This is the second in a seven-volume series by the Russian Marxist historian, Vadim Rogovin, on the history of the Soviet Union between 1922 and 1940. Rogovin traces the inner-party struggles of 1928-1933, utilizing contemporaneous official documents; speeches and articles; Soviet archival material; memoirs of participants in political life; and documents by oppositionists in groups that were unknown to Soviet readers for many decades.
The Left Opposition, led by Leon Trotsky, offered the most principled Marxist opposition to Stalinism, even as its members were being hounded into exile and imprisonment. Less known opposition groups, such as the Riutin group, are systematically presented. Rogovin analyzes the devastating impact of Stalinism on the Comintern. The alternative to Stalinism offered by the Left Opposition is presented chapter by chapter in this richly illustrated work. An appendix includes brief biographies of many oppositionists.