Lev Davidovich Trotsky

  • Richard B. Day
Part of the The New Palgrave book series (NPA)


Born in 1879, the son of Jewish farmers living near the Black Sea, Trotsky became an important political figure by the time of the Second Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Party in 1903. Disagreeing with Lenin’s centralizing view of party organization, Trotsky either favoured the Mensheviks or attempted to mediate between them and the Bolsheviks until making his peace with Lenin in 1917. In the 1905 Revolution he served as chairman of the St Petersburg Soviet, drawing upon that experience to develop the theory of ‘permanent revolution’ in his book Results and Prospects. In the 1917 Revolution Trotsky ranked second only to Lenin among Bolshevik party leaders. He orchestrated the seizure of power and subsequently organized and led the Red Army in the civil war. During the early 1920s Trotsky’s political influence waned, and by the middle of the decade he became the political leader and intellectual mentor of the Left Opposition to Stalin. Defeated by Stalin in the intra-party struggle, in 1929 Trotsky was deported from the Soviet Union. In exile he edited Biulleten’ Oppozitsii (Bulletin of the Opposition) and published numerous other writings critical of Stalinist policy, the most important being The Revolution Betrayed. Unable to answer Trotsky’s criticisms on intellectual grounds, in August 1940 Stalin replied in the only way he knew: he had Trotsky assassinated in Mexico, his last place of exile.


Foreign Technology Soviet Democracy Party Organization Vintage Book Russian Revolution 
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Selected Works

  1. The Permanent Revolution and Results and Prospects. Trans. John G. Wright and Brian Pearce, London: New Park Publications, 1962; New York: Pioneer Publishers, 1965.Google Scholar
  2. Terrorism and Communism. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1963.Google Scholar
  3. The New Course. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1965.Google Scholar
  4. Towards Socialism or Capitalism? London: Methuen & Co., 1926. In Whither Russia? Towards Capitalism or Socialism. New York: International Publishers.Google Scholar
  5. The Platform of the Left Opposition. (1927). London: New Park Publications, 1963.Google Scholar
  6. My Life. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1960.Google Scholar
  7. The History of the Russian Revolution. Trans. by Max Eastman, London: Victor Gollancz, 1965; Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  8. The Revolution Betrayed. New York: Pioneer Publishers, 1945.Google Scholar
  9. Stalin: An Appraisal of the Man and His Influence. London: Hollis & Carter, 1947; New York: Stein and Day, 1967.Google Scholar
  10. Biulleten’ Oppozitsii (Bulletin of the Opposition). New York: Monad, 1973.Google Scholar


  1. Day, R.B. 1973. Leon Trotsky and the Politics of Economic Isolation. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Deutscher, I. 1954. The Prophet Armed. Trotsky: 1879–1921. London: Oxford University Press; New York: Vintage Books, 1965.Google Scholar
  3. Deutscher, I. 1959. The Prophet Unarmed. Trotsky: 1921–1929. London: Oxford University Press; New York: Vintage Books, 1965.Google Scholar
  4. Deutscher, I. 1963. The Prophet Outcast. Trotsky: 1929–1940. London and New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Howe, I. 1978. Leon Trotsky. New York: Viking, 1978.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard B. Day

There are no affiliations available

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