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From October to Brest-Litovsk

Leon Trotsky

Book Overview: 

This account by Trotsky is of the events in Russia from the October Revolution of 1917 in Petrograd, to his signing of the Brest-Litovsk treaty with Germany on 3rd March 1918 which took Russia out of the First World War. The treaty exacted heavy losses for Russia in terms of annexations of land and financial indemnities to Germany. In this extended essay, Trotsky argues the reasons as to why he decided to sign what appears to be a disastrous agreement for Russia.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ile taking their exercise in the prison-yard, they would always ask me what all this meant and how it would end. I comforted them with the hope of our ultimate victory.

Toward the end of August occurred the revolt of Korniloff; this was the immediate result of the mobilization of the counter-revolutionary forces to which a forceful impulse had been imparted by the attack of July 18th. At the celebrated Moscow Congress, which took place in the middle of August, Kerensky attempted to take a middle ground between the propertied elements and the democracy of the small bourgeoisie. The Maximalists were on the whole considered as standing beyond the bounds of the "legal." Kerensky threatened them with blood and iron, which met with vehement applause from the propertied half of the gathering, and treacherous silence on the part of the bourgeois democracy. But the hysterical outcries and threats of Kerensky did not satisfy the chiefs of the counter-revolutio. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Leon Trotsky, Commissar for Foreign Affairs and leader of the Soviet delegation during the peace negotiations in Brest-Litovsk from December 1917 to February 1918, presents an account of Russian affairs from the October Revolution to the signing of the Brest-Litovsk treaty with Germany.
Trotsky ju...more

This is a good brief description of the fist proletarian revolution in human history and its immediate challenges. It's not series of sequential events it's an historical examination unfolding social contradictions and the class forces that these contradictions set in motion. Obviously Trotsky's...more

I found this quite interesting. It's the first time I've read about the Bolshevik Revolution from their perspective. That's hardly surprising given the West's antagonism towards Communism. I'm not sure I'd be interested in reading more about it, though, as it's not a part of history that particul...more

From October to Brest-Litovsk by Leon Trotsky clears up some common misconceptions of the Russian Revolution. Many revolutions by their mere conceptions cause and nurture chaos and the Russian Peoples Revolt against Tsar Nickolas II is a prime example of this. From October to Brest-Litovsk by Leo...more

Great book depicting the roles of the army, workers, peasants and party in the bloodless revolution. Seeds planted by the bourgeoisie for the civil war are planted for further class warfare.

Pretty interesting. A view on the Russian Revolution which you don't normally hear. Its been a while since I engaged with this material though so I cant really critically evaluate it. All I can really say is that its a good glimpse into how at least one sect of Communism sees revolutionary activi...more