Published Date 01 March 2007
Along with Lenin, Leon
Trotsky was the leader of the October Revolution. He was instrumental in the
creation and victory of the Red Army during the civil war and wars of intervention.
After Lenin's death, formed the Left Opposition to the rising bureaucracy of Stalin.
His analyses of the class nature of the USSR, fascism, the process of revolution, etc,. as
well as his writings on cultural issues are a treasure of Marxist clarity and insight.
We provide here a selection of his writings in chronological order. For a
personal look at him, see Lunacharsky's Revolutionary Silhouette
of him. See also other
of Marxism. For a more extensive
selection please visit the Trotsky Internet Archive
Marxists Oppose Individual Terrorism (1909)
An excellent outline of the basic reasons why Marxism and individual terrorism are not
compatible. Our power is in our mass, united action against the oppressor, not in
individual acts of terror which serve as an excuse for increased state repression and
which alienate the masses from the cause of socialism.
- Don't Spread Yourself Too Thin
A great, short piece by Leon Trotsky on how to make the best use of your time
when studying the often difficult ideas of Marxism.
- The Lessons of October (1924)
A great overview and analysis of the October revolution. Explains the most important
lessons to be learned and applied.
- The Problem of Nationalities
An outstanding exposition of the Leninist approach to the national question. From History of the Russian Revolution.
- In Defence of October
A speech given in Copenhagen. Using the Marxist method, Trotsky defends the revolution's
positive and progressiveaspects which need to be defended in spite of the tragic rise of
Stalinism. For a full analysis of Russia since 1917 to the
present attempts to restore capitalism see Ted Grant's book:
Russia, from Revolution to Counter-Revolution.
- If America should go Communist
A brief, friendly explanation to the American working class of what sorts of changes they
could expect if they lived under a democratic socialist system. Much of it still
applies to today!
- Marxism in Our Time (1939)
Leon Trotsky's introduction to the book "The Living Thoughts of Karl Marx"
has long been out of print. The book itself, complied by Otto Ruhle in 1939, was an
abridged version in Marx's own words of volume one of Capital. Trotsky's introduction took
up the defence of Marxism, analysing the development of capitalism in the Twentieth
century and showing the continuing relevance of Marx's writings and theories. It
represents a brief, but brilliant exposition of Marxism. In order to bring Trotsky's
defence of Marxism up to date, this pamphlet was published in 1994 with an introduction by Alan Woods and Ted Grant,
which draws upon extensive contemporary material. In addition, we include a supplementary
article by Trotsky entitled "Once
Again on the 'Crisis of Marxism'".
- ABC of Materialist Dialectics
Trotsky's 'ABC of Materialist Dialectics' is a brilliant short explanation of Marxist
philosophy. It was written as part of a defense of Marxism against a middle class
revisionist tendency in the American Trotskyist movement in the late 1930s, which
attempted to challenge its basic principles. As opposed to pragmatism and empiricism,
Trotsky defended dialectical materialism as a richer, fuller, more comprehensive view of
society and life in general. With an introduction by Rob Sewell.
- Trotsky's Testament (1940)
Wounded and dying after being stabbed with an icepick by one of Stalin's assassins, Trotsky wrote his final words.