Jules Archer Jack Forman - Essay

Jack Forman

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

In [Trotsky: World Revolutionary, a] sympathetic and fair portrait of Trotsky, Archer clarifies without oversimplifying the muddled political situation of the Russian Revolution in 1917. He describes Trotsky's growth and development as an important Communist leader within the context of 19th- and early 20th-Century Russian history. An idealistic and sometimes fanatical believer in world revolution, Trotsky is seen as a charismatic speaker and a Communist theoretician. Archer believes his contributions to the Revolution are often overlooked because his political ambitions were not as great as either Lenin's or Stalin's. This well-written biography of Trotsky … captures the excitement and tragedy of the era when Czarist rule was overthrown by the Marxist revolution. (p. 68)

Jack Forman, in School Library Journal (reprinted from the February, 1974 issue of School Library Journal, published by R. R. Bowker Co. A Xerox Corporation; copyright © 1974), February, 1974.

In a brief, analytical foreword [to Riot: A History of Mob Action in the United States] Archer makes the now well-recognized point that American history has had its share of civil violence and singles out several causative factors…. The remaining descriptive chapters are fairly comprehensive, beginning with Bacon's Rebellion and covering the broad spectrum of populist revolts, "vigilantism," race riots, labor unrest, even the Kent State shooting and the Days of Rage…. This is a solid treatment by an experienced commentator who, as usual, manages to take the broad, unhysterical view of a loaded topic. Nevertheless, anyone seriously interested in gaining a historical perspective ought to consider beginning at the adult level with [Richard] Hofstadter and [Michael] Wallace's American Violence: A Documentary History. (p. 1163)

Kirkus Reviews (copyright © 1974 The Kirkus Service, Inc.), November 1, 1974.