In 1912, on the eve of World War I, war broke out throughout the Balkans, shaking all of Europe. This event, together with the Yugoslav revolution of the 1940s, helped shape the history of a region that today is again embroiled in conflict.
Covering the 1912-13 war as a correspondent for a Kiev socialist newspaper was noted Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky, then living in exile in Vienna.
Trotsky's eyewitness dispatches analyze the military developments and describe the effects of the war on working people, the diplomatic maneuvering of the Great Powers of Europe, and the political aims of the ruing classes in Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey. Trotsky also provides sketches of the Iranian revolution of 1905-11, the Young Turk Revolution of 1908, and the activities of the working-class parities in the region.
In 1917 Trotsky was to become one of the central leaders of the October revolution, the new Soviet republic, and the international communist movement. For his defense of revolutionary principles, he was exiled and murdered by Stalin.