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The Russian Civil War [Hardcover]

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Item description for The Russian Civil War by Evan Mawdsley...

Examines the causes and events of the 1917 revolution in Russia that led to the rise of Communism.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   362
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.25" Width: 6.5" Height: 9.5"
Weight:   1.4 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 2007
Publisher   Pegasus Books
ISBN  1933648155  
ISBN13  9781933648156  

Availability  0 units.

More About Evan Mawdsley

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Evan Mawdsley is Professor of International History in the Department of History, University of Glasgow. His previous publications include The Russian Civil War (1983/2008), The Soviet Elite from Lenin to Gorbachev: The Central Committee and its Members, 1917 1991 (with Stephen White, 2000), The Stalin Years: The Soviet Union, 1929 1953 (2003) and Thunder in the East: The Nazi-Soviet War, 1941 1945 (2005).

Evan Mawdsley was born in 1945 and has an academic affiliation as follows - University of Glasgow.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > History > Europe
2Books > Subjects > History > Historical Study > Revolution
3Books > Subjects > History > Military > General
4Books > Subjects > History > Russia
5Books > Subjects > History > World > General

Reviews - What do customers think about The Russian Civil War?

Excellent  Aug 30, 2008
Excellent coverage of a little covered topic. Very good military and political analysis, particularly on the strategic level. Illustrates the sheer chaos that was the Russian Civil War, with its many factions, twists, and turns. To the best I could tell also relatively fair to all of the participants, the author's conclusions made sense and matched my own understanding and background.

Potential readers should note, however, that it is clearly written for someone who wants to understand why Bolsheviks won and how they did it, and not a simple human interest story. For someone simply wanting an interesting read it would be dry. If you need to know about the Russian Civil War, however, this is your book.
Full of info and hate  Jun 2, 2008
I am not a professional historian, and not even a student of history, but I would say that Mawdsley's "The Russian Civil War" is one of the worst history books I have ever read.
Mawdsely writes as if on an agenda, trying not only to show that the Soviet Union started and continued as an evil empire, but was also completely responsible for all atrocities of the civil war and afterwards (until '89, I guess). He tries hard, in particular, to debunk the theory that the Foreign Powers' intervention led to later "Stalinization" of the soviet empire.
Continuously calling the one of the opponents in the conflict by the derogatory name 'Sovdepia' that her opponents used, and having some really strange ideas (my favourite, in summary: The whites did indeed anti-jewish pogroms, but they were not ordered from the top, so again this must go to the reds responsibility, and *maybe* the white leaders must be reprimanded), seems not very professional to me. I must stress that I cannot judge the truth of any statement in the book, since it is the first book on this subject I read, but the glowing partiality of the presentation gave me a bad feeling, and let me dissatisfied (I want to find out more about this period, but at the same level of presentation of course, so please suggest!).
Maybe I will live long enough to see a period when the new cons will have bored of their "victory" in the Cold War and try to be more impartial in their presentation of facts - until then, buy something else about the period (and dont forget to tell me, too!)
Reds v. Whites  Mar 10, 2008
The Russian Civil War of 1917-1920 was a very complicated affair, covering vast stretches of Russian territory, and numerous armies, armored trains (as in"Doctor Zhivago"), and almost untold numbers of names of people involved. This book is fairly well written, but it does get plodding on more than one occasion, which isn't surprising, given what I've mentioned above. My chief fault with this book is that it tends to assume that the reader has quite a bit of familiarity with the era, the people involved and certain instances(such as the "Ice March"). If you're simply a general reader seeking to find out what happened, you're going to get more than a bit confused. The author tries to cram too much detail into too little space, and that hurts the book overall. For a more reader friendly work on the same topic, read the book by W. Bruce Lincoln, "Red Victory".
Good Starting Volume -- Needs Fleshing Out  Oct 29, 2007
This book is a light and quick read for an overview of the Russian Civil War for someone new to the subject. It is somewhat difficult to follow as the author jumps around in time as if he never came to grips with how to organize his material. The maps are less than emlightening, are too general, and do not aid the reader's comprehension. I was often searching the maps in vain to locate a city or town the author was referencing in the text. I finally had to make do with a map of the Soviet Union I had in my possession.

Interestingly, the author essentially omits the American participation in the intervention at Arkhangelsk, but that is probably to be expected from a British author.

Somehow the reader is left with the feeling that he hasn't read enough to understand the dynamics of the Russian Civil War, other to realize that the Bolsheviks were better organized than the Whites, much more monolithically directed and coordinated, and that the control of Moscow and the heartland of Russia proved decisive for the Reds. That could have been done in half the space, but a comprehensive treatment would require a tome of over a thousand pages. Personally I would like to see the author produce that tome with numerous maps.
Best short history of Russian Civil War  Dec 29, 1999
Among the innumerable books and essays on the Russian Civil War, this is by far the best book to start with. It's reasonably short, very readable, has helpful maps, and an excellent bibliography. It's one of the few books to present a coherent, unified account of an extremely complex and messy historical episode. Best of all, Mawdsley, who is (or at least was until recently) a professional historian at the University of Glasgow, writes his book without basing it on any particular political viewpoint, whereas the great majority of books on the Russian Civil War have an axe to grind. In order to keep the book readable and reasonably short, Mawdsley omits a great deal of important information; for the reader who wants to delve further, Volume Two of William Henry Chamberlin's `The Russian Revolution, 1917 - 1921' originally published in 1934, is still the book to read next after Mawdsley.

Unfortunately, Mawdsley's book is out of print and seems to be hard to come by. However, a determined book search can locate a copy, or of course your local library can get a copy on interlibrary loan. I wish it was back in print.


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