Trotsky, like Clemenceau, has felt moved to take up the cudgels in his own behalf against his enemy and against those who, in his opinion, have undermined and destroyed the work which he and Lenin accomplished. But Trotsky writes with a certain grim humor. He is not wholly hopeless, not entirely embittered. The book is an intensely human document, in which one of the most dramatic careers of our day is recounted in detail, from the author's youth through his early revolutionary activities, the first soviet of 1905, the subversive propaganda of the war years and the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Much of the book is, naturally, taken up with the author's polemic against Stalin and the disintegration of the policy marked out by Lenin, but the main lines of this dispute have been long known and Trotsky does not add much beyond some ringing phrases. One may not want to rank him as a really great man, but his book is an interesting and very valuable contribution to the recent history of Russia, full of facts and of revealing judgments of men.
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