Leon Trotsky

Ukraine-Russian revolutionary, politician and founder of the Red Army Leon Trotsky

Leon Trotsky was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army. Trotsky was initially a supporter of the Menshevik Internationalists faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. He joined the Bolsheviks immediately prior to the 1917 October Revolution, and eventually became a leader within the Party.
Share
Biography
Leon Trotsky's personal information overview.

Photo Albums

Popular photos of Leon Trotsky
Relationships
View family, career and love interests for Leon Trotsky
News
News about Leon Trotsky from around the web
Chasing the dots ... Hubble, Bubble, No Toil, Just Trouble! - Namibian
Google News - over 6 years
As our world has slowly but strongly gravitated towards global economies becoming more intertwined I always am reminded of Leon Trotsky's words (approximately) that “the last word in monopolistic capitalism is fascism” (21/08/1940) where “the worker's
Article Link:
 Google News article
Revolutionary situations: changing the world for good - Socialistworker.co.uk
Google News - over 6 years
The historian Charles Tilly, drawing on Leon Trotsky's account of “dual power”, suggested a revolutionary situation has three features. First, the government loses control of part of its normal apparatus of rule to a challenging force
Article Link:
 Google News article
Report: Next Terrorist Attack Might Come From… Iraq - Wired News
Google News - over 6 years
To paraphrase Leon Trotsky, America might be done with the Iraq war, but the Iraq war might not be done with America. One perhaps inevitable consequence of the relatively successful surge in Iraq is that no one in the US
Article Link:
 Google News article
Betting the farm against climate change - Los Angeles Times
Google News - over 6 years
(Tim Sharp / Reuters) By Eugene Linden Leon Trotsky is reputed to have quipped, "You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you." Substitute the words "climate change" for "war" and the quote is perfectly suited for the governors of
Article Link:
 Google News article
FROM THE INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE; 100, 75, 50 Years Ago
NYTimes - over 6 years
1911 Americans Defend Col. Astor The Herald's despatches from New York and its editorials on the Astor-Force engagement have been read, it may be safely said, by every American stopping in the London hotels. Americans where heard discussing them over their dinners last night, while they waxed warm in denouncing the attack on Colonel Astor and his
Article Link:
 NYTimes article
HaIvri is not the “Trotsky” Axelrod - Jewish Telegraphic Agency (blog)
Google News - over 6 years
David HaIvri tweeted me that he is NOT the David Axelrod descended from Leon Trotsky. In fact, I had learned this since my original blog post on the multitude of Axelrods -- I had speculated in that post that HaIvri,
Article Link:
 Google News article
Worker's fight continues in Egypt - Socialist Worker
Google News - over 6 years
Rather it is about understanding that using what the Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky called "proletarian methods" to achieve the goals of the revolution rapidly accelerates three processes. First, it intensifies the interaction between economic and
Article Link:
 Google News article
The founding congress of the Fourth International (1938) - Workers' Liberty
Google News - over 6 years
Uniting the best elements of the Old Guard and the youth of the party and led by Leon Trotsky, it was the first to sound the alarm against the growing menace of degeneration in the ruling party and the revolution itself. Significantly enough, the first
Article Link:
 Google News article
Politicians and the press - Jamaica Gleaner
Google News - over 6 years
I agree with the Marxist, Leon Trotsky, that you can't have sustainable "revolution in one country". I believe the international political and economic system has to be transformed for meaningfully changes to take place for the masses
Article Link:
 Google News article
Europe's crisis - World Socialist Web Site
Google News - over 6 years
In the 1920s, Leon Trotsky stressed that the European bourgeoisie was incapable of uniting Europe in the interests of its people. The capitalist system, based on private property, exploitation, personal gain and national interests, was unable to
Article Link:
 Google News article
Revolution in 1930s Spain: The Second Republic - The Indypendent
Google News - over 6 years
As the Russian revolutionary writer Leon Trotsky wrote: Even less than in the 19th century can the Spanish bourgeoisie lay claim to that historic role which the British and French bourgeoisie once played. Appearing too late, dependent on foreign
Article Link:
 Google News article
From the Vault of Art Shay: Masterpiece - Chicagoist
Google News - over 6 years
Trotsky was my father's boyhood pal in 1905, and his character also figured in an important movie: the one in which Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, though married to muralist Diego Rivera, was having an affair with Leon Trotsky right under her husband's
Article Link:
 Google News article
Leon Trotsky, Padura and Me - Havana Times
Google News - over 6 years
In the first place there was the fact that Leon Trotsky is absent in modern history books that are taught in Cuba. He has been erased, just like Soviet Stalinism erased him. I was also astonished because what still rings in my ears is the word used by
Article Link:
 Google News article
Lost in time on an idyllic island by Istanbul - The Seattle Times
Google News - over 6 years
We had gone only a couple of blocks, dodging buggies and bicyclists, when Owen turned right on a lane where we found the ruined villa where Leon Trotsky once lived in exile. It was down the slope from a pasha's mansion that once served as a setting for
Article Link:
 Google News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Leon Trotsky
    LATE ADULTHOOD
  • 1940
    Age 60
    Trotsky was taken to a hospital, operated on, and survived for more than a day, dying at the age of 60 on 21 August 1940 as a result of loss of blood and shock.
    More Details
    On 20 August 1940, in his study, Trotsky was attacked by Ramón Mercader who used an ice axe as a weapon.
    More Details
    On Stalin's orders, he was assassinated in Mexico in August 1940 by Ramón Mercader, a Spanish-born Soviet agent.
    More Details
    On 24 May 1940, Trotsky survived a raid on his villa by armed assassins led by the NKVD agent Iosif Grigulevich and Mexican painter David Alfaro Siqueiros.
    More Details
    L. Trotsky 27 February 1940 Coyoacan.
    On 27 February 1940, Trotsky wrote a document known as "Trotsky's Testament", in which he expressed his final thoughts and feelings for posterity.
    More Details
  • FIFTIES
  • 1939
    Age 59
    After an ineffectual attempt to have Trotsky murdered, in March 1939, Stalin assigned the overall organisation of implementing the task to the NKVD officer Pavel Sudoplatov who in turn co-opted Nahum Eitingon.
    More Details
    Towards the end of 1939 Trotsky agreed to go to the United States to appear as a witness before the Dies Committee of the House of Representatives, a forerunner of the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
    More Details
  • 1938
    Age 58
    In 1938, Trotsky and his supporters founded the Fourth International, which was intended to be a revolutionary and internationalist alternative to the Stalinist Comintern.
  • 1937
    Age 57
    Trotsky was never formally rehabilitated during the rule of the Soviet government, despite the Glasnost-era rehabilitation of most other Old Bolsheviks killed during the Great Purges. His son, Sergei Sedov, killed in 1937, was rehabilitated in 1988, as was Nikolai Bukharin.
    More Details
    In April 1937, an independent "Commission of Inquiry" into the charges made against Trotsky and others at the "Moscow Trials" was held in Coyoacán, with John Dewey as chairman.
    More Details
    The second show trial, of Karl Radek, Grigory Sokolnikov, Yuri Pyatakov and 14 others, took place in January 1937, during which more alleged conspiracies and crimes were linked to Trotsky.
  • 1936
    Age 56
    Before Christmas 1936 he and his wife were deported to Mexico, on a freighter under guard by Jonas Lie.
    More Details
    On 2 September 1936 he was transferred to a farm in Hurum where he was under house arrest, allegedly because of Soviet influence on the government.
    In August 1936, the first Moscow show trial of the so-called "Trotskyite-Zinovievite Terrorist Center" was staged in front of an international audience.
    More Details
  • 1935
    Age 55
    In 1935 he was told he was no longer welcome in France.
    More Details
  • 1933
    Age 53
    He was not allowed in Paris, though he did visit the city in secret during December 1933, to meet with various political allies.
    More Details
    In 1933 Trotsky was offered asylum in France by Prime Minister Édouard Daladier.
    More Details
  • FORTIES
  • 1929
    Age 49
    Trotsky was deported from the Soviet Union in February 1929.
    More Details
    Christian Rakovsky, who had inspired Trotsky between 1929 and 1934 from his Siberian exile, was the last prominent Trotskyist to capitulate.
    More Details
    He was expelled from the Soviet Union to Turkey in February 1929, accompanied by his wife Natalia Sedova and his son Lev Sedov.
    More Details
  • 1928
    Age 48
    Trotsky was exiled to Alma Ata in Kazakhstan on 31 January 1928.
  • 1927
    Age 47
    In October 1927, Trotsky and Zinoviev were expelled from the Central Committee.
    More Details
  • 1926
    Age 46
    At the XVth Party Conference in October 1926 Trotsky could barely speak because of interruptions and catcalls, and at the end of the Conference he lost his Politburo seat.
    More Details
    The United Opposition was repeatedly threatened with sanctions by the Stalinist leadership of the Communist Party and Trotsky had to agree to tactical retreats, mostly to preserve his alliance with Zinoviev and Kamenev. The opposition remained united against Stalin throughout 1926 and 1927, especially on the issue of the Chinese Revolution.
    More Details
  • 1925
    Age 45
    In May 1925, he was given three posts: chairman of the Concessions Committee, head of the electro-technical board, and chairman of the scientific-technical board of industry.
    More Details
    1925 was a difficult year for Trotsky.
    More Details
    Trotsky was again sick and unable to respond while his opponents mobilized all of their resources to denounce him. They succeeded in damaging his military reputation so much that he was forced to resign as People's Commissar of Army and Fleet Affairs and Chairman of the Revolutionary Military Council on 6 January 1925.
    More Details
  • 1924
    Age 44
    Stalin began making poorly veiled accusations about Zinoviev and Kamenev. Yet in October 1924, Trotsky published Lessons of October, an extensive summary of the events of the 1917 revolution.
    More Details
    On the question of world revolution, Trotsky and Karl Radek saw a period of stability in Europe while Stalin and Zinoviev confidently predicted an "acceleration" of revolution in Western Europe in 1924.
    More Details
    Immediately after the Conference, Trotsky left for a Caucasian resort to recover from his prolonged illness. On his way, he learned about Lenin's death on 21 January 1924.
    More Details
    Trotsky defended his position in a series of seven letters which were collected as The New Course in January 1924.
    More Details
  • 1923
    Age 43
    On 8 October 1923 Trotsky sent a letter to the Central Committee and the Central Control Commission, attributing these difficulties to lack of intra-Party democracy.
    More Details
    The resolutions adopted by the XIIth Congress called, in general terms, for greater democracy within the Party, but were vague and remained unimplemented. In an important test of strength in mid-1923, the troika was able to neutralize Trotsky's friend and supporter Christian Rakovsky by removing him from his post as head of the Ukrainian government (USSR Radnarkom) and sending him to London as Soviet ambassador.
    More Details
    The troika was further infuriated by Karl Radek's article Leon Trotsky – Organizer of Victory published in Pravda on 14 March 1923.
    In March 1923, days before his third stroke, Lenin prepared a frontal assault on Stalin's "Great-Russian nationalistic campaign" against the Georgian Communist Party (the so-called Georgian Affair) and asked Trotsky to deliver the blow at the XIIth Party Congress.
    More Details
    In January 1923 the relationship between Lenin and Stalin completely broke down when Stalin rudely insulted Lenin's wife, Nadezhda Krupskaya.
    More Details
  • 1922
    Age 42
    From then until his final stroke, Lenin spent much of his time trying to devise a way to prevent a split within the Communist Party leadership, which was reflected in Lenin's Testament. As part of this effort, on 11 September 1922 Lenin proposed that Trotsky become his deputy at the Council of People's Commissars (Sovnarkom). The Politburo approved the proposal, but Trotsky "categorically refused". In late 1922, Lenin's relationship with Stalin deteriorated over Stalin's heavy-handed and chauvinistic handling of the issue of merging Soviet republics into one federal state, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
    More Details
  • 1921
    Age 41
    In late 1921 Lenin's health deteriorated, he was absent from Moscow for even longer periods, and eventually had three strokes between 26 May 1922 and 10 March 1923, which caused paralysis, loss of speech and finally death on 21 January 1924.
    More Details
    Lenin said in 1921 that Trotsky was "in love with organization," but in working politics, "he has not got a clue."
    More Details
    At a meeting of his faction at the Tenth Party Congress in March 1921, Lenin's faction won a decisive victory and a number of Trotsky's supporters (including all three secretaries of the Central Committee) lost their leadership positions.
    More Details
  • 1920
    Age 40
    The Red Army offensive was turned back during the Battle of Warsaw in August 1920, in part because of Stalin's failure to obey Trotsky's orders in the run-up to the decisive engagements.
    More Details
  • THIRTIES
  • 1919
    Age 39
    Trotsky spent the winter of 1919–1920 in the Urals region trying to restart its economy.
    More Details
    By October 1919, the government was in the worst crisis of the Civil War: Denikin's troops approached Tula and Moscow from the south, and General Nikolay Yudenich's troops approached Petrograd from the west.
    More Details
    Trotsky, who had earlier had conflicts with the leadership of the Eastern Front, including a temporary removal of Kamenev in May 1919, supported Vatsetis.
    More Details
    In mid-1919 the dissatisfied had an opportunity to mount a serious challenge to Trotsky's leadership: the Red Army grew from 800,000 to 3,000,000, and fought simultaneously on sixteen fronts.
    More Details
  • 1918
    Age 38
    Throughout late 1918 and early 1919, there were a number of attacks on Trotsky's leadership of the Red Army, including veiled accusations in newspaper articles inspired by Stalin and a direct attack by the Military Opposition at the VIIIth Party Congress in March 1919.
    More Details
    The reorganization caused yet another conflict between Trotsky and Stalin in late September. Trotsky appointed former imperial general Pavel Pavlovich Sytin to command the Southern Front, but in early October 1918 Stalin refused to accept him and so he was recalled from the front.
    More Details
    Trotsky and Vatsetis had clashed earlier in 1918, while Vatsetis and Trotsky's adviser Mikhail Bonch-Bruevich were also on unfriendly terms.
    More Details
    In response to Fanya Kaplan's failed assassination of Lenin on 30 August 1918, and to the successful assassination of the Petrograd Cheka chief Moisei Uritsky on 17 August 1918, the Bolsheviks instructed Felix Dzerzhinsky to commence a Red Terror, announced in the 1 September 1918 issue of the Krasnaya Gazeta (Red Gazette).
    More Details
    Trotsky and the government responded with a full-fledged mobilization, which increased the size of the Red Army from fewer than 300,000 in May 1918 to one million in October, and an introduction of political commissars into the army.
    More Details
    On 13 March 1918, Trotsky's resignation as Commissar for Foreign Affairs was officially accepted and he was appointed People's Commissar of Army and Navy Affairs – in place of Podvoisky – and chairman of the Supreme Military Council.
    More Details
    The discontent with Trotsky's policies of strict discipline, conscription and reliance on carefully supervised non-Communist military experts eventually led to the Military Opposition (Russian: Военная оппозиция), which was active within the Communist Party in late 1918–1919.
    The failure of the recently formed Red Army to resist the German offensive in February 1918 revealed its weaknesses: insufficient numbers, lack of knowledgeable officers, and near absence of coordination and subordination.
    More Details
    In the evening of 18 February 1918, Trotsky and his supporters in the committee abstained and Lenin's proposal was accepted 7–4.
    More Details
    When he could no longer delay the negotiations, he withdrew from the talks on 10 February 1918, refusing to sign on Germany's harsh terms.
    More Details
  • 1917
    Age 37
    But he agreed with the Left Communists that a separate peace treaty with an imperialist power would be a terrible morale and material blow to the Soviet government, negate all its military and political successes of 1917 and 1918, resurrect the notion that the Bolsheviks secretly allied with the German government, and cause an upsurge of internal resistance.
    More Details
    Trotsky led the Soviet delegation during the peace negotiations in Brest-Litovsk from 22 December 1917 to 10 February 1918.
    More Details
    By the end of 1917, Trotsky was unquestionably the second man in the Bolshevik Party after Lenin.
    More Details
    The following summary of Trotsky's role in 1917 was written by Stalin in Pravda, 10 November 1918.
    More Details
    After an unsuccessful pro-Bolshevik uprising in Petrograd, Trotsky was arrested on 7 August 1917.
    More Details
    Trotsky was living in New York City when the February Revolution of 1917 overthrew Tsar Nicholas II.
    More Details
    He arrived in New York City on 13 January 1917.
    More Details
  • 1915
    Age 35
    Trotsky attended the Zimmerwald Conference of anti-war socialists in September 1915 and advocated a middle course between those who, like Martov, would stay within the Second International at any cost and those who, like Lenin, would break with the Second International and form a Third International.
    More Details
    In January 1915 in Paris, he began editing (at first with Martov, who soon resigned as the paper moved to the left) Nashe Slovo ("Our Word"), an internationalist socialist newspaper.
    More Details
  • 1914
    Age 34
    As a war correspondent for the Kievskaya Mysl, Trotsky moved to France on 19 November 1914.
    On 3 August 1914, at the outbreak of World War I, in which Austria-Hungary fought against the Russian empire, Trotsky was forced to flee Vienna for neutral Switzerland to avoid arrest as a Russian émigré.
    More Details
  • 1912
    Age 32
    In Vienna, Trotsky continuously published articles in radical Russian and Ukrainian newspapers, such as Kievskaya Mysl, under a variety of pseudonyms, often using "Antid Oto". In September 1912, Kievskaya Mysl sent him to the Balkans as its war correspondent, where he covered the two Balkan Wars for the next year and became a close friend of Christian Rakovsky.
    More Details
    In response, Trotsky organized a "unification" conference of social democratic factions in Vienna in August 1912 (a.k.a. "The August Bloc") and tried to re-unite the party.
    More Details
    Trotsky continued publishing Pravda for another two years until it finally folded in April 1912.
    More Details
  • 1910
    Age 30
    Lev Kamenev, Trotsky's brother-in-law, was added to the editorial board from the Bolsheviks, but the unification attempts failed in August 1910 when Kamenev resigned from the board amid mutual recriminations.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1909
    Age 29
    Trotsky approached the Russian Central Committee to seek financial backing for the newspaper throughout 1909.
    More Details
  • 1908
    Age 28
    In October 1908 he was asked to join the editorial staff of Pravda ("Truth"), a bi-weekly, Russian-language social democratic paper for Russian workers, which he co-edited with Joffe, Matvey Skobelev and Victor Kopp. It was smuggled into Russia. The paper appeared very irregularly, only five issues appeared in the first year of publication. However, the paper avoided factional politics and proved popular with Russian industrial workers. Both the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks split multiple times after the failure of the 1905–1907 revolution.
    More Details
  • 1907
    Age 27
    While en route to exile in Obdorsk, Siberia, in January 1907, Trotsky escaped at Berezov and once again made his way to London, where he attended the 5th Congress of the RSDLP.
    More Details
  • 1906
    Age 26
    At the trial on 4 October 1906, Trotsky delivered one of the best speeches of his life.
    More Details
    The following day, the Soviet was surrounded by troops loyal to the government and the deputies were arrested. Trotsky and other Soviet leaders were tried in 1906 on charges of supporting an armed rebellion.
  • 1905
    Age 25
    He did much of the actual work at the Soviet and, after Khrustalev-Nosar's arrest on 26 November 1905, was elected its chairman.
    More Details
    Trotsky also co-founded, together with Parvus and Julius Martov and other Mensheviks, Nachalo ("The Beginning"), which also proved to be a very successful newspaper in the revolutionary atmosphere of Saint Petersburg in 1905.
    More Details
    The confusion engendered by these strikes made it possible for Trotsky to return from Finland to Saint Petersburg on 15 October 1905.
    More Details
    Following the events of Bloody Sunday, Trotsky secretly returned to Russia in February 1905, by way of Kiev.
    More Details
  • 1904
    Age 24
    During these years Trotsky began developing his theory of permanent revolution, which led to a close working relationship with Alexander Parvus in 1904–1907.
    More Details
    Trotsky spent much of his time between 1904 and 1917 trying to reconcile different groups within the party, which resulted in many clashes with Lenin and other prominent party members.
    More Details
    From 1904 until 1917, he described himself as a "non-factional social democrat".
    Trotsky left the Mensheviks in September 1904 over their insistence on an alliance with Russian liberals and their opposition to a reconciliation with Lenin and the Bolsheviks.
  • 1902
    Age 22
    In late 1902, Trotsky met Natalia Ivanovna Sedova, who soon became his companion and, from 1903 until his death, his wife.
    More Details
    In the summer of 1902, at the urging of his wife, Trotsky escaped from Siberia hidden in a load of hay on a wagon.
    More Details
  • 1900
    Age 20
    In 1900 he was sentenced to four years in exile.
    More Details
    While in the prison in Moscow, in the summer of 1900, Trotsky met and married Aleksandra Sokolovskaya (1872–1938), a fellow Marxist.
    More Details
  • TEENAGE
  • 1898
    Age 18
    Two months into his imprisonment, on 1 – 3 March 1898, the first Congress of the newly formed Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (RSDLP) was held.
    More Details
    In January 1898, more than 200 members of the union, including Trotsky, were arrested.
    More Details
  • 1897
    Age 17
    Instead of pursuing a mathematics degree, Trotsky helped organize the South Russian Workers' Union in Nikolayev in early 1897.
    More Details
  • 1896
    Age 16
    Trotsky became involved in revolutionary activities in 1896 after moving to the harbor town of Nikolayev (now Mykolaiv) on the Ukrainian coast with the Black Sea.
    More Details
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1879
    Born
    Leon Trotsky was born Lev Davidovich Bronstein on 7 November 1879, in Yanovka or Yanivka, in the Kherson governorate of the Russian Empire (now Bereslavka, in Ukraine), a small village from the nearest post office.
    More Details
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
None of the information offered by Spokeo is to be considered for purposes of determining or making a decision about a person's eligibility for credit, insurance, employment, housing (tenant screening), or for any other purposes covered under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Spokeo is not a consumer reporting agency and does not offer consumer reports. Spokeo gathers information from public sources, which may not be complete, comprehensive, accurate, or up-to-date, so do not use this service as a substitute for your own due diligence, especially if you have concerns about a person's criminal history. Spokeo does not verify or evaluate each piece of data, and makes no warranties or guarantees about any of the information offered.