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Trotsky: Downfall of a Revolutionary Hardcover – Deckle Edge, August 25, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
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“Excellent, exciting. . . . Trotsky charts, with novelistic flair and in archival detail, the progress of the plot that culminated in Trotsky being killed with an ice axe in 1940.” (Simon Sebag Montefiore, The Sunday Telegraph)
“This book deepens and enhances the sense of tragedy that always attends contemplation of ‘the Old Man’ and his last struggle.” (Christopher Hitchens)
“An absorbing reconstruction of Trotsky’s last years in Mexico. . . . Patenaude’s hyrbrid history and detective story grips from start to finish. With rare narrative verve, he chronicles the last years of a revolutionary’s life, with its sexual jealousies, paranoia, and finally murder.” (Ian Thomson, The Sunday Times)
“Well researched and vividly told.” (Robert Service, The Guardian)
“A captivating account. . . . Patenaude paints a vivid portrait of Trotsky, a flamboyant, Westernized intellectual. . . . This is a dramatic, event-filled portrait of a turbulent, half forgotten era.” (—Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“Fascinating. . . . A masterly account. . . . Patenaude applies his expert knowledge of early Soviet history in narrating the story of Leon Trotsky’s final years in exile in Mexico.” (Library Journal)
“This is an extraordinary, gripping piece of history that gets closer to Trotsky’s essential character than any of the vast tomes devoted to him in the past. Perhaps most extraordinary is the page-turning narrative drive which keeps the reader enthralled despite knowing how the story ends. Don’t miss it.” (—Misha Glenny)
“Bertrand Patenaude’s Trotsky is an epic character: fiery, vain, contentious, exacting, intellectually lively, ideologically blinded, seductive, even sexually aggressiveand a man keenly aware that the inherent tragedy behind human existence overshadows the petty mishaps of politics, assassination included.” (—Ken Kalfus)
“A haunting and dramatic reconstruction of Trotsky’s life and death in exile. The detail is fascinating, almost voyeuristic.” (Richard Overy, Literary Review)
“Gripping. . . . Patenaude has created both a compelling biography of the revolutionary leader and a thrilling account of the violent world of international socialist politics in the 1930s.” (The Financial Times)
“It is a tribute to Bertrand Patenaude’s narrative skill that although we always know how his book is going to end, it is none the less readable and utterly gripping. . . . The pace and tension are worthy of a Hollywood thriller.” (Dominic Sandbrook, The Daily Telegraph)
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Top Customer Reviews
And so,the process towards the assassination of Stalin's arch-enemy has begun.
Trotsky was among many Jews who thought that Communism would deliver them and the world of all the social evils in the world.His real name was Lev Davidovich Bronstein and was born in the Ukraine in 1879.After his rise and quarrels in the Bolshevik party, he was exiled by Koba (aka Stalin )and was dispatched to Turkey, where he was doing all he could in order to get a visa which would enable him to live in another country.From Turkey he and his wife moved to Norway, where the much- awaited visa for Mexico has finally arrived.
After some days ,the couple has landed on the Mexican shores and it was there where they would spend the rest of their days, until the Spanish-born assassin Ramon Mercader had terminated the life of Trotsky.
In this biography, we get a panoramic description of Trotsky's final years in Mexico.Based on Trotsky's private correspondence and diaries as well as his archives and testimonies of his American bodyguards and many secretaries,Mt.Patenaude offers the reader a fascinating and thrilling story about Trotsky.
This is done in a series of flashbacks, in which Trotsky's various life episodes are brilliantly told and analyzed.The reader is informed about Trotsky the revolutionary, the lover, the husband and grandfather, the author and thinker,the paranoiac and the naive one.He had a brief affair with the painter Frida Kahlo, who was Diego Rivera's wife.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
With greater anticipation than it was worth, I read the story of Trotsky only after his arrival in Mexico, in what has now grown to be Mexico City. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Cabin Dweller
Although the book is filled with details of Trotsky's last years in Mexico, it also gives detailed insights into his previous history, the beginnings of his split with Stalin and... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Raymond Hardie
I bought this to get the story on Trotsky's time in Mexico with Diego Rivera....I got what I was looking forPublished 7 months ago by anna
The only biography that looks at the 4 Mexican years. If you are interested in Trotsky and focus only on the young man you're missing how he left his legacy. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Aaron Joy
Patenaude's book is primarily about Trotsky's years in Mexico, from January 1937 until his assassination in August of 1940 (his "flashbacks" to earlier events are not as well... Read morePublished 24 months ago by Marc Lichtman
This is a lightweight book, clear and to the point. The writer is good. He describes the background to the Civil war.
Look at this. Read more
I didn't think this book was particularly well-organized. At times it was difficult to follow. I studied Russian history in university, so I know a lot about Trotsky and the... Read morePublished on November 1, 2013 by Laura
“Trotsky: Downfall of a Revolutionary” is an interesting account of Trotsky’s last few years of life while in exile in Mexico. Read morePublished on June 12, 2013 by Erez Davidi
I agree this is really more about Trotsky in exile in Mexico but the author does review key points about his prior life. Read morePublished on January 14, 2013 by J. J. O'connor