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Tell Me Where You Stand On Kronstadt

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Chapter Summary

Paul Avrich's excellent and magisterial book is a work of non-partisan scholarship that illustrates how partisan in the best possible way non-partisan scholarship can be. He gives us the closest examination of all the available evidence that we are likely to have for some time and he uses his evidence to construct a narrative that, in its most brilliant passages, matches the power of Deutscher's The Prophet Armed and Moshe Lewin's Lenin's Last Struggle. But, by so doing, he strengthens rather than weakens the case for the maxim: Tell me where you stand on Kronstadt and I will tell you who and what you are. Trotsky, in his very last reference to the Kronstadt rising in Stalin, speaks of the putting down of the rising as a 'tragic necessity' and his reference to tragedy is to the point.

Keywords:Kronstadt rising; non-partisan scholarship; Paul Avrich; Stalin; Trotsky

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