible determination to break even with his former longtime colleagues and comrades-in-arms, if they proved unable to march with the
they learn to give their desires and demands a formal expression through their own representatives. The more abstract the system of representation, the more it lags behind the rhythm of those events which determine the activity of the masses. A soviet representation, the least abstract of all, has immeasurable advantages in revolutionary conditions: it is sufficient to remember that the democratic Dumas, elected according to their own regulations of April 17, hampered by nothing and by nobody,
leather); for others, the conditions are ripe for the formation of regulating state trusts (coal, oil, metals, sugar, paper); and finally, for almost all branches of industry contemporary conditions demand a regulative participation of the state in the distribution of raw materials and finished products, and also in the fixation of prices…. Simultaneously with this it is necessary to place under control…all credit institutions.” On May 16, the Executive Committee with its bewildered political
succeeded in acquiring wealth and losing both his principles and his penetration during the war, has compared the Russian soldiers with the mercenary troopers, robbers, and hold-up men of medieval times. For this it is necessary to shut one’s eyes to the fact that in all their lawlessness the Russian soldiers remained merely the executive organ of the greatest agrarian revolution in history. So long as the movement had not broken completely with legality, the sending of troops into the villages
the soviet…in exchange for which the order of the Military Revolutionary Committee for October 22 was to be annulled.” This referred to the document declaring headquarters an instrument of the counterrevolutionary forces. The very same emissaries whom Polkovnikov had so discourteously sent home two days ago now demanded, and received in their hands for the purpose of their report to Smolny, the rough draft of an agreement signed by headquarters. On Saturday these conditions of semi-honorable