Riley's Reviews > Trotsky: Downfall Of A Revolutionary

Trotsky by Bertrand M. Patenaude
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Jan 12, 12

Read in January, 2012

The second of three recent Trotsky biographies that I bought, this book focuses on his prisoner-like final years in Mexico. It is very well written and does a good job of weaving from Coyoacan to other signature moments of his life. Trotsky's legacy is a difficult one for me. It is clear his dream for human redemption was flawed indeed, yet his humanity was also very clear.

I underlined this passage, about a postscript to a will he wrote not long before he was assassinated:

"As he wrote these lines, seated at his desk in his study, he looked over to his left, out through the French windows and into the patio, where he saw [his wife] Natalia approaching. The scene inspired him to close on a lyrical note: 'Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air might enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight is everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of evil, oppression, and violence, and enjoy it to the full.'"
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