Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Revolution Betrayed” as Want to Read:
The Revolution Betrayed
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Revolution Betrayed

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  881 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
With the revolution of 1917, the Russian people transformed their country into a workers' republic--but less than a decade later, Stalin and his bureaucrats seized power, leading to the state's corruption and ultimate decay. In this critique of Stalinism from the Marxist standpoint, Trotsky provides a brilliantly prescient analysis of the inevitable collapse of the Soviet ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 20th 2004 by Dover Publications (first published 1937)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Revolution Betrayed, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Revolution Betrayed

The Communist Manifesto by Karl MarxDas Kapital by Karl MarxThe State and Revolution by Vladimir LeninThe Jungle by Upton SinclairReform or Revolution by Rosa Luxemburg
Socialist Classics
23rd out of 283 books — 163 voters
Twilight by Stephenie MeyerFirst Step 2 Forever by Justin BieberConfessions of a Guidette by Nicole "Snooki" PolizziGoing Rogue by Sarah PalinBirth Control Is Sinful in the Christian Marriages and Also R... by Eliyzabeth Yanne Strong-And...
Dealbreakers: If You Like This Book, We Won't Get Along
372nd out of 1,566 books — 5,381 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,719)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
El Galan
Jun 29, 2007 El Galan rated it it was amazing
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.
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
Tom Michalak
Feb 11, 2013 Tom Michalak rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Feb 08, 2012 Andy Hempe rated it it was amazing
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.
Shea Mastison
Dec 24, 2012 Shea Mastison rated it it was ok
"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
Mar 16, 2014 Sergey Artamonov rated it it was amazing
Shelves: russian-modern
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
Jan 28, 2009 Don rated it did not like it
Shelves: bilge
Ghastly book by one of the few men who might've made the Soviet Union even worse than it was under Stalin.
Oct 05, 2010 Kat rated it it was ok
Oh Trotsky. . . . We all know that you're just bitter because Stalin won and you didn't.
Jan 15, 2013 Richard rated it it was amazing
Reading George Orwell made me want to read this, and I'm glad I did.
Christopher Koch
Jul 01, 2008 Christopher Koch rated it really liked it
Those who worship the established fact can't prepare for the future.
Jan 21, 2008 Ben rated it really liked it
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
Dec 15, 2012 Eugene Boytsov rated it did not like it
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
Dec 18, 2014 William Brown rated it really liked it
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
Dec 28, 2015 Leonardo marked it as to-read
La Unión Soviética se entiende mejor como una dictadura burocrática que como una sociedad totalitaria.

[book: Imperio|12466868[ Pág.210
Sarath MK
Dec 09, 2014 Sarath MK rated it really liked it
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
Jul 20, 2013 Comrade Mohd Aliff rated it really liked it
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
May 26, 2015 Hakim rated it really liked it
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 ...
Sep 14, 2013 Radostinski rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 30, 2016 Gazelle rated it liked it
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
Aug 01, 2011 Steve Mitchell rated it really liked it
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.)
Mar 05, 2011 Kafkasfriend rated it it was amazing
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.
Dec 13, 2011 Ziad rated it liked it
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
Feb 21, 2015 sologdin rated it it was ok
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.
Aug 21, 2013 Joshua rated it liked it
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.
Feb 06, 2014 Alexander rated it really liked it
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
Jan 07, 2015 James Richardson rated it it was amazing
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!!
Oct 06, 2012 Mitch rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: socialism, ussr, economics
Largely polemic, lots of mixed metaphors, and even casual racism. Basically, it reads like period Leninist texts.
Roger Cottrell
Oct 21, 2008 Roger Cottrell rated it it was amazing
The only starting point (though not the last word) on the nature of Stalinism and its counter revolutionary role.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 90 91 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Reform or Revolution
  • The Prophet Armed: Trotsky, 1879-1921
  • Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism
  • The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State
  • The Civil War in France
  • Memoirs of a Revolutionary
  • How to Change the World: Marx and Marxism 1840-2011
  • A Companion to Marx's Capital
  • Ten Days that Shook the World (Value Edition)
  • Trotsky for Beginners
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.

More about Leon Trotsky...

Share This Book

“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.”
More quotes…