Leon Trotsky: A Revolutionary's Life

If, as Churchill famously said, Russia was "a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma," then at the dark core of the whole package resided the ever-unknowable Leon Trotsky. But Joshua Rubenstein's new biography goes a long way toward explicating the other Soviet founding father, delving deep into Trotsky's childhood to locate the formative experiences that rendered him a flawed, charismatic leader who had the misfortune to run afoul of Stalin.

April 17: "In less than three years, both GM and Chrysler would be bankrupt, and a resurgent Ford would wow Wall Street..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…