Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The re-assassination of Trotsky

Scott McLemee looks into the controversy surrounding Robert Service’s biography of the Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky–and the reviews it has provoked.

Socialist Worker, July 14, 2011

Leon Trotsky in Mexico in 1939
Leon Trotsky in Mexico in 1939

EVERY SO often, one scholar will assess another’s book so harshly that it becomes legendary. The most durable example must be A.E. Housman, whose anti-blurbs retain their sting after a century and more. Housman is best-known for the verse in his collection A Shropeshire Lad (1896). But classicists still remember his often-pointed reviews of other philologists’ editions of ancient poetry, and can sometimes quote snippets from memory.

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