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The Revolution Betrayed

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  841 ratings  ·  33 reviews
This early work by Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky is both expensive and hard to find in its first edition. It contains his analysis of Socialism, the Soviet State and Economics of Russia during the early twentieth century. This is a fascinating work and is thoroughly recommended for anyone with an interest in Russian history and the politics of Trotsky. Many of the ear ...more
ebook, 240 pages
Published April 16th 2013 by Chauhau Press (first published 1937)
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El Galan
Jun 29, 2007 El Galan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: To anyone who wants to know the difference between Stalinism and true Communism.
This is a most excellent book for all of those who want to know the difference between False Communism and true Communism, International Freedom Fighter Leon Trotsky un-masks the Hypocrisy of the Stalinist Dictatorship in Russia after the Death of Lenin.
Tom Michalak
His analysis of the Soviet Union's development from the Great October Revolution's inception is a surprisingly well-balanced, materialist one. Going into the book, judging from (my copy's) picture of a scowling Stalin and the title (which I've heard was originally when Trotsky wrote it "The Revolution Deformed"), I imagined it was going to be anti-communist ravings, when it wasn't. The Trotsky I was familiar with until actually reading what he had to say, as opposed to Trotskyist parties of the ...more
Andy Hempe
One of the most important political works of the 20th century. Explains what the Soviet Union started out as, and what it became. Essential reading for anyone interested in the history of socialism. As Trotsky wrote, the Soviet Union was not a communist country, and not even a socialist one; it was half way between capitalism and socialism.
I have rather ambiguous feelings on this one. On the one hand, I'm not some right-wing cold warrior who believes that Lenin = Stalin in any straightforward manner. I wouldn't reject every continuity between the two leaderships, but I also believe the differences were important. Nor do I see Lenin as a psychopath merely out for his own power and influence and therefore no different from Stalin. So on this particular point, there would be at least some agreement between me and Trotsky.

My problem
Shea Mastison
"The motor force of progress is truth and not lies." Trotsky is an interesting political figure from the 20th century. He was the 'Left Opposition' to Stalin; and a political scapegoat for nearly every catastrophe that befell the Soviet Union after Lenin's death. In this book, Trotsky uses wit and cold facts to dismantle the bureaucratic mess that was the U.S.S.R.

It's not that Trotsky disagrees with the objectives; he's just highly skeptical of the "new aristocracy" that had built itself upon t
Sergey Artamonov
Не являюсь поклонником Льва Троцкого, но книгу эту прочитал с большим удовольствием. Здесь говорится об одном из самых интересных (лично для меня) периодов истории России - 20-30-х годах XX века. Троцкий даёт довольно подробный анализ тогдашней ситуации в СССР, показывает несоответствие сталинских лозунгов реальному положению дел и утверждает, что сталинская стройка даже отдалённо не напоминает коммунизм. Для меня, интересующегося историей, многие факты были в новинку, а уже известные - предстал ...more
Ghastly book by one of the few men who might've made the Soviet Union even worse than it was under Stalin.
Oh Trotsky. . . . We all know that you're just bitter because Stalin won and you didn't.
Reading George Orwell made me want to read this, and I'm glad I did.
Christopher Koch
Those who worship the established fact can't prepare for the future.
Trotsky is a passionate and very humorous writer - check out this gem from the introduction:

"What unites these three categories, despite their differences, is a kowtowing before accomplished fact, and a partiality for sedative generalizations. To revolt against their own capitalism was beyond these writers. They are the more ready, therefore, to take their stand upon a foreign revolution which has already ebbed back into its channels. Before the October revolution, and for a number of years afte
Jun 08, 2010 owl marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Eugene Boytsov
Leiba Bronstein (aka Trotsky) was an excellent demagogue and orator crafty in deceit; he also was one of the most ruthless enemies of the Russian people and Christian church, sadistic killer and rabid agent of Zionism (famous law on death penalty for anyone voicing anti-jewish sentiments); who knows what would happen to the Mother Russia, should he win over Stalin (also not squeamish in eliminating people)?
“Adolf Hitler read Trotsky’s autobiography as soon as it was published. Hitler’s biograph
William Brown
Rather a cold analysis, but not wholly incorrect. It fails to get to the root of many issues it criticises, blaming everything to vague conceptions of 'stalinism' and 'bureaucracy' without analysing their existence itself.
I enjoyed it though. I've drifted away from Trotskyism a lot since though.
in this book, trotsky rips stalin a new b-hole so thoroughly that stalin sent the kgb all the way to mexico to put an ice pick in his head. this book talks about how stalin and the soviet bureaucracy are actually closer to a bonapartist dicatorship than anything resembling socialism, wow. my favorite part of the book is where he talks about inequality in capitalist societies being the 'whip' that drives people and hwen he says social phenomena never have a finished character. good stuff
Sarath MK
Analysis of the good, the bad and the ugly parts of the the event following the October revolution.A strikingly straight forward criticism on Soviet regime under the control of Stalin. Recommended to readers who are interested in the theory of Communism and implementation of a Communist State.
Comrade  Mohd Aliff
Leon Trotsky, a dear comrade to Lenin, written his assessment of the Russian/Bolshevik Revolution 1917, the challenges facing that revolution and how Socialism's bastard child, Stalin betrayed the revolution's main idea. The introduction serves the book well, describing Trotsky’s method while placing his analysis in historical context and tracing its political implications. I hope and I believe 'The Revolution Betrayed' will find a wide readership in coming years. Trotsky, who was expelled from ...more
Trotsky... second person of the revolution... founder of it... but then.. he is the one who s kicked by it... by it or.. by sb else... but eventually the loser one.. loser who deserves respect ...
This is probably one of the most important books on the Soviet Union. If you are interested in its degeneration and the future collapse of the Eastern block, this is the perfect book to start with. As was the case with the most genuine revolutionaries, Trotsky tended to overestimate the revolutionary potential of the masses. In this book he professes that either there will be a new workers' revolution or capitalism will be restored in Russia. Well, guess what happened at the end.
Why did I read this book at all? I always wanted to know what happened, What went wrong, And why people are the one that had to pay for it in the end? Sadly, it seemed to me as if everyone trying to purify themselves and make as much justification as they can. Although the book has some helpful points, but to me, the sad thing is that no reform is ever about people, it can be about many things such as capital, power and influence but not about them.
Steve Mitchell
This is an excellent book that exposes Stalin as the betrayer of Marxism and demonstrates why the failure of the Soviet Union should not be held up as proof that Communism does not work. (That said, personally I think it was inevitable that a character such as Stalin – or Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Andropov and Chernyenko that followed him – would corrupt the system for their own ends; just read Orwell’s Animal Farm.)
The definitive analysis of how humans wreck their own lives. From foreign intervention to the thuggery of Stalin and his supporters. How governments end up in the hands of those most unsuited to govern.

A story told by the Greeks and repeated by the idealists of today.
drop it , and don't think i will return to it soon ,
it's a nice piece of history but written in a very complicated way , maybe because Leon knows all the insides and wanted to expose everything
anyway it was nice to meet Leon
worst case of sour grapes in world history. it's not cool to pooh-pooh the entire bureaucratic-bonapartist project just because you got chased outta town by an icepick-wielding madman, dude.
This book is a valuable source of information on what went wrong in the Soviet Union following the revolution of 1917. Trotsky was a man on a mission, there's no doubt about that.
Essential reading for anyone interested in Trotsky's work. Best prefaced by a broad overview of his life...I'd recommend the Deutscher trio of biographies.
James Richardson
Great Book! Suffice it to say that the Soviet Union and the history thereof would have been much different had Trotsky had succeeded Lenin instead of Stalin!!
Largely polemic, lots of mixed metaphors, and even casual racism. Basically, it reads like period Leninist texts.
Roger Cottrell
The only starting point (though not the last word) on the nature of Stalinism and its counter revolutionary role.
The Revolution Betrayed: What is the Soviet Union and Where is it Going? by Leon Trotsky (1980)
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Leon Trotsky was a Bolshevik revolutionary and Marxist theorist. He was one of the leaders of the Russian October Revolution, second only to Vladimir Lenin. During the early days of the Soviet Union, he served first as People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs and later as the founder and commander of the Red Army and People's Commissar of War. He was also among the first members of the Politburo.

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“The basis of bureaucratic rule is the poverty of society in objects of consumption, with the resulting struggle of each against all. When there is enough goods in a store, the purchasers can come whenever they want to. When there is little goods, the purchasers are compelled to stand in line. When the lines are very long, it is necessary to appoint a policeman to keep order. Such is the starting point of the power of the Soviet bureaucracy. It "knows" who is to get something and who has to wait.” 3 likes
“A program of "disarmament," while imperialist antagonisms survive, is the most pernicious of fictions. Even if it were realized by way of general agreement - an obviously fantastic assumption!- that would by no means
prevent a new war. The imperialists do not make war because there are armaments; on the contrary, they forge
arms when they need to fight.”
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