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Trotsky in New York 1917: A Radical on the Eve of Revolution

Trotsky in New York 1917: A Radical on the Eve of Revolution

by Kenneth D. Ackerman


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Lev Davidovich Trotsky burst onto the world stage in November 1917 as co-leader of a Marxist Revolution seizing power in Russia. It made him one of the most recognized personalities of the Twentieth Century, a global icon of radical change. Yet just months earlier, this same Lev Trotsky was a nobody, a refugee expelled from Europe, writing obscure pamphlets and speeches, barely noticed outside a small circle of fellow travelers. Where had he come from to topple Russia and change the world? Where else? New York City.

Between January and March 1917, Trotsky found refuge in the United States. America had kept itself out of the European Great War, leaving New York the freest city on earth. During his time there—just over ten weeks—Trotsky immersed himself in the local scene. He settled his family in the Bronx, edited a radical left wing tabloid in Greenwich Village, sampled the lifestyle, and plunged headlong into local politics. His clashes with leading New York socialists over the question of US entry into World War I would reshape the American left for the next fifty years.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781619026070
Publisher: Catapult
Publication date: 09/13/2016
Pages: 396
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Kenneth D. Ackerman has made old New York a favorite subject in his writing, including his critically acclaimed biography BOSS TWEED: The Corrupt Pol who Conceived the Soul of modern New York. He now returns to New York in a different era, the exciting eve of American entry into World War I, for his first major new book in nine years.

Beyond his writing, Ackerman has served a long legal career in Washington, D.C. both inside as out of government, including as counsel to two U.S. Senate committees, regulatory posts in both the Reagan and Clinton administrations, and as administrator of the Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency. He continues to practice private law in Washington.

Table of Contents

Act I On the Eve

1 Montserrat 5

2 Times Square 29

3 Saint Marks Place 41

4 Brooklyn 55

5 Riverside Drive I 65

6 Paterson 73

7 The Bronx 75

8 Cooper Union 79

9 Riverside Drive II 89

10 Wilson 95

Act II Of War

11 Spy versus Spy 103

12 Carnegie Hall 115

13 Ziv 129

14 Zurich 139

15 East Broadway 145

16 The Committee 157

17 Lenox Casino 169

18 Russia 177

Act III And Revolution

19 The Whirlwind 185

20 Spies Again 197

21 Consulates 213

22 Missing 225

23 Harlem River Casino 231

24 Kristianiafjord 239

25 Nova Scotia 251

26 Petrograd 273

Loose Ends 291

Acknowledgments 331

Selected Sources 335

Endnotes 343

Index 365

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