Deutscher, Isaac

   Born in Poland, Deutscher became a major Marxist scholar and writer, producing classic biographies of Josef Stalin and Leon Trotsky. He joined the Polish Communist Party (PCP) in Warsaw in 1927, but was expelled in 1932 for dissenting from the official party line that fascism was no bigger a threat to the working class than social democracy. He then joined the Polish Socialist Party which was associated more with Trotsky’s views, and he remained sympathetic to Trotskyism and critical of Stalinism throughout the rest of his life. From 1940 to 1942 he served in the Polish army, and after the war he devoted much of his time to writing and broadcasting.
   Despite Trotskyite sympathies Deutscher did not endorse the Trostkyite Fourth International, and despite vehement criticism of Stalinism he did not condemn the Soviet Union entirely, instead acknowledging what he saw as its achievements and describing the 1917 Russian Revolution as an unfinished revolution. Among his many works are: Stalin: A Political Biography (1949); his three volumes on Trotsky, The Prophet Armed: Trotsky 18791921 (1954), The Prophet Unarmed: Trotsky 19211929 (1959), and The Prophet Outcast: Trotsky 19291940 (1963); and The Unfinished Revolution: Russia 19171967 (1967).

Historical dictionary of Marxism. . 2014.

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