Leon Trotsky, a Leader of the Bolshevik Revolution and Early Architect of the Soviet State

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Most historians agree that throughout his political career Trotsky displayed various talents and abilities. However, these skills alone were not enough to enable him to become the supreme leader of the USSR. In the context of the workings of the Bolshevik party to rise to the highest office of the politburo required certain traits and qualities as well as an ability to utilise the party machine and exploit its members-talents, traits and qualities Trotsky clearly lacked. For these reasons the statement is highly accurate because in spite of his ability, Trotsky’s failure to rise to the ‘highest office in the land’ was a consequence of his arrogance, political naivety and inability to turn success into political capital. This statement is highly accurate with regards to Trotsky was clearly talented and able, renowned for his oratory skills, organisational skills and his prolific writing. The historian David Christian stated that Trotsky was “one of the revolution’s most inspiring public speakers” due to his efforts to reunite the Bolshevik and Menshevik factions in 1905. Furthermore, during his trial on October 4 1906 in which leaders of the Saint Petersburg Soviet were arrested, Trotsky, according to Isaac Deutscher, delivered ‘one of the best speeches of his life and solidified his reputation as an effective public speaker’. Throughout his political career Trotsky was able to use his oratory skills to persuade others, like those delivered throughout the Civil War to raise morale amongst the Troops and to convince deserters to rejoin the communist cause. The historian B. Williams stated that “to Lenin, Trotsky was a valuable ally. It was Trotsky whose oratory could sway crowds.” Additionally, not only did Trotsky possess oratory ... ... middle of paper ... ...rise his theory of permanent revolution lost him support amongst the party members. Consequently it was this alienating nature, his self assurance and lack of a clear political goal which proved to be the deterrent in Trotsky’s claim to power despite his naturally talented and able disposition. In conclusion the statement that ‘the most talented and able of me don’t not always rise to the highest office in the land” is thus clearly very accurate in relation Trotsky. As Joshua Rubenstein stated ‘Leon Trotsky was a brilliant but ultimately flawed individual’. Despite his oratory brilliance and undeniable significance as Commissar for War, Trotsky ultimately lack what was needed to become a leader in the context of revolutionary Russia, a political motivation, a social awareness, a thorough understanding of party bureaucracy and an ability to utilise political assets.

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