Q&A: Author Robert Service

41 thoughts on “Q&A: Author Robert Service

  1. Pedantic line of questioning suitable for a junior high school audience. Shameless waste of CSPAN air time and Sir Roberts time.

  2. Obviously Russian Marxism had absolutely nothing to do with
    Marx`s concept. It was a power grab plain and simple. Robert Service said,
    "Leninism is the idea that if you want a revolution, you have to use
    violence. There has to be an insurrection; you have to have a dictatorship. You
    absolutely have to have state terror, to initiate the movement to something
    gentler in the future." But that begs the question which is “ WHY HAVE A
    REVOLUTION AND WHAT REPLACES THE SYSTEM” against which you are fighting. It was
    in fact something like the Workers` Cooperatives which have been running in
    Spain for the last 60 years and elsewhere in the world where the workers ran
    the productive facilities democratically and shared the profits equitably. However,
    Lenin and Stalin used Marx’s ideas to persuade the simple and often ignorant,
    unsophisticated people of Russia to institute state capitalism. So when
    Americans point to the USSR as a model of Socialism, ignore such rubbish. Cuba
    also is run on those principles. Marx himself said that Russia was not the
    country in which he thought that the revolutions would take place. It should have
    been an industrialized country like his own, Germany.

  3. "Whatever happened to Leon Trotsky?
    He got an ice pick [sic]
    That made his ears burn" The Stranglers, English rock band, "No More Heroes", single 1970.

  4. I dunno…with the exception of Trotsky's ferociously vicious leadership during the Civil War, I'm always largely underwhelmed by his persona and literary output.

    In the 20s, Trotsky practically sleptwalked himself into exile. It's like he was so full of himself that he couldn't even be bothered to put up a fight against first Zinoviev and Kamanev double crossing him, then Bukharin's attacks from the right as well. No match at all against Stalin. Trotsky was no political leader, while the so-called Fourth International and all hindsight second guessing while in impotent exile? Simply rediculous!

  5. To those calling him a fraud, please can you point it out? I'm currently an A Level history student and I find his books are very useful, detailed and aligned with what I'm currently learning, I fail to see how he's a fraud.

  6. For regular people out there, please disregard those claiming Robert Service to be a fraud. They do so only because of their own political convictions. Service is at the forefront of early Soviet history writing a trilogy of mammoth biographies on Lenin, Stalin, and Trotsky. He has a doctorate in history and is a professor at Oxford much more than you can say about the majority of teenage keyboard socialists on YouTube.

  7. Trotsky was a cold blooded thug gangster and murderer. nothing more. He simply despised Russians and Russian culture, and strove to "exterminate" it. A complete piece of shite. Lenin was the same, and enraged syphilitic who did none of his own writing. He was a sick sub-human. killer.

  8. He was a professional liar never have I read so much bullshit in one book he is no doubt on the payroll of MI6

  9. Many people are ripping Service for being a 'hack' and a 'fraud' but are not defending their attack or recommending a superior historian. You might be right but at least back-up your statement with something constructive.

  10. Service's agenda was to bury the ice pick in Trotsky's head like 95% of bourgeois hacks who denigrate the attempt by the Bolsheviks to free the working class from the barbaric stupidity of the psychopathic capitalist elites, most of whom can barely spell their own names…….history is already catching up to them and will roll right over the top of them before too long.

  11. I made my last comment only 4 minutes in. I retract it. These questions are not only poor but absolutely banal. School children would do better. I'm angry listening.

  12. Some of these questions are really bad, like the exact details of LT's death or people's heights. He should have asked Service what surprised him in each biography.

  13. You want an example? Service refers to Trotsky having "spoke out against ‘individual terror’ in 1909 when the Socialist-Revolutionaries murdered the police informer Evno Azev, who had penetrated their Central Committee.” In fact Azef (the correct transliteration) was not murdered in 1909, or murdered at all — he survived his exposure and died of natural causes in 1918.

    There are many, many more.

  14. Read North's "In Defense of Leon Trotsky." And before you dismiss it, read the _American Historical Review_ piece by Bertrand Patenaude which agrees with North that Service's work is a "piece of hackwork." More: "In his eagerness to cut Trotsky down, Service commits numerous distortions of the historical record and outright errors of fact to the point that the intellectual integrity of the whole enterprise is open to question.”

  15. Ha! May I translate? "Academics should show integrity and honesty, otherwise they are likely to be ignored". So what? You need to base an argument on evidence. I assume you were trying to make an argument, but you may have simply posted a stream of conciousness signifying nothing.

  16. Me? An academic who happens to believe that integrity and honesty are an essential part of the academic enterprise. A work which fails to display these architectural fundamentals should not only be dismissed, but its author's other opus should be distrusted without independent verification. It is an article of jurisprudence that if testimony contains one demonstrated deliberate dishonesty, one can reasonably doubt the veracity of the rest.

  17. It is not a matter of "interpretation." Service lies. Patenaude's review stated that after two dozen errors, he stopped counting. The lies are sometimes breathtaking in their audacity and mendaciousness. No one has accused North of the same dishonest hack-work approach. One may disagree with his conclusions, but the facts are correct. Which work is "biased"?

  18. This Service is a moron. 'Trotsky treated his American followers with disdain'. What a lot of pish. This man cannot be regarded as a historian!

  19. Service makes so many mistakes it is actually painful to listen to him. His work just doesn't stand up.
    His book on Trotsky has been taken to pieces, not only by marxists, but by REAL academic historians.

  20. @livoyo he's an academic because he made friend with some politicians I guess. Read what Patenaude, in no way a Trotskyst, had to say about this book.

  21. Service is a ridiculous "historian". Recently read his book and its surprising that any serious university wants to publish it. He adds nothing new WHATSOEVER to the extensive triology work that Isaac Deutscher did on Trotsky in 60s.

  22. @TheGeorgedillon, it was a radical reaction against the autocratic rule of the Tsars. 1917 was simply an attempt to give wealth back to the peasants. All Europe had to go through that process at some point. Russia was just more immediate and aggressive in their approach. You wouldn't want a king to have all the wealth of a nation and be toiling in the fields as he spends it!

  23. @wachoohoo, he had a lot more to say than just that! He's a respected authority on Russian history. Who are you to judge him?

  24. "Communism has nothing to do smoking pot…" – thanks a lot, very revealing! This quy is a very bad historian. Apart from the Russian revolution being a tragedy, it is really a tragedy that such people teach at Oxford.

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