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In The Service of Historical Falsification

A Review of Robert Service’s Trotsky: A Biography

By David North

Trotsky: A Biography

Robert Service,

Harvard University Press,

Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2009

The Specter of Leon Trotsky

Courtesy: wsws.org, via Globeistan

In 1955 James Burnham, the intellectual godfather of modern American neo-conservatism, reviewed The Prophet Armed, the first volume of Isaac Deutscher’s monumental biography of Leon [Lev Davidovich] Trotsky. Fifteen years had passed since Burnham had resigned from the Fourth International at the climax of a political struggle in which he had crossed polemical swords with Leon Trotsky. It had been a difficult experience for Burnham, who felt somewhat overmatched in this political and literary contest. “I must stop awhile in wonder,” Burnham had written in a document addressed to Trotsky, “at the technical perfection of the verbal structure you have created, the dynamic sweep of your rhetoric, the burning expression of your unconquerable devotion to the socialist ideal, the sudden, witty, flashing metaphors that sparkle through your pages.”

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