[Marxism] Deutscher trilogy reviewed

Turbulo at aol.com Turbulo at aol.com
Fri Nov 26 14:07:58 MST 2004

The Deutscher trilogy probably influenced me more than any three books I've ever read, apart , perhaps, from the three volumes of Capital. I first read the trilogy when I was a student radical in 1969. It moved me away from the Maoism, hence Stalinism, I then espoused, and led me to devour Trotsky's writings over the next couple years. They were my path toward the real history of the Russian Revolution and to classical Marxism. I became sympathetic to Trotskyism as a result, but also knowledgeable enough not to take a couple self-proclaimed Trotsyist organizations I ran into--the SWP and the Workers League--for the genuine article. When, years later, I did join a group--the Spartacists--that I thought closer to historical Trotskyism, I still regarded them from a certain critical distance, which in the end proved more than justified, and for which I am greatly indebted to Isaac Deutscher. (I actually heard him speak before I started reading him, here in NYC at the Socialist Scholars' Conference in 1968. He gave an address, "On Socialist Man.") 


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