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About the book:
Few political figures of the twentieth century have aroused as much controversy as the Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky. Trotsky's extraordinary life and extensive writings have left an indelible mark on revolutionary conscience. Yet there was a danger that his name would disappear from history. Originally published in 1954, Deutscher's masterful three-volume biography was the first major publication to counter the powerful Stalinist propaganda machine that had sought to expunge Trotsky from the annals of the Soviet Union. In these pages Trotsky emerges in his real stature, as the most heroic, and ultimately tragic, character of the Russian revolution. The Prophet Armed is the first volume of the trilogy. It traces Trotsky's early years, the formation of his distinctive theory of permanent revolution, his long feud and reconciliation with Lenin and Bolshevism, and his role in the October insurrection of 1917. The volume ends in 1921, when Trotsky, then at the climax of his power, unwittingly sowed the seeds of his own defeat.