Books: The Hell-Black Night

THE PROPHET OUTCAST by Isaac Deutscher. 543 pages. Oxford. $9.50.

THE BASIC WRITINGS OF TROTSKY edited by Irving Howe. 427 pages. Random House. $5.95.

He might have ruled the Communist world, but Joseph Stalin shouldered him aside. Ever since, Leon Trotsky has been the favorite martyr of those Marxists who feel that Communism was never given a fair trial because Stalin corrupted it.

Would Communism under Trotsky have been different? As a personality, Trotsky was far more appealing than Stalin. In some ways, this anti-individualist was a true Renaissance man: brilliant orator, tough administrator,...

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