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An Economist Best Book of the Year
A Financial Times Best Book of the Year
Winner of the the Pushkin House Russian Book Prize
Finalist for the Lionel Gelber Prize
An Amazon Best Book of the Month (History)

One of the world’s leading scholars offers a fresh interpretation of the linked origins of World War I and the Russian Revolution

"Lieven has a double gift: first, for harvesting details to convey the essence of an era and, second, for finding new, startling, and clarifying elements in familiar stories. This is history with a heartbeat, and it could not be more engrossing."—Foreign Affairs


World War I and the Russian Revolution together shaped the twentieth century in profound ways. In The End of Tsarist Russia, acclaimed scholar Dominic Lieven connects for the first time the two events, providing both a history of the First World War’s origins from a Russian perspective and an international history of why the revolution happened.
 
Based on exhaustive work in seven Russian archives as well as many non-Russian sources, Dominic Lieven’s work is about far more than just Russia. By placing the crisis of empire at its core, Lieven links World War I to the sweep of twentieth-century global history. He shows how contemporary hot issues such as the struggle for Ukraine were already crucial elements in the run-up to 1914.
 
By incorporating into his book new approaches and comparisons, Lieven tells the story of war and revolution in a way that is truly original and thought-provoking.
A powerful, groundbreaking narrative of the ordinary Russian soldier's experience of the worst war in history, based on newly revealed sources

Of the thirty million who fought in the eastern front of World War II, eight million died, driven forward in suicidal charges, shattered by German shells and tanks. They were the men and women of the Red Army, a ragtag mass of soldiers who confronted Europe's most lethal fighting force and by 1945 had defeated it. Sixty years have passed since their epic triumph, but the heart and mind of Ivan -- as the ordinary Russian soldier was called -- remain a mystery. We know something about hoe the soldiers died, but nearly nothing about how they lived, how they saw the world, or why they fought.

Drawing on previously closed military and secret police archives, interviews with veterans, and private letters and diaries, Catherine Merridale presents the first comprehensive history of the Soviet Union Army rank and file. She follows the soldiers from the shock of the German invasion to their costly triumph in Stalingrad, where life expectancy was often a mere twenty-four hours. Through the soldiers' eyes, we witness their victorious arrival in Berlin, where their rage and suffering exact an awful toll, and accompany them as they return home full of hope, only to be denied the new life they had been fighting to secure.

A tour de force of original research and a gripping history, Ivan's War reveals the singular mixture of courage, patriotism, anger, and fear that made it possible for these underfed, badly led troops to defeat the Nazi army. In the process Merridale restores to history the invisible millions who sacrificed the most to win the war.

A long-awaited English translation of the groundbreaking oral history of women in World War II across Europe and Russia—from the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The Washington Post • The Guardian • NPR • The Economist • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel • Kirkus Reviews

For more than three decades, Svetlana Alexievich has been the memory and conscience of the twentieth century. When the Swedish Academy awarded her the Nobel Prize, it cited her invention of “a new kind of literary genre,” describing her work as “a history of emotions . . . a history of the soul.”

In The Unwomanly Face of War, Alexievich chronicles the experiences of the Soviet women who fought on the front lines, on the home front, and in the occupied territories. These women—more than a million in total—were nurses and doctors, pilots, tank drivers, machine-gunners, and snipers. They battled alongside men, and yet, after the victory, their efforts and sacrifices were forgotten.

Alexievich traveled thousands of miles and visited more than a hundred towns to record these women’s stories. Together, this symphony of voices reveals a different aspect of the war—the everyday details of life in combat left out of the official histories.

Translated by the renowned Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, The Unwomanly Face of War is a powerful and poignant account of the central conflict of the twentieth century, a kaleidoscopic portrait of the human side of war.

THE WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE IN LITERATURE
“for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time.” 

“A landmark.”—Timothy Snyder, author of On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

“An astonishing book, harrowing and life-affirming . . . It deserves the widest possible readership.”—Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train

“Alexievich has gained probably the world’s deepest, most eloquent understanding of the post-Soviet condition. . . . [She] has consistently chronicled that which has been intentionally forgotten.”—Masha Gessen, National Book Award–winning author of The Future Is History
Imperial Apocalypse describes the collapse of the Russian Empire during World War One. Drawing material from nine different archives and hundreds of published sources, this study ties together state failure, military violence, and decolonization in a single story. Joshua Sanborn excavates the individual lives of soldiers, doctors, nurses, politicians, and civilians caught up in the global conflict along the way, creating a narrative that is both humane and conceptually rich. The volume opens by laying out the theoretical relationship between state failure, social collapse, and decolonization, and then moves chronologically from the Balkan Wars of 1912-13 through the fierce battles and massive human dislocations of 1914-16 to the final collapse of the empire in the midst of revolution in 1917-18. Imperial Apocalypse is the first major study which treats the demise of the Russian Empire as part of the twentieth-century phenomenon of modern decolonization, and provides a readable account of military activity and political change throughout this turbulent period of war and revolution. Sanborn argues that the sudden rise of groups seeking national self-determination in the borderlands of the empire was the consequence of state failure, not its cause. At the same time, he shows how the destruction of state institutions and the spread of violence from the front to the rear led to a collapse of traditional social bonds and the emergence of a new, more dangerous, and more militant political atmosphere.
The “gripping story” of a Nazi blockade, a Russian composer, and a ragtag band of musicians who fought to keep up a besieged city’s morale (The New York Times Book Review).
 
For 872 days during World War II, the German Army encircled the city of Leningrad—modern-day St. Petersburg—in a military operation that would cripple the former capital and major Soviet industrial center. Palaces were looted and destroyed. Schools and hospitals were bombarded. Famine raged and millions died, soldiers and innocent civilians alike.
 
Against the backdrop of this catastrophe, historian Brian Moynahan tells the story of Dmitri Shostakovich, whose Seventh Symphony was first performed during the siege and became a symbol of defiance in the face of fascist brutality. Titled “Leningrad” in honor of the city and its people, the work premiered on August 9, 1942—with musicians scrounged from frontline units and military bands, because only twenty of the orchestra’s hundred members had survived.
 
With this compelling human story of art and culture surviving amid chaos and violence, Leningrad: Siege and Symphony “brings new depth and drama to a key historical moment” (Booklist, starred review), in “a narrative that is by turns painful, poignant and inspiring” (Minneapolis Star-Tribune).
 
“He reaches into the guts of the city to extract some humanity from the blood and darkness, and at its best Leningrad captures the heartbreak, agony and small salvations in both death and survival . . . Moynahan’s descriptions of the battlefield, which also draw from the diaries of the cold, lice-ridden, hungry combatants, are haunting.” —The Washington Post
 
This book presents the remarkable personal journals of a German soldier who participated in Operation Barbarossa and subsequent battles on the Eastern Front, revealing the combat experience of the German-Russian War as seldom seen before.

Hans Roth was a member of the anti-tank (Panzerjager) battalion, 299th Infantry Division, attached to Sixth Army, as the invasion of Russia began. Writing as events transpired, he recorded the mystery and tension as the Germans deployed on the Soviet frontier in June 1941. Then a firestorm broke loose as the Wehrmacht tore across the front, forging into the primitive vastness of the East.

During the Kiev encirclement, Roth's unit was under constant attack as the Soviets desperately tried to break through the German ring. At one point, after the enemy had finally been beaten, a friend serving with the SS led him to a site where he witnessed civilians being massacred en masse (which may well have been Babi Yar). After suffering through a horrible winter against apparently endless Russian reserves, his division went on the offensive again, this time on the northern wing of "Case Gelb," the German drive toward Stalingrad.

In these journals, attacks and counterattacks are described in "you are there" detail, as Roth wrote privately, as if to keep himself sane, knowing that his honest accounts of the horrors in the East could never pass through Wehrmacht censors. When the Soviet counteroffensive of winter 1942 begins, his unit is stationed alongside the Italian 8th Army, and his observations of its collapse, as opposed to the reaction of the German troops sent to stiffen its front, are of special fascination.

Roth’s three journals were discovered many years after his disappearance, tucked away in the home of his brother, with whom he was known to have had a deep bond. After his brother’s death, his family discovered them and quickly sent them to Rosel, Roth’s wife. In time, Rosel handed down the journals to Erika, Roth’s only daughter, who had meantime immigrated to America.

Hans Roth was doubtlessly working on a fourth journal before he was reported missing in action in July 1944 during the battle known as the Destruction of Army Group Center. Although Roth’s ultimate fate remains unknown, what he did leave behind, now finally revealed, is an incredible firsthand account of the horrific war the Germans waged in Russia.
Written with dignity, candour and surprising wit, this soldier's story of the horror of the Western Front trenches is a testament to the power of the human spirit.

It's the end of the 1916 winter and the conditions are almost unbelievable. We live in a world of Somme mud. We sleep in it, work in it, fight in it, wade in it and many of us die in it. We see it, feel it, eat it and curse it, but we can't escape it, not even by dying.

Somme Mud tells of the devastating experiences of Edward Lynch, a young Australian private (18 when he enlisted) during the First World War when he served with the 45th battalion of the Australian Infantry Forces on the Western Front at the Somme, which saw the most bloody and costly fighting of the war. In just eight weeks, there were 23,000 Australian casualties.

The original edition of twenty chapters, was written in pencil in twenty school exercise books in 1921, probably to help exorcise the horrendous experiences Private Lynch had witnessed during his three years at war from mid-1916 until his repatriation home in mid-1919. Lynch had been wounded three times, once seriously and spent over six months in hospital in England.

Somme Mud is a precious find, a discovered treasure that vividly captures the magnitude of war through the day-to-day experiences of an ordinary infantryman. From his first day setting sail for France as the band played 'Boys of the Dardanelles' and the crowd proudly waved their fresh-faced boys off, to the harsh reality of the trenches of France and its pale-faced weary men, Lynch captures the essence and contradictions of war.

Somme Mud is Australia's version of All Quiet on the Western Front. Told with dignity, candour and surprising wit, it is a testament to the power of the human spirit, a moving true story of humanity and friendship.
“With the London-Scottish Regiment During the First World War

The ‘Cockney Jocks’ at war in Flanders and France

The wide distribution of Scots throughout Britain and the Empire led to the formation new ‘Scottish’ regiments and the London Scottish, formed in 1859 as a volunteer rifle corps and originally commanded by Lord Elcho, was a primary example. Elcho, anxious to embrace all the fighting men of Scotland into one brotherhood irrespective of their clan origins, uniquely clad the regiment in kilts of ‘Hodden Grey,’ a traditional hard wearing Scottish homespun cloth devoid of the tartan check and, as he perceived, being a drab colour suited for life on military campaign in the most practical way. Pinkerton, the author of this book was a soldier among the ranks of the regiment who answered the nation’s call to arms during the First World War. The regiment was mobilised at the outbreak of hostilities and the 1st battalion had the distinction of being the first Territorials to go into action during operations at Messines in October 1914. Pinkerton takes his readers to war with the London Scottish on the western front where it took part in all the major offensives of the conflict. Predictably this vital account is filled with immediate first hand account action and anecdotes and is essential reading for anyone interested in the war in the trenches the kilted infantry knew.”-Leonaur Print Version

Author — Pinkerton, Robert Douglas.

Text taken, whole and complete, from the edition published in New York, The Century co., 1918.

Original Page Count – 254 pages.
Often overlooked in accounts of World War II is the Soviet Union's quiet yet brutal campaign against Polish citizens, a campaign that included, we now know, war crimes for which the Soviet and Russian governments only recently admitted culpability. Standing in the shadow of the Holocaust, this episode of European history is often overlooked. Wesley Adamczyk's gripping memoir, When God Looked the Other Way, now gives voice to the hundreds of thousands of victims of Soviet barbarism.

Adamczyk was a young Polish boy when he was deported with his mother and siblings from their comfortable home in Luck to Soviet Siberia in May of 1940. His father, a Polish Army officer, was taken prisoner by the Red Army and eventually became one of the victims of the Katyn massacre, in which tens of thousands of Polish officers were slain at the hands of the Soviet secret police. The family's separation and deportation in 1940 marked the beginning of a ten-year odyssey in which the family endured fierce living conditions, meager food rations, chronic displacement, and rampant disease, first in the Soviet Union and then in Iran, where Adamczyk's mother succumbed to exhaustion after mounting a harrowing escape from the Soviets. Wandering from country to country and living in refugee camps and the homes of strangers, Adamczyk struggled to survive and maintain his dignity amid the horrors of war.

When God Looked the Other Way is a memoir of a boyhood lived in unspeakable circumstances, a book that not only illuminates one of the darkest periods of European history but also traces the loss of innocence and the fight against despair that took root in one young boy. It is also a book that offers a stark picture of the unforgiving nature of Communism and its champions. Unflinching and poignant, When God Looked the Other Way will stand as a testament to the trials of a family during wartime and an intimate chronicle of episodes yet to receive their historical due.

“Adamczyk recounts the story of his own wartime childhood with exemplary precision and immense emotional sensitivity, presenting the ordeal of one family with the clarity and insight of a skilled novelist. . . . I have read many descriptions of the Siberian odyssey and of other forgotten wartime episodes. But none of them is more informative, more moving, or more beautifully written than When God Looked the Other Way.”—From the Foreword by Norman Davies, author of Europe: A History and Rising ’44: The Battle for Warsaw

“A finely wrought memoir of loss and survival.”—Publishers Weekly

“Adamczyk’s unpretentious prose is well-suited to capture that truly awful reality.” —Andrew Wachtel, Chicago Tribune Books

“Mr. Adamczyk writes heartfelt, straightforward prose. . . . This book sheds light on more than one forgotten episode of history.”—Gordon Haber, New York Sun

“One of the most remarkable World War II sagas I have ever read. It is history with a human face.”—Andrew Beichman, Washington Times

October 1917, heralded as the culmination of the Russian Revolution, remains a defining moment in world history. Even a hundred years after the events that led to the emergence of the world's first self-proclaimed socialist state, debate continues over whether, as historian E. H. Carr put it decades ago, these earth-shaking days were a "landmark in the emancipation of mankind from past oppression" or "a crime and a disaster." Some things are clear. After the implosion of the three-hundred-year-old Romanov dynasty as a result of the First World War, Russia was in crisis-one interim government replaced another in the vacuum left by imperial collapse. In this monumental and sweeping new account, Laura Engelstein delves into the seven years of chaos surrounding 1917 --the war, the revolutionary upheaval, and the civil strife it provoked. These were years of breakdown and brutal violence on all sides, punctuated by the decisive turning points of February and October. As Engelstein proves definitively, the struggle for power engaged not only civil society and party leaders, but the broad masses of the population and every corner of the far-reaching empire, well beyond Moscow and Petrograd. Yet in addition to the bloodshed they unleashed, the revolution and civil war revealed democratic yearnings, even if ideas of what constituted "democracy" differed dramatically. Into that vacuum left by the Romanov collapse rushed long-suppressed hopes and dreams about social justice and equality. But any possible experiment in self-rule was cut short by the October Revolution. Under the banner of true democracy, and against all odds, the Bolshevik triumph resulted in the ruthless repression of all opposition. The Bolsheviks managed to harness the social breakdown caused by the war and institutionalize violence as a method of state-building, creating a new society and a new form of power. Russia in Flames offers a compelling narrative of heroic effort and brutal disappointment, revealing that what happened during these seven years was both a landmark in the emancipation of Russia from past oppression and a world-shattering disaster. As regimes fall and rise, as civil wars erupt, as state violence targets civilian populations, it is a story that remains profoundly and enduringly relevant.
In the tradition of All Quiet on the Western Front, Elton E. Mackin’s memoirs are a haunting portrayal of war as seen through the eyes of a highly decorated Marine who fought in every Marine Brigade battle from Belleau Wood to the crossing of the Meuse on the eve of the Armistice.

Praise for Suddenly We Didn't Want to Die

“This beautifully written and truly gripping war memoir is a significant addition to battlefield literature. A minor classic . . . An altogether remarkable job [comparable] to Crane, Remarque and Mailer. Deserves the widest possible audience.”—The Cleveland Plain Dealer

“This immediate, eloquent report merit[s] comparison with Thomas Boyd’s Marine Corps [1923] classic Through the wheat.”—Publishers Weekly
 
“A real curiosity: a highly mannered World War I diary, published nearly 80 years after being written and 20 years after its author’s death. Bright snapshots abound…sometimes a young man’s lyricism takes over [but] the horror of war never departs. The diary has the faults one expects, and the promise one prays for. A fine addition to WWI literature.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
“A forthright, eloquent, and powerful memoir certain to become an enduring testament to the drama and tragedy of World War I. Threaded with no small measure of poetry, this superb memoir is sure to become a classic.”—Great Battles
 
“A plain but powerful tale . . . [in] vivid prose loaded with details that bring the horrors of World War I to life, he tells an exceptional new version of the old story of battle transforming a boy into a veteran.”—American Library Association Booklist
 
“To the ranks of Erich Maria Remarque, E.E. Cummings, John Dos Passos and Siegfried Sassoon, we must now add Elton Mackin . . . who, in a terse style reminiscent of Hemingway, [succeeds] in making someone unfamiliar with war truly now the frightfulness of the trenches and the greatness of the many men who fought in them.”—Marine Corps Gazette
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