King's College London
Exhibitions & Conferences

Three who made a revolution

Portraits of Trotsky, Lenin and Stalin on a red backgroundPortraits of Trotsky, Lenin  and Stalin from the cover of Three who made a revolution, 1955On the cover of the book reproduced here are portraits of the three main protagonists of the Russian Revolution: from the left, Leon Trotsky, Vladimir Lenin and Josef Stalin.

Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (‘Lenin’, 1870-1924) was the first leader of the newly founded Russian Republic and led his government and forces through its first bloody and chaotic years, as they fought to wrest and retain control from many opposing forces.

Lev Davidovich Bronstein (‘Leon Trotsky’, 1879-1940) was, alongside Lenin and Stalin, one of the founding members of the Politburo and went on to hold various offices of power in the new Bolshevik administration, notably as leader of the Red Army from 1918 to 1925. Following ideological disagreements with Stalin, he was later expelled from Russia and assassinated in Mexico, both on Stalin’s orders.

Josef Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili (‘Stalin’, 1878-1953) was leader of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1953 and presided over a period of mass industrialisation, alongside an ideological view prioritising ‘socialism in one country’ as opposed to Trotsky’s desire for the fomentation of world revolution. Stalin was one of the most brutal despots in history; his stranglehold over the population through use of the secret police and their methods of terror, and his purging of Communist party members and political enemies are well known.

The author of this book, Bertram Wolfe, was a founding member of the Communist Party of America and was involved in political activism for most of his life. He wrote widely on Marxism and the history of the Soviet Union, but with the advent of the Cold War, his perspective changed to one of anti-communism.

This book cover is reproduced courtesy of Beacon Press of Boston, Massachusetts, and we are very grateful to them for allowing us to display this reproduction. Publication details are as follows: Bertram D Wolfe. Three who made a revolution. Boston: Beacon Press, 1955

In this exhibition

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