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Trotsky In Exile

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Chapter Summary

Trotsky's physical remoteness from events in the years 1929-40 is only matched by his apparent political isolation. The creator of the Red Army is reduced to the leader of a scattered following of a few hundred militants; the inspirer of the soviets is a stateless exile. Exile is not necessarily impotence. But the question must be faced. Is Trotsky in exile, like Marx in the British Museum, a commentator who is also an actor, or is he, like Napoleon on St. Helena, an outcast from world of action? What kind of answer one gives to this question will determine the whole perspective in which one sees Trotsky's last decade. To understand Deutscher's answer fully, it is necessary to look back to his Stalin. Deutscher's own statement in the preface to the 1961 edition of Stalin of the unity of his work on Stalin and Trotsky justifies us in so doing.

Keywords:Deutscher; exile; Marx Stalin; Red Army; Trotsky



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