Isaac Deutscher


Polish Marxist who began his revolutionary life in Warsaw as a member of the Polish Communist Party during its days of illegality under Pilsudski's military dictatorship. In the thirties he became one of the most prominent and principled members of a leftist opposition group within the Polish CP which eventually sided with Trotsky. Expelled from the party in 1931 for his participation in a party faction and for "inflating" the threat of German fascism, Deutscher continued his revolutionary work outside the party. In 1939, a few months before the outbreak of WWII, he traveled to Britain as a journalist for a Polish paper, thus inadvertently escaping the Holocaust. In Britain Deutscher focused his energies on historical writing, and produced his famous three part biography of Trotsky and his biography of Stalin as well as many other important and useful books on the Russian revolution and its aftermath. A committed, serious, 'traditional' Marxist to his death, Deutscher remained a fierce critic of Stalinism and of orthodox Troskyism.

Stalin (1949): 617 pages

Soviet Trade Unions (1950):
162 pages

The Unfinished Revolution (1967): 115 pages

Lenin's Childhood (1970): 71 pages. This book is really just the first chapter of a biography that Deutscher had been planning to write for years on Lenin, after completing his three volume biography of Trotsky and his large biography of Stalin. Unfortunately, Deutscher died when he had only completed a chapter of his biography on Lenin, the chapter which detailed Lenin's childhood. This chapter was published only posthumously by Deutscher's wife Tamara. Although this is a short book and limited in scope, it is as interesting to read as any of Deutscher's works.

On the Chinese Cultural Revolution

"Socialist Competition"