Jeff Lanter's Reviews > Trotsky: Downfall Of A Revolutionary

Trotsky by Bertrand M. Patenaude
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Apr 19, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: history
Read in May, 2012

I picked this up knowing nothing about Trotsky, but hoping to learn more about the Revolutionary. I think that changed what I enjoyed in this book versus someone who is well-versed in the man and his philosophy. It took me a little while to get him figured out. Trotsky was a very serious and intellectual person. While he deserves a great deal of credit for some things, he also had flaws as a person and especially as a politician. All of these become clearer as I read through the book. Downfall of a Revolutionary focuses exclusively on his last years in Mexico and they are an interesting period of his life. While this is a historical book, there are elements of espionage that add a great deal of suspense to the narrative. I knew Stalin was bad, but this book hints at how vicious he truly was. When I started reading, I couldn't decide if I liked Trotsky enough to feel any pathos towards him and his inevitable death. Some of this may have been from the author's interesting writing style of telling an important an event and then going back and fully explaining the implications. By the end that had totally changed. If nothing else, he was a man of principle and he suffered many tragedies in his final years. And that is something to respect.
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