"FIND A WAY TO REMOVE STALIN… ALL CRITICAL THINKING IS BEING SUPPRESSED AND PERSECUTED": FIRST EDITION OF TROTSKY'S REAL SITUATION IN RUSSIA, 1928, IN ORIGINAL DUST JACKET
TROTSKY, Leon. The Real Situation in Russia. Translated by Max Eastman. New York: Harcourt, Brace, (1928). Octavo, original red cloth, original dust jacket. $2800.
First edition of Trotsky's landmark attack on Stalin, published while in exile, featuring Max Eastman's important translation of suppressed documents, many smuggled out of Russia, together in print for the first time, a handsome copy in very scarce dust jacket.
"Of all the leaders of the Bolshevik revolution, Trotsky commanded the most compelling public presence and, eventually, exerted the most lasting influence on Western intellectuals… As Stalin gained absolute power, he exiled Trotsky, first to Soviet Central Asia and then to Turkey. Once outside the Soviet Union, Trotsky came to understand the monstrous nature of Stalin's regime and remained convinced—and committed to convincing others—that the regime he and Lenin had sought to establish was never intended to result in the dictatorship that Stalin had in mind. For Trotsky this belief had intensely personal and historical dimensions" (Wall Street Journal). Trotsky "became the most incisive and influential Marxist critic of the brutal… totalitarian police state presided over by his arch-rival Stalin… [who] had him murdered in Mexico in 1940" (Bideleux, Leon Trotsky).
While in Turkey, Trotsky "was anxious to acquaint the world with the 1927 Platform of the Joint Opposition, which was to see the light under the title The Real Situation in Russia" (Isaac Deutscher). In the winter of 1927-28, Eleazer Solntsev, a young Russian communist working for the "official Soviet trade corporation Amtorg, in New York City," approached Max Eastman, known as the "most knowledgeable individual in the U.S. about Trotsky's Left Opposition." Solntsev had "smuggled documents out of his homeland, and he had copies of pre-Sixth Congress material, including Trotsky's last speech in Russian, the 'platform' of the Left Opposition, and one of Trotsky's long letters on Stalinist falsifications of the history of the Russian Revolution… Along with some supplementary material… this writing formed the bulk of a book Eastman pitched to Alfred Harcourt and Donald Brace sometime in the late winter or early spring of 1928. He molded the articles, speeches and letters into The Real Situation in Russia, which appeared in June 1928" (Palmer, James P. Cannon, 332). This exceptional first edition features three of Trotsky's most powerful rebuttals of Stalin's takeover following the death of Lenin: namely Trotsky's defense of the "Opposition Platform" against Stalinist denunciation; an assessment of the Stalinist program and its disastrous consequences for Russia; and a demonstration of Stalin's unashamed falsification of the history, especially regarding the beginning of the Russian Revolution. With a key analysis of Trotsky's argument as contained in Eastman's Introduction and Explanatory Note. Precedes the English first edition.
Book fine: small chip to upper edge of bright about-fine dust jacket.