A Revolutionary's Life
October 15, 2011
240 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
1 b/w illus.
Read Joshua Rubenstein's post on Trotsky as a political figure and a Jew on the Yale Press Log.
Here, Trotsky emerges as a brilliant and brilliantly flawed man. Rubenstein offers us a Trotsky who is mentally acute and impatient with others, one of the finest students of contemporary politics who refused to engage in the nitty-gritty of party organization in the 1920s, when Stalin was maneuvering, inexorably, toward Trotsky’s own political oblivion.
As Joshua Rubenstein writes in his preface, “Leon Trotsky haunts our historical memory. A preeminent revolutionary figure and a masterful writer, Trotsky led an upheaval that helped to define the contours of twentieth-century politics.” In this lucid and judicious evocation of Trotsky’s life, Joshua Rubenstein gives us an interpretation for the twenty-first century.
"Joshua Rubenstein has produced a steadily intelligent, insightful biography of one the last century's most alluring intellectual-politicians, a man of astonishing brilliance and no less astonishing rigidities."—Steven J. Zipperstein, author of Imagining Russian Jewry: Memory, History, Identity
“…it is both a good read and a balanced, plausible interpretation of the man in his times….He sees things to admire in Trotsky and things to deplore. Seeking to understand how Trotsky saw the world, while not sharing that vision, he achieves the mixture of empathy and critical distance that a good biographer needs.”—Sheila Fitzpatrick, The Guardian
“Rubenstein handles complex issues sensitively in this accessible introduction to a flawed but fascinating 20th- century giant.”—John McIlroy, Times Higher Education