Martin Amis on Lenin and Trotsky

Paul Flewers hatchet.job at
Sun Sep 1 14:31:57 MDT 2002

The fashionable British novelist Martin Amis has just published a book on
the Soviet Union. An extract appears in yesterday's Guardian, together with
a letter to one of his pals. It is a miserable affair, showing what a
mediocrity and ignoramus this Amis bloke is. It only serves as a warning for
people not to pen things on subjects about which they know nothing.

Here's the editor's puff.

< Joseph Stalin annihilated 20m and left a brutal legacy. Yet, writes Martin
Amis in an exclusive extract from Koba the Dread, the British left --
including his closest friend -- continued to believe in the justice of the
Soviet experiment. >

The full story is at

I have sent a letter, reproduced below. Will it get printed?

< It is an unfortunate habit of artistic types to portray their latest works
as if something truly significant is being vouchsafed, whereas what they're
actually presenting is commonplace banality. Martin Amis' earthshattering
findings on Lenin and Trotsky have been the stock-in-trade of every
anti-communist hack for over over six decades ('Laughter and Forgetting',
Guardian Review, 31 August 2002). And anyone who refuses to read Deutscher's
masterful Trotsky trilogy and prefers to base his views on Volkogonov's
ill-informed, error-ridden and bigoted work does not deserve to be taken
seriously. >

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