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The Prophet Outcast: Trotsky 1929-1940

This third volume of the trilogy is a self-contained narrative of Trotsky's years in exile and of his murder in Mexico in 1940.

Few political figures of the twentieth century have aroused as much controversy as the Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky. Trotsky’s extraordinary life and extensive writings have left an indelible mark on revolutionary conscience, yet there was a danger that his name would disappear from history. Originally published in 1954, Deutscher’s magisterial three-volume biography was the first major publication to counter the powerful Stalinist propaganda machine. In this definitive biography Trotsky emerges in his real stature, as the most heroic, and ultimately tragic, character of the Russian Revolution.

This third volume of the trilogy, first published in 1963, is a self-contained narrative of Trotsky's years in exile and of his murder in Mexico in 1940. Deutscher's masterful account of the period, and of the ideological controversies ranging throughout it, forms a background against which, as he says, 'the protagonist's character reveals itself, while he is moving towards catastrophe.'

Reviews

  • “In the 1930s, Trotsky, with a handful of followers, attempted to block the path of Stalin’s relentless hurricane of betrayal and murder. His epic defence of the soul of the Revolution against its bureaucratic executioners was a torchlight in the storm. In one of the very greatest modern biographies, Isaac Deutscher redeems the legacy of this astonishing revolutionary and humanist thinker.”
  • “The three volumes of Isaac Deutscher's life of Trotsky ... were for me the most exciting reading of the year. Surely this must be counted among the greatest biographies in the English language.”
  • “He has told the story more accurately and with fuller detail than ever before....compulsory reading for anyone interested in the history of Soviet Russia.”
  • “He has told the story more accurately and with fuller detail than ever before. His book is compulsory reading for anyone interested in the history of Soviet Russia and of international communism.”
  • “This is the critical voice the velvet revolution faded out. The republication of Deutscher’s classic trilogy is good news for a new generation who want to know what went wrong with communist-style socialism.”
  • “Deutscher is an exceedingly vivid writer with a sense of style, and a warm and understanding sympathy for his hero: this makes him a first rate biographer.”

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