In 1917 workers and peasants of Russia were the motor force for one of the deepest revolutions in history. Yet within ten years a political counterrevolution by a privileged social layer whose chief spokesperson was Joseph Stalin was being consolidated. This classic study of the Soviet workers state and the degeneration of the revolution illuminates the roots of the disintegration of the Soviet bureaucracy and sharpening conflicts in and among the former republics of the USSR.
“Probably the most readable, significant and interesting book that has thus far come from the prolific pen of the former leader of the Red Army.… Trotsky has an intimate knowledge of and a complete command of his subject.… [T]he canvas he fills is so broad and well-balanced as to be highly instructive even to those who do not limit their investigations of Soviet affairs to the reports of the correspondents.… In a series of brief but lucid chapters the author traces the remarkable evolution through which the Soviet State has passed since 1917.… Trotsky’s narrative bring[s] to the reader an echo of the passionate discussion that has taken place behind the closed doors of the high Communist bodies.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Of all Stalin’s opponents Trotsky alone has produced a systematic and comprehensive critique.… [O]ne of the most influential books of this century.… A classic of Marxist literature.”—New Statesman
“An important and devastating study.…”—New York Times