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Leon Trotsky 19390610 Soviet Plutarchs

Leon Trotsky: Soviet Plutarchs

June 10,1939

[Writings of Leon Trotsky, Vol 11, 1938-1938, New York ²1974, p. 345]

In the time of King David the chronicler was a certain man by the name of Gad. 'Whether he was an academic is unknown. But the historian Yaroslavsky certainly is descended in direct line from this Gad. And all the other Stalin historians — the authors of the school "history" of Russia, and the authors of the "history" of the party — certainly belong to the tribe of Gad.

There are rumors going around that in view of the special services rendered by this corporation in the "purging" of history, the Kremlin intends to introduce a special mark of distinction: the Order of Plutarch. However, Yaroslavsky himself is risking confusion being sown among the people by this name. Plutarchs? Some man in the street, who hasn't a classical education, will wonder. Plut-archs? or maybe simply arch-pluts?