Conspirator: Lenin in Exile; & Trotsky: A Biography
Ronald Grigor Suny on two Russian histories by Helen Rappaport and Robert Service.
If at one extreme we pile up the monographic achievements of academic historians and at another the vivid narratives, complete with weather and furniture, of popular historians, in between the two lies a diverse array of researched, carefully evidenced, highly readable hybrids that have their own appeal to both professional historians and a broader audience of serious readers. These two books are both in that inbetween world – footnoted, with evidence culled from a variety of archives in a number of languages, yet written to be read with pleasure – one, on Lenin, by a non-academic historian; the other, on Trotsky, by an Oxford don.
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