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.’