My Life by Leon Trotsky
The only Bolshevik leader to write his memoirs, Leon Trotsky published this remarkable book in 1930, the first year of a perilous, decade-long exile that ended with his assassination in Mexico. Expelled from the Communist party and deported from the Soviet Union, the former People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs recalled his lifelong struggle in the world of revolutionary politics. In addition to his firsthand accounts of the early intrigues within the Communist government, Trotsky also delivered chilling glimpses into the rise of the new Soviet bureaucracy and prescient warnings of the Stalinist regime's horrors. My Life recounts the rise of the revolutionary wave in Russia in 1905 and 1917, the devastating effects of World War I, and the degeneration of the Russian Revolution from Lenin's internationalist course to Stalin's increasingly counterrevolutionary policies. Trotsky's exile placed him beyond the pale of both the official Communist party and the rest of the political world; yet in this fascinating historical document, he remains true to a philosophy of permanent world revolution, offering a highly informed perspective on the struggle toward a socialist future.