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

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."  

Re: Hand Grenade for March 2018

As I understand, in “neorealistic” political theories, especially John Mearsheimer’s “aggressive realism”, the modern great powers never really choose a war at all, but the latter is always a response to a perceived threat. Of course, the perception of threat in each particular case might be wrong, but it’s never about a really free choice.

I wonder if the same can be said about the great conquerors of yore. Was Alexander’s push to the East or Genghis Khan’s to the West a matter of free choice, a was it also a response to a perceived danger?

Leon Shousterman, Israel.

Re: Hand Grenade for March 2018


Wasn’t Clausewitz’s point that even someone in receipt of violence had to make a choice as to whether to resist. In of itself, that implies there is choice on both sides. The Norwegian, Finns, Danes, etc., all chose to resist attack.

Of course, they might not have chosen to initiate the events that led to conflict, but their choice to resist guaranteed war. They could have chosen to allow a takeover without offering resistance.

Nick Murray
US Naval War College

Hand Grenade for March 2018

Hand Grenade of the Week

Hand Grenade of the Month – March 2018

Wars of Choice?

By John T. Kuehn

Recently someone tweeted:  “saying some wars are wars of choice implies that some are not.” This person (a historian), contested that; implying that neither Clausewitz nor he believed choice played little role in the matter.  Or put in a different way, all wars have some element of human choice in them.

Re: Analyses and critiques of Trotsky's _History of the Russian Revolution_

Regarding Trotskii's HRR:

James D. White, “Early Soviet Historical Interpretations of the Russian Revolution 1918-24,” Soviet Studies 37:3 (1985): 330-352;

White, “Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution,” Journal of Trotsky Studies 1 (1993): 1-17.

Analyses and critiques of Trotsky's _History of the Russian Revolution_

Can anyone here recommend, or even just identify, critical studies of Trotsky's HRR?

I have found few analyses or studies, critical or otherwise. In my experience it is usually either cited unproblematically or ignored.

Grover Furr

Montclair State University

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