Americans' understanding of Trotsky and Stalin, c. 1937?

Robert W. Cherny's picture

In 1937, Time magazine put Harry Bridges on its cover and gave him several pages.  The subtitle on the cover was, "A Trotsky to Lewis' Stalin?"  In the accompanying article, that peculiar comment was repeated but not explained:  "Both Harry Bridges and John Lewis are working for Labor, both believe in political action by Labor. But their thinking processes are as different as those of Trotsky and Stalin."  

My question for all of you is, given your understanding of the 1930s, how would the readers of Time in 1937 have characterized Trotsky and Stalin?  Remember that this was before there was a general understanding of the purges that were just then getting underway in the Soviet Union.

I'm also going to post this on H-US1918-1945.