Silences in Trotskii’s My Life

Geoffrey Swain


Trotskii’s autobiography My Life is a lively and fascinating account of his childhood on a Jewish farm in Ukraine, his schooling and early revolutionary activity, his dramatic escape from Siberia in 1906, and his exploits at the front during the Russian Civil War. Yet it is an autobiography written with a special mission, the mission to defeat Stalin. So there are self-serving moments, misinterpretations and in particular silences, silences on pre-revolutionary disagreements with Lenin and silences on his disagreements with Lenin during the course of the revolution and in its aftermath


Trotskii; autobiography; silences; misinterpretations; self-serving moments

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Deutscher 1970: I. Deutscher, The Prophet Armed: Trotsky 1879-1921, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1970.

Kotkin 2015: S. Kotkin, Stalin: Paradoxes of Power. 1878-1928, Penguin/Random House, London, 2015.

Rubenstein 2011: J. Rubenstein, Leon Trotsky: a Revolutionary Life, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2011.

Swain 1983: G. Swain, Russian Social Democracy and the Legal Labour Movement, 1906-14, Macmillan, Basingstoke, 1983.

Swain 2006: G. Swain, Trotsky, Pearson, Harlow, 2006.

Swain 2017: G. Swain, A Short History of the Russian Revolution, I. B. Tauris, London, 2017

Trotsky 1930: L. Trotsky, My Life, Charles Schribner’s Sons, New York, 1930.

van Ree 2001: E. van Ree, Lenin’s Last Struggle Revisited, «Revolutionary Russia», 2001, II, pp. 85-122.



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Journal on Life Writing and the Representation of the Self in Russian Culture

Dipartimento di Studi Linguistici e Letterari
Via Elisabetta Vendramini 13
35137 PADOVA

ISSN: 2281-6992
Registrazione del Tribunale di Padova 23-04-2013, n. 2326 Registro della Stampa,
Variazione: Tribunale di Padova 27-10-2014, n. 3197 Registro della Stampa.

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