Today in Tablet Magazine, Russia historian Richard Pipes reviews a new biography of Leon Trotsky. For all his intellectual brilliance, according to Pipes, the Soviet leader was responsible for some of the U.S.S.R.’s greatest evils and likely would have proved little better than Stalin, to whom he ended up a bête noire. Pipes also dismisses the book’s explicit attempt to cast the man born Lev Bronstein as Jewish; Trotsky was a Jew, Pipes argues, only “genetically speaking.”

Trotsky the Jew