Cover image for Trotsky : memoir & critique
Trotsky : memoir & critique
Glotzer, Albert, 1908-1999.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Buffalo, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, [1989]
Physical Description:
343 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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Item Holds
DK254.T6 G55 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

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Reviews 3

Booklist Review

An engaging memoir by a socialist activist who spent several years with the banned Bolshevik, Trotsky, during the latter's exile in Kadikoy, Turkey, in the 1930s. On Glotzer's fifteenth birthday in Chicago, he joined the American Communist party, in part influenced by the highly esteemed Trotsky. During the next decade, Glotzer made his way up in the party's Trotskyist wing and was ultimately invited along on a mission to meet his hero in exile. Ultimately, Glotzer finds Trotsky to have been abysmally naive in his predictions about upcoming world events. Nevertheless, this is still a fond memoir. Photographs, bibliography; index. ~--Allen Weakland

Library Journal Review

As a youthful member of the American Communist League (a Trotskyite group) Glotzer made several trips to visit Trotsky during his exile from the Soviet Union. In 1937 he served as court stenographer for the American commission investigating Stalin's conspiracy charges against Trotsky. Although the outline of Trotsky's career and philosophy are assumed, the detailed accounts of Stalin's show trials (1936-38) and of the Trotsky hearings are the most valuable feature of the book. The long discourses on factional differences among Communist groups become tiresome for the uninitiated. Explanations of how and why Trotsky lost out on control of the Russian party to Stalin are based on intimate knowledge of both events and personalities. Specialized collections should consider.-- Marcia L. Sprules, Council on Foreign Relations Lib., New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Written by an American-born former Trotskyite, this work has a fourfold thrust. First, it is a political memoir, interspersed with short accounts of the author's intermittent personal contacts with Trotsky during the latter's exile in Turkey, France, and Mexico. (Glotzer was for a time Trotsky's bodyguard in Turkey. In Mexico he served as a stenographer during the Dewey Commission's activities investigating accusations that had been launched against Trotsky in the Moscow Stalinist Trials of the 1930s. Second, the study intermixes very sympathetic but not totally uncritical analyses of Trotsky's doctrinal views, of his role in the Russian revolution, and of the impact of his thought on the Communist movement up to 1929 and during his exile. Third, the account is laced by Goltzer's running polemic with Trotsky's earlier biographers, most notably with Isaac Deutscher. Finally, the book presents an insight into the activities of the American Communist party and of the Communist youth during the 1920s and '30s. Glotzer discusses their responses to the power struggles going on at the time within the Communist party of the Soviet Union, and within the Trotskyite Fourth International abroad. The study provides illustrative and supplementary material on Trotsky's life, influence, and activities mostly useful for specialist readership. -B. V. Maciuika, University of Connecticut