Trotsky was a hero to some, a ruthless demon to others. To Stalin, he was such a threat that he warranted murder by pickax. This polarizing figure set up a world conflict that lasted through the twentieth century, and in Trotsky: A Graphic Biography, the renowned comic artist Rick Geary uses his distinct style to depict the stark reality of the man and his times. Trotsky's life becomes a guide to the creation of the Soviet Union, the horrors of World War I, and the establishment of international communism as he, Lenin, and their fellow Bolsheviks rise from persecution and a life underground to the height of political power. Ranging from his boyhood in the Ukraine to his fallout with Stalin and his moonlight romance with Frida Kahlo, Trotsky is a stunning look at one of the twentieth century's most important thinkers and the far-reaching political trends that he launched.
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Rick Geary is an award-winning cartoonist and illustrator. His most recent projects include J. Edgar Hoover: A Graphic Biography (H&W, 2008) and his continuing graphic series, A Treasury of Victorian Murder and A Treasury of XXth Century Murder.From Publishers Weekly:
A principle architect and hero of the Russian Revolution, then a pariah and exile under Stalin, Leon Trotsky, born Lev Davidovich Bronstein, is a perpetually controversial figure, which makes the tameness of this graphic biography so disconcerting. Geary does a good job treating a touchy subject objectively, but that objectivity is detrimental in the long run: there is no context or commentary, no point of view, and while none of the facts and philosophies behind the Russian revolution are hidden, it is all relatively passionless. The text is basically a verbose time line, reinforcing the feeling that this book is a sort of supplement for some unseen history textbook. The primary customers for this book will be Geary's fans, and they won't be disappointed. Best known for his ongoing series of graphic novels looking at famed murders, here he recreates Russia of the period in his own distinct style. It's instantly recognizable while never distracting; detailed, but not cluttered. Occasional flights of fancy, like his portraits of Trotsky done in the style of negative and positive propaganda posters, are wonderful, and the book suffers from not having more like them. (Sept.)
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