Biography of Lon Trotsky

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Leon Trotsky (1879-1940) was a Russian Marxist politician and revolutionary in the early 20th century. His contribution to Soviet Russia was immense through his practice of Marxist and Trotskyist theory for Russia and the world. His rise to prominence in the Soviet Union was characterized by his work and partnership with Lenin. Trotsky’s most significant accomplishments included his leadership of the Red Army and success in the February Revolution, which consolidated Bolshevik power. Trotsky’s ‘talent’ and ability’ was undoubted, however, it was insufficient to attain leadership of the Soviet Union. Following the death of Lenin, Lenin’s Testament confirmed Trotsky as the rightful successor, although his power struggle with Stalin resulted in exile from the Soviet Union and the rise of Stalin. Ultimately, Trotsky’s stringent and arrogant personality resulted in his failure to ‘rise to the highest office in the land.’

Trotsky’s emerging political role throughout 1905-1917 was significant to the consolidation of Bolshevik power in the Soviet Union. During this period, Trotsky’s leadership was defined by his reputation as a talented socialist and ‘charismatic figure’ (Christopher Hitchens). According to Hitchens, “1905 was his crucible, where he became a great speaker.” His qualities undeniably made him more than adequate to lead, and they were recognized as he was nominated head of the Soviet in 1905. The leadership of the Soviet manifested Trotsky’s commitment to revolution and his incredible organizational skills. Despite his failure and arrest, he had become “one of the revolutions most inspiring speakers” (David Christian). Following Trotsky’s escape from exile in Siberia (1907), he travelled Europe as a journalist communicatin...

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...tsky had resigned and been exiled from the Soviet Union. His image had been demonized by the propaganda of Stalin as he posed a serious threat to his leadership. This is evident, as Stalin eventually had him killed in Mexico in 1940.

Trotsky’s active role throughout the Bolshevik party had exemplified adequate examples of Trotsky’s talent and ability to lead. However, Trotsky’s attitude and perceived intellectual superiority in the party developed a stringent and difficult personality among the Bolsheviks. He had shown more then glimpses of his talent and ability to be a leader, and rightfully earned his position to succeed Lenin. Although, “He lost to a man of superior understanding of soviet public life” (Service) and underestimated the ‘talent’ and ‘ability’ of Stalin himself, resulting in his failure to lead and take control of the highest office in the land.

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