This volume offers a comprehensive and original analysis and reconceptualization of the compendium of struggles that wracked the collapsing Tsarist empire and the emergent USSR, profoundly affecting the history of the twentieth century. Indeed, the reverberations of those decade-long wars echo to the present day - not despite, but because of the collapse of the Soviet Union, which re-opened many old wounds, from the Baltic to the Caucasus. Contemporary memorializing and 'de-memorializing' of these wars, therefore form part of the book's focus, but at its heart lie the struggles between various Russian political and military forces which sought to inherit and preserve, or even expand, the territory of the tsars, overlain with examinations of the attempts of many non-Russian national and religious groups to divide the former empire. The reasons why some of the latter were successful (Poland and Finland, for example), while others (Ukraine, Georgia and the Muslim Basmachi) were not, are as much the author's concern as are explanations as to why the chief victors of the 'Russian' Civil Wars were the Bolsheviks. Tellingly, the work begins and ends with battles in Central Asia - a theatre of the 'Russian' Civil Wars that was closer to Mumbai than it was to Moscow.
This diary by the famed twentieth-century Russian writer recounts Babel's experiences with the Cossack cavalry during the Polish-Soviet war of 1919-1920. The basis for Red Cavalry, Babel's best-known work, it records the devastation of the war, the extreme cruelty of the Polish and Red armies alike toward the Jewish population in the Ukraine and eastern Poland, and Babel's own conflicted role as both Soviet revolutionary and Jew.
"Babel's 1920 Diary, the source for many of his remarkable Red Cavalry stories, is itself as remarkable as the stories, particularly when one considers that the diarist was a journalist of only twenty-six. The staccato sentences in which Babel rapidly describes the horrific details of revolutionary brutality have the impact of an accomplished style, one that in its spontaneously elliptical way is strangely no less artful than the artfully nuanced directness that is the triumph of Red Cavalry."--Philip Roth
"An electrifying translation accompanied by an indispensable introduction. . . . Babel's journey is a Jewish lamentation . . . a tragic masterwork."
--Cynthia Ozick, The New Republic
"A precursor of Holocaust literature, and more powerful in its effect than any Holocaust literature that I have managed to read."--Harold Bloom, New York Times Book Review
The Nazi siege of Leningrad from 1941 to 1944 was one of the most gruesome episodes of World War II. Nearly three million people endured it; just under half of them died. For twenty-five years the distinguished journalist and historian Harrison Salisbury pieced together this remarkable narrative of villainy and survival, in which the city had much to fear-from both Hitler and Stalin.
Although English-language histories of Ukraine have been published since the 1930s, there has been no one-volume compendium of articles covering Ukrainian history from ancient times to the present, emphasizing the modern period. The A to Z of Ukraine introduces Ukraine to the reader through 700 entries on population, geography, economy, politics, and culture; descriptions of institutions, cultural monuments, political parties, battles and wars; and biographical sketches of key individuals in politics, the arts and sciences, the church, and the military. The work includes nine maps and a comprehensive chronology of Ukrainian history. It also features the most extensive and up-to-date bibliography of English-language writings on Ukraine currently in print. Scholars, students, and other readers interested in Ukraine's history will find this comprehensive volume a most useful resource.
The story of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan is well known: the expansionist Communists overwhelmed a poor country as a means of reaching a warm-water port on the Persian Gulf. Afghan mujahideen upset their plans, holding on with little more than natural fighting skills, until CIA agents came to the rescue with American arms. Humiliated in battle, the Soviets hastily retreated. It is a great story-but it never happened.
In this brilliant, myth-busting account, Rodric Braithwaite, the former British ambassador to Moscow, challenges much of what we know about the Soviets in Afghanistan. He provides an inside look at this little-understood episode, using first-hand accounts and piercing analysis to show the war as it was fought and experienced by the Russians. The invasion was a defensive response to a chaotic situation in the Soviets' immediate neighbor. They intended to establish a stable, friendly government, secure the major towns, and train the police and armed forces before making a rapid exit. But the mission escalated, as did casualties. Braithwaite does not paint the occupation as a Russian triumph. To the contrary, he illustrates the searing effect of the brutal conflict on soldiers, their families, and the broader public, as returning veterans struggled to regain their footing back home.
Now available in paperback, Braithwaite carries readers through these complex and momentous events, capturing those violent and tragic days as no one has done before.
The first state in history to be based explicitly on atheism, the Soviet Union endowed itself with the attributes of God. In this book, David Satter shows through individual stories what it meant to construct an entire state on the basis of a false idea, how people were forced to act out this fictitious reality, and the tragic human cost of the Soviet attempt to remake reality by force."I had almost given up hope that any American could depict the true face of Russia and Soviet rule. In David Satter's Age of Delirium, the world has received a chronicle of the calvary of the Russian people under communism that will last for generations."--Vladimir Voinovich, author of The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin "Spellbinding. . . . Gives one a visceral feel for what it was like to be trapped by the communist system."--Jack Matlock, Washington Post "Satter deserves our gratitude. . . . He is an astute observer of people, with an eye for essential detail and for human behavior in a universe wholly different from his own experience in America."--Walter Laqueur, Wall Street Journal "Every page of this splendid and eloquent and impassioned book reflects an extraordinarily acute understanding of the Soviet system."--Jacob Heilbrunn, Washington Times
Soviet propaganda against the demon drink: the latest in Fuel's Russian pop culture series
From the acclaimed authors of the Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedias and Soviet Space Dogs comes Alcohol, a glorious and exhaustive collection of previously unpublished Soviet anti-alcohol posters. The book includes examples from the 1960s through to the 1980s, but focuses on posters produced during Mikhail Gorbachev's campaign initiated in 1985. These posters attempted to sober up Soviet citizens by forcing them to confront the issues associated with excessive alcohol consumption. This government-led urgency allowed the poster designers to present the anti-alcohol message in the most graphic terms: they depicted drunks literally trapped inside the bottle or being strangled by "the green snake." Their protagonists are paralytic freeloaders and shirkers who always neglect their families, drive under the influence, produce substandard work, are smashed when pregnant and present a constant danger to fellow citizens. A two-part essay by renowned cultural historian Alexei Plutser-Sarno attempts to explain, from a Russian perspective, the reasons behind this phenomenon.
A significant political figure in twentieth-century Russia, Alexander Yakovlev was the intellectual force behind the processes of perestroika (reconstruction) and glasnost (openness) that liberated the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe from Communist rule between 1989 and 1991. Yet, until now, not a single full-scale biography has been devoted to him. In his study of the unsung hero, Richard Pipes seeks to rectify this lacuna and give Yakovlev his historical due. Yakovlev's life provides a unique instance of a leading figure in the Soviet government who evolved from a dedicated Communist and Stalinist into an equally ardent foe of everything the Leninist-Stalinist regime stood for. He quit government service in 1991 and lived until 2005, becoming toward the end of his life a classical western liberal who shared none of the traditional Russian values. Pipes's illuminating study consists of two parts: a biography of Yakovlev and Pipes's translation of two important articles by Yakovlev. It will appeal to specialists and students of Soviet and post-Soviet studies, government officials involved with foreign policy, and general readers interested in the history of Russia and the Soviet Union.
A significant political figure in twentieth-century Russia, Alexander Yakovlev was the intellectual force behind the processes of perestroika (reconstruction) and glasnost (openness) that liberated the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe from Communist rule between 1989 and 1991. Yet, until now, not a single full-scale biography has been devoted to him. In his study of the unsung hero, Richard Pipes seeks to rectify this lacuna and give Yakovlev his historical due.Yakovlev's life provides a unique instance of a leading figure in the Soviet government who evolved from a dedicated Communist and Stalinist into an equally ardent foe of everything the Leninist-Stalinist regime stood for. He quit government service in 1991 and lived until 2005, becoming toward the end of his life a classical western liberal who shared none of the traditional Russian values. Pipes's illuminating study consists of two parts: a biography of Yakovlev and Pipes's translation of two important articles by Yakovlev. It will appeal to specialists and students of Soviet and post-Soviet studies, government officials involved with foreign policy, and general readers interested in the history of Russia and the Soviet Union.