“With his eye for detail, his taste for anecdote, and his sheer delight in the process of living, Rodzianko has created a delightful, if often sad, work.”―Gary Saul Morson, from his new foreword for this first American edition
"Capacious, powerful, and subtle—a forgotten work with real claims to historic interest and aesthetic value . . . It is Paradise Lost as told by Dostoevsky."—Washington Independent Review of Books
Born into Russian aristocracy at the end of the 19th Century, Paul Rodzianko led a life rich in love, challenged by war, and inspired by great jumping horses. With humor and infectious joy, he recounts the adventures of his charmed childhood―playing with his cousins at the Winter Palace, riding horses at his family’s many country estates, and, most spectacularly, serving as a page in the court of Tsar Nicolas II.
Then, on August 1, 1914, Russia and Germany declare war on each other, and, Rodzianko writes, “The hurricane descended and swept our world away.” Serving in the Chevalier Guards, he fights first against the Germans and then, after the Revolution, against the Reds in Siberia. He writes movingly about WWI and the Russian Civil War: the initial excitement about going to war and the grim realities, the frustrating shortages of munitions and the failures of the railroads, the shocking execution of the Romanovs, and the brutal deaths of millions of young men.
Tattered Banners is an evocative and haunting account of a time and people that have continued to intrigue us for more than a century.
Paul Rodzianko was born in the Officers’ Quarters of the Chevalier Guards Barracks in St. Petersburg in 1880. He lived through the great upheavals of the twentieth century to die peacefully at Brayfield Lodge, Olney, North Bucks, England in 1965.
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.
For much of the First World War, the small French village of Vignacourt was always behind the front lines – as a staging point, casualty clearing station and recreation area for troops of all nationalities moving up to and then back from the battlefields on the Somme. Here, one enterprising photographer took the opportunity of offering portrait photographs. A century later, his stunning images were discovered, abandoned, in a farm house.
Captured on glass, printed into postcards and posted home, the photographs enabled soldiers to maintain a fragile link with loved ones at home. In ‘Lost Tommies’, this collection covers many of the significant aspects of British involvement on the Western Front, from military life to the friendships and bonds formed between the soldiers and civilians. Beautifully reproduced, it is a unique collection and a magnificent memorial.
The lives of the Romanovs were full of color and drama, but the personal life of Alexandra has remained enigmatic. Under Erickson's masterful scrutiny the full dimensions of the Empresses' singular psychology are revealed: her childhood bereavement, her long struggle to attain her romantic goal of marriage to Nicholas, the anguish of her pathological shyness, her struggles with her in-laws, her false pregnancy, her increasing eccentricities and loss of self as she became more preoccupied with matters of faith, and her increasing dependence on a series of occult mentors, the most notorious of whom was Rasputin. With meticulous care, long practiced skill, and generous imagination, Erickson crafts a character who lives and breathes.
Easwaran’s biography of Khan is a comprehensive account of the man who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 and who embodied the nonviolent tradition within Islam. Under Khan's leadership, the Pathans proved that it is often those who are capable of great violence who have the courage to stand unarmed against injustice. Khan's story of hard-won victory offers inspiration for nonviolent solutions to today's world struggles.
Easwaran, author of Gandhi The Man, is one of the twentieth century's great spiritual teachers and an authentic guide to timeless wisdom. His books on meditation, spiritual living, and the classics of world mysticism have been translated into twenty-six languages. His Bhagavada Gita, Upanishads and Dhammapada are the best-selling translations in the US, and over 1.5 million copies of his books are in print.
This book is for anyone seeking to understand more fully what Islam can mean in the world of today.