The tragic twilight of Leon Trotsky

From Salon:


No matter what your political orientation, if you believe — or ever did believe — in the potential betterment of humanity, then you've got something to learn from the strange and tragic story of Leon Trotsky. It's a tale of pride and power and political failure, of genius turned to the service of dogged, dogmatic conviction, of a supremely intelligent man who destroyed others in the name of a cause that then destroyed him. It was a story that finally reached its end in 1940, in a legendary encounter with an assassin armed with a mountaineer's pickax, as Stanford professor Bertrand Patenaude illustrates in “Trotsky: Downfall of a Revolutionary,” his gripping, cinematic new book about the last years of the Ukrainian Jew who was born Lev Davidovich Bronstein. (Whatever your feelings about Trotsky, the story of his murder by Ramón Mercader, the suave Stalinist agent who had wormed his way into the heavily guarded Trotsky compound outside Mexico City, may give you sleepless nights.)

More here.