The Great Prince Died

The Great Prince Died : A Novel About the Assassination of Trotsky

3.56 (16 ratings by Goodreads)
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On August 20, 1940, Marxist philosopher, politician, and revolutionary Leon Trotsky was attacked with an ice axe in his home in Coyoacan, Mexico. He died the next day. In The Great Prince Died, Bernard Wolfe offers his lyrical, fictionalized account of Trotsky's assassination as witnessed through the eyes of an array of characters: the young American student helping to translate the exiled Trotsky's work (and to guard him), the Mexican police chief, a Rumanian revolutionary, the assassin and his handlers, a poor Mexican "peon," and Trotsky himself. Drawing on his own experiences working as the exiled Trotsky's secretary and bodyguard and mixing in digressions on Mexican culture, Stalinist tactics, and Bolshevik history, Wolfe interweaves fantasy and fact, delusion and journalistic reporting to create one of the great political novels of the past century.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 150 x 250 x 15mm | 666g
  • University of Chicago Press
  • United States
  • English
  • First Edition,
  • 022626064X
  • 9780226260648
  • 853,487

Review quote

"No one who reads The Great Prince Died can fail to be gripped by a tale well told. Its message is one the free world will ignore at its peril." (New York Times) "Wolfe has produced one of the major political novels of our time and a provocative thesis in modern dialectics." (Boston Globe) "Wolfe is a remarkable and essential lost American voice, and The Great Prince Died is one of his finest books, drawing on his vast verbal and intellectual powers, the keenness of his storytelling gift, and the rich ferocity of his polemical vision. What he brings to the historical novel is the opposite of a bogus 'objectivity'-instead, Wolfe rightly sees the twentieth century in dialectical terms-an eruption of a series of arguments, subjectivities, viewpoints, and the inevitable tragedy of their irreconcilability." (Jonathan Lethem)
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About Bernard Wolfe

Bernard Wolfe (1915-85) was an American writer whose interests stretched from cybernetics to politics. He was the author of many books, including Limbo and The Late Risers, and coauthor of Mezz Mezzrow's classic memoir, Really the Blues.
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Rating details

16 ratings
3.56 out of 5 stars
5 19% (3)
4 44% (7)
3 19% (3)
2 12% (2)
1 6% (1)
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