Leon Trotsky and the Art of Insurrection, 1905-1917

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Psychology Press, 1988 - History - 158 pages
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Leon Trotsky is usually studied from a political perspective, and only occasionally as a military leader. This study combines those viewpoints to analyse the ways in which Trotsky attempted to use military means to gain the revolution's initial objectives. Trotsky's theories on the revolutionary use of violence are examined in some detail and are placed within the context of the theoretical debate among members of the Russian Left in the period between the abortive revolution of 1905 and the events of 1917. The maturation of Trotsky's views on military affairs is traced through his columns as a war correspondent covering the Balkan Wars and World War I. The picture that emerges is complex. Trotsky realized that confrontation with the army would inevitably play a part in the progress toward revolutionary victory. But he recognized the power of modern weapons in the hands of disciplined troops and sought tactics that would ensure success. He perfected those tactics in the summer of 1917, and the victory of the October Revolution demonstrated the utility of his tactics. By combining an armed revolutionary cadre with enthusiastic masses while reducing the strength and discipline of the army through propaganda, Trotsky tipped the balance of violence to favour the revolution. -- Back cover.

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