Leon Trotsky is considered one of the most controversial revolutionary figures of his time. Was he a practical revolutionary or a naive idealist? On the practical side, he was the mastermind behind the Bolshevik seizure of power in 1917, and was totally ruthless during the ensuing Civil War. As an idealist, he was committed to the pursuit of international revolution, but created many political enemies. After Lenin's death, Trotsky lost in a power struggle with Stalin, and later was expelled from the Communist Party. Trotsky was exiled from the Soviet Union, eventually finding refuge in Mexico. In 1940, Stalin ordered his assassination, and Trotsky died after being struck in the head with an ice-pick. History records that Trotsky was a master theoretician, a skilful propagandist and a brilliant orator.