Russia: Book summary and reviews of Russia by Antony Beevor

Russia

Revolution and Civil War, 1917-1921

by Antony Beevor

Russia by Antony Beevor X
Russia by Antony Beevor
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Book Summary

An epic new account of the conflict that reshaped Eastern Europe and set the stage for the rest of the twentieth century.

Between 1917 and 1921 a devastating struggle took place in Russia following the collapse of the Tsarist empire. The doomed White alliance of moderate socialists and reactionary monarchists stood little chance against Trotsky's Red Army and the single-minded Communist dictatorship under Lenin. In the savage civil war that followed, terror begat terror, which in turn led to ever greater cruelty with man's inhumanity to man, woman and child. The struggle became a world war by proxy as Churchill deployed weaponry and troops from the British empire, while contingents from the United States, France, Italy, Japan, Poland, and Czechoslovakia played rival parts.

Using the most up to date scholarship and archival research, Antony Beevor assembles the complete picture in a gripping narrative that conveys the conflict through the eyes of everyone from the worker on the streets of Petrograd to the cavalry officer on the battlefield and the doctor in an improvised hospital.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Despite current events, Russia is not the colossus that frightened other great powers during much of the 20th century. Although its revolution is no longer a scholarly obsession, Beevor, the winner of the Samuel Johnson and Wolfson prizes, among others, masterfully recounts the violent events that seemed to change everything...Always a meticulous researcher, Beevor has done his homework...delivering a detailed yet unedifying story through the eyes of many participants. A definitive account." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Fine-grained yet fluidly written, this sweeping portrait illuminates the chaos and tragedy of Russian civil war." - Publishers Weekly

"Russia makes compelling use of witness testimony including from Russian archives...Beevor hits his stride with the formation of the Volunteer Army and rising military opposition to the Bolsheviks...As an account of internecine rivalry the book has panoramic sweep." - Financial Times (UK)

"A masterpiece of history and a harrowing lesson for today...Antony Beevor's grimly magnificent new book...is ground-breaking in its use of original evidence from many archives." - The Daily Telegraph (UK)

"What makes the new book so readable is its structure...Beevor's short chapters break up the action to ensure they are digestible while also pointing a clear path through the dark fog of this brutal war...This combination of clarity with vividness is Beevor's defining strength as a historian." - The Sunday Times (UK)

"In this brilliant marshalling of a notoriously complex history, Antony Beevor opens up a magisterial canvas of terror and tragedy." - Colin Thubron, author of Shadow of the Silk Road and The Amur River: Between Russia and China

"Beevor has given us what may be his most brilliant book to date—a masterpiece of historical imagination, in which the tragedy and horror of this colossal struggle is recaptured, in its impact on everyday life as well as its military dimensions, as never before. This is a great book, whose depiction of savage inhumanity speaks powerfully to our present condition." - John Gray, author of Straw Dogs

This information about Russia was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Antony Beevor

Antony Beevor is the author of Crete: The Battle and the Resistance (Runciman Prize); Stalingrad (Samuel Johnson Prize, Wolfson Prize for History and Hawthornden Prize); Berlin: The Downfall; The Battle for Spain (Premio La Vanguardia); D-Day (Prix Henry Malherbe and the RUSI Westminster Medal); The Second World War; Ardennes 1944 (Prix Médicis shortlist); and Arnhem. A former chairman of the Society of Authors, he has received a number of honorary doctorates. He is also a visiting professor at the University of Kent and an Honorary Fellow of King's College, London. He was knighted in 2017.

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