Russia: Revolution and Civil War

Russia: Revolution and Civil War, 1917 – 1921
Antony Beevor

Instead of revisiting more familiar battlefields, in his new book Antony Beevor looks at one of the most important, destructive, and least well known conflicts of the twentieth century, the Russian Civil War. Often seen in the West as just a coda to the First World War, the fighting in Russia drew in armies from all over the world (including Canada) to finally settle the outcome of the Russian Revolution.

The action is very hard to keep straight, with numerous armies led by an odd assortment of generals moving about a vast landscape. This confusion, in turn, was one of the main reasons the Bolsheviks emerged triumphant, as the motley alliance against them had trouble pulling in the same direction. Beevor does a great job though using biographical sketchwork and telling anecdotes to pull things into a coherent narrative that makes sense of the brutal and chaotic origins of Russia’s great tragedy.

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