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Cat Lord
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Russian Civil War bibliography

Sun Aug 22, 2010 2:55 pm

Hi people,

we know the RCW is not exactly the most taught conflict in History Classes (at least in Western Europe and in the US :nuts: ). When we started this project, we all did a bit of research for this game, so I will give you an opinion on the (English written) books I have read, for people curious about the period and wanting to read about it:

First, there is an Osprey book:

The Russian Civil War 1918-21 (Essential Histories 69)
by David Bullock (Author)

It's a very short introduction to the conflict, but given the complexity of it, it is a bit too short, to be honest. But it's very hard to summarize this conflict in less than 100 pages, with images, so kudos to them to have tried.


Then, there is the opposite, nearly a 1000 pages-turner about the Revolution and the Civil War:

A People's Tragedy: Russian Revolution, 1891-1924
by Orlando Figes (Author)

For me, this is the best book to understand the Russian Revolution and the Civil War. It's extremely well written and readable. A real page turner. The equivalent of James McPherson's Battle Cry of Freedom, but on the RCW. :)


The Figes is very good, but not completely in depth for military operation. On this topic, the one I use most is:

The Russian Civil War
by Evan Mawdsley (Author)

But the gain in military understanding is a loss in political and bigger picture awareness. If you want to read two books about the RCW, choose the Figes and the Mawdsley, and you are set. :)


As a single book, covering a bit of both, there is:

Russia's Civil War
by Geoffrey Swain (Author)

Not bad, but not as detailed, and not as entertaining as the two others, in my humble opinion.


For people who wants in-depth articles about specific subject, there is:

Critical Companion to the Russian Revolution, 1914-1921
by Edward Acton (Editor), V.IU. Cherniaev (Editor), William G. Rosenberg (Editor)

This is a collection of articles, by many authors, so they are not all of the same quality, or all like-ably to read. Some are very academic and dry (you have been warned :D ). Nevertheless, on certain topic, it is top notch.


Finally, on the Russo-Polish war, I read:

Warsaw 1920: Lenin's Failed Conquest of Europe
by Adam Zamoyski

An excellent small book, containing a lot of very simple, but very clear and readable maps on this war. :)


I hope the others will find some time to describe the books they read. And I will try to make sure we put a small bibliography in the manual.

If you have read books about the subject, please share them with us ! :)


Best regards,

Cat
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Nikel
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Sun Aug 22, 2010 3:27 pm

This site includes an annotated bibliography on the RCW ;)

http://www.angelfire.com/games3/jacksongamer/RCWbooks.htm

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Cat Lord
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Sun Aug 22, 2010 3:37 pm

Nikel wrote:This site includes an annotated bibliography on the RCW ;)

http://www.angelfire.com/games3/jacksongamer/RCWbooks.htm
Yep, but some (if not most) books on their list are old and hard to find. :)

Finding a book more than 10 years old is quite difficult, if you are not in a big city with specialised reseller. :(

The Mawdsley and the Figes are quite recent (or have been re-edited). :)

Cat

PS: I need to contact this people BTW, their website was really useful at the start. :)
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Baris
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Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:31 pm

"Bronyenosyets Potyomkin" is a film made by director Sergey Ayzenştayn(can be wrong in translation) I wached very long time ago.

It was made in 1920's I think, Basicly it is about a Russian warship named Potyomkin, in the area of black sea,anchored in Odessa Harbour.

The story is taking place before the Bolshevik revolution in the very early 1900's. The main plot is ,the sailors are revolting against the officers of Russian monarchy because of the bad living conditions in the town Odessa and the ship. They get rid of the officers and own the ship.Potyomkin and the people in the city supports each other against the monarchy.She became a symbol of revolution. Russian goverment sending another warship to engage Potyomkin, But people of Odessa are helping Potromkin. And in the end there was happy ending ;) , They got rid of Russian warship. :) if I remember correctly.

It was very good and dramatic film..

Some books I have read tells about the winter and famine in last years is one of the main reasons behind the revolution.

petebeadle
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Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:56 pm

"Battleship Potemkin" (English title) - Sergei Eisenstein's film about the 1905 revolution. If you like that, watch "The End of St Petersburg", or "We are from Krondstadt".

For flavour leading up to the period read Trotsky's "History of the Russian Revolution", or Victor Serge's Year One of the Russian Revolution. For a more academic treatment, Red Petrograd by Steve Smith is an excellent study of how the Bolsheviks gained influence and power amongst the workers. You will almost certainly have to borrow it from a library though...

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Nikel
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Sun Aug 22, 2010 5:57 pm

Many years ago, I was nearly a boy... I remember a TV series on the russian civil war.

Probably british, I remember spies and interventionists. Nothing more except that I liked it :)


I would like to watch it again. Anybody remembers it? And the title?

PJJ
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Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:48 pm

First of all, let me say that I'm very surprised and pleased to hear that you decided to make a game of the Russian Civil War. One of the most important conflicts in history which had a huge impact on the events of the 20th century and also today. But also a very badly understood conflict in the west, overshadowed by the events of WW1 and WW2. Looking forward to the game! :)

Now the book recommendation. Lev Trotsky's massive three-volume History of the Russian Revolution is still in print (and also available online for free, but I prefer actual books) and gives a well-written account of the revolution by a man who had a very central role in the conflict.

Just keep in mind that Trotsky was not what you can call an objective writer about the conflict, having taken part in it, and that he wasn't a friend of Stalin. ;)

Johnnie
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Recommended Reading?

Sun Aug 22, 2010 8:04 pm

Starting from scratch with respect to this topic. Thanks.

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Cat Lord
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Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:04 pm

http://www.ageod-forum.com/showthread.php?t=18485 ? :confused:

I answered you on the Wargamer as well :D , if you want something short, I will read the Osprey.

If you want to read two good books, I would read the Orlando Figes (A People's Tragedy) and the Evan Mawsdley (The Russian Civil War). :)

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Nikel
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Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:34 pm

My Spaniard friend Picaron found the TV series in question Reilly, Ace of Spies :)


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reilly,_Ace_of_Spies


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnkF-qOmxro

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Cosimus
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Sun Aug 22, 2010 10:38 pm

Then, there is the opposite, nearly a 1000 pages-turner about the Revolution and the Civil War:

A People's Tragedy: Russian Revolution, 1891-1924
by Orlando Figes (Author)

For me, this is the best book to understand the Russian Revolution and the Civil War. It's extremely well written and readable. A real page turner. The equivalent of James McPherson's Battle Cry of Freedom, but on the RCW.


it is highly recomented!!! :thumbsup: The best book i´ve ever read about this topic
[font="Arial Black"]"Nicht Kleckern beim Kotzen"[/font][font="Arial"] "Guderian at 18[/font]:nuts:
[font="Arial Black"]"Klotzen nicht Kleckern"[/font][font="Arial"] "Guderian 30 years later"[/font]:niark:

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Sun Aug 22, 2010 10:43 pm

[color="Blue"]Merged the two threads on this, the same topic[/color]
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J P Falcon
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Mon Aug 23, 2010 2:14 am

Though there are some criticisms to Perry Moore's "Stamping out the Virus" it is a great book to find the semblence of OOB's for both sides. Perry Moore is also a game designer and he has produced a number of RCW board games covering such battles as WHITE STEEL, RED BLOOD (1919 Kharkov), TANK ACTION IN THE RUSSIAN CIVIL WAR, and 200 MILES FROM MOSCOW.

Johnnie
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Mon Aug 23, 2010 2:24 am

Cat:

Already ordered Mawdsley and Figes from Barnes & Noble. Both are available and very reasonably priced (as a B & M member, I got both with free shipping for $32 or so.) Again, thanks.

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ERISS
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Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:03 pm

_ La guerre civile russe. 1917-1922. Armées paysannes rouges, blanches et vertes. Jean-Jacques Marie. Editions Autrement.

_ La makhnovchtchina. L'insurrection révolutionnaire en Ukraine. Archinov. Edition Spartacus.

_ Nestor Makhno, Le Cosaque libertaire, 1888-1934 (La Guerre Civile en Ukraine, 1917-1921). Alexandre Skirda. Les Editions de Paris.
http://books.google.com/books?id=pMji9s9WOlwC&lpg=PP1&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false

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boudi
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Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:28 pm

Impossible to give a bibliography about the russian revolution without this one :

"Ten Days that Shook the World" by John Reed. (1919)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Days_that_Shook_the_World

von Sachsen
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Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:46 pm

Luckily, I live about a hundred feet from my university's library. So today I borrowed A Peoples Tragedy and began reading. I'm not very far but it is indeed very good.

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Charles
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Fri Aug 27, 2010 3:27 pm

In another vein is:

-Lenin, by Robert Service, 2000.

A recent biography with half the book devoted to the 1917-22 period, gives you an inside view of the Revolution.

-Stalin, by Robert Service, 2004.

a recent biography of Stalin with a large chunk devoted to the Russian Revolution and its aftermath since Stalin was a key figure in the Party from the very beginning.

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Charles
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Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:52 pm

a bit off topic, but I was checking out reviews on Orlando's Figes "People's tragedy" and came across this:

Historian Orlando Figes agrees to pay damages for fake reviews

Orlando Figes posted reviews on Amazon praising his own work and rubbishing that of his rivals


http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/jul/16/orlando-figes-fake-amazon-reviews

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1268660/How-I-rumbled-lying-professor-The-story-discredited-don-rubbished-rivals-Amazon--left-wife-blame.html

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/non-fiction/article7107147.ece

It does not necessarily impact on his work, although I see one of the book he trashed was Robert Service's "Stalin" which I thought was excellent, but it does make you wonder about those amazon reviews.

edit - actually, the second article by Rachel Polonsky, another historian, states there may be issues with Figes's references, so it is pertinent:

Another, signing herself H. Crawley, wrote: ‘Figes has not forgiven Rachel Polonsky for her investigation into his questionable sources for Natasha’s Dance, so now, in a petulant act of spite, he tries anonymously to trash her brilliant new book.’ Thank you, W. Cohen and Harriet Crawley.



Finally, Figes was on the receiving end of the kind of letter he has been sending out to publications great and small for more than a decade, to stop anyone criticising his books or saying there were problems of scholarly propriety with them. (He had the means for this legal barrage; he has made a lot of money from his books.)


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Cat Lord
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Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:03 am

Orlando Figes have had trouble for his bad behaviour yes, and from an academic point of view, he has probably burned too many bridges by now for getting a prestigious position in one of the top university ever.

But that doesn't mean his work is not top notch on his subject.

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Charles
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Tue Aug 31, 2010 3:08 pm

Cat Lord wrote:
But that doesn't mean his work is not top notch on his subject.

Cat


I am not saying it is not. I have not read it and cannot comment on the substance. My post is more along the line of "buyer beware" so a potential buyer can make an informed decision. There was a similar discussion in the RoP forum on whether Franz Szabo's apparent bias towards Frederick the Great affected the objectivity of his "The Seven Year's War in Europe: 1756-63".

Not specifically on this, but in any history book, you always have the problem of trying to figure out how solid is the author's research and where the history ends and the author's extrapolation and interpretation begins. When dealing with Soviet history, you have the additional problem of trying to figure out what is fact and what is Soviet or anti-Soviet propaganda. The Soviets strictly controlled all information for political purposes while many western authors were influenced by their ideological biases. This is especially evident in any history book which came out in the 50s and 60s. It's only since the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 90s that historians have had relatively unfettered access to the Soviet Archives which is why many interesting books are only coming out now.

For example, I have 2 books on the Austrian and Prussian Army in the seven year's war written in the 1970s. The research is 30+ years old, but I have not seen anything since then which would lead me to believe the facts and conclusions in there are not correct.

On the other hand, if you compare Erickson's "Road to Stalingrad","Road to Berlin" which also came out in the 1970s with what is coming out now, there is a world of difference. Erickson's books were the first serious english language histories written from the Soviet point of view with access to Soviet sources to debunk the postwar german historians. However, Glantz's more recent books, for example "To the Gates of Stalingrad" and "Armageddon in Stalingrad", benefiting from access to many previously unexamined Soviet and German documents has uncovered many new facts which completely change the conclusions Erickson came to.

I tend to be hypercritical when dealing with any Soviet history and spend as much time reading an author's footnotes as the main text.

just my 2 centimes. :)

greenalien
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Thu Sep 02, 2010 11:37 am

Not a book but Here are some photos and on the same website there's a timeline of Czechoslovak Legion's presence in Russia. I found it to be rather interesting.

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jack54
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Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:13 pm

I just picked up Orlando Fige's 'A Peoples Tragedy'. Really enjoying it so far; thanks for the mentioning this title!

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ERISS
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Tue Oct 05, 2010 4:14 am

"Le Communisme, tout de suite!" [Le mouvement des Communes en Ukraine soviétique (1919-1920)], Eric AUNOBLE, éd. les nuits rouges 2008

La Terreur sous Lénine (1917-1924), Jacques BAYNAC, Le Sagittaire 1975

Baris
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Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:49 am

Vsevolod Mikhailovich Eikhenbaum(Voline)

"The Unknown Revolution, 1917-1921"

http://www.ditext.com/voline/unknown.html

Peter Arshinov (mentioned before but this one in english and the link)

HISTORY OF THE
MAKHNOV1ST MOVEMENT
(1918-1921)

http://www.ditext.com/arshinov/makhno.html

Grosshaus
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Wed Oct 06, 2010 6:38 pm

Figes is indeed brilliant. I ran across the People's Trategy half a year ago in the library and enjoyed it immensely in addition to learning a lot.

I don't know of a comprehensive history book on the Finnish Civil War. But I have not heard of serious flaws or consistent bias in interprations of the massive novel Under the North Star It tells lives of several people and families in a stereotypical Finnish family since 1880s or so until WW2 with main emphasis on how people used to living together ended up killing each other on both sides

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Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:09 pm

Books, books...
We need some comics with the poetic "ambiance" of the era, too.
So, to relax between two books, i advise you Corto Maltese in Siberia :) :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corto_Maltese
REVOLUTION UNDER SIEGE GOLD

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Cat Lord
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Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:13 pm

Extract from the manual ;) :

Graphic Novels:
There is a wealth of Graphic Novels published in French, about the Russian Civil War:

Nuit blanche, tome 1 : Les Spectres du tsar
Nuit blanche, tome 2 : Le Rossignol de Koursk
Nuit blanche, tome 3 : Agafia
Nuit blanche, tome 4 : Vladivostok
Nuit blanche, tome 5 : Shangaï
Scénario : Yann ; Dessin : Neuray, Olivier

http://www.bedetheque.com/serie-1911-BD-Nuit-blanche.html

Sophaletta, tome 1 Des larmes de sang
Sophaletta, tome 2 Le souffle des loups
Sophaletta, tome 3 L'héritage de la putain
Sophaletta, tome 4 Les larmes de la tsarine
Sophaletta, tome 5 L'Ordre Ecarlate
Sophaletta, tome 6 Londres...
Sophaletta, tome 7 Pour sauver Lioubov
Sophaletta, tome 8 La rescapée d'Ekaterinodar
Sophaletta, tome 9 Ta vie commence à Odessa

Scénario : Arnoux, Erik ; Dessin : Hé, Dominique

http://www.bedetheque.com/serie-1484-BD-Sophaletta.html

Sibérie
de Attilio Micheluzzi (Scénario & Dessin)
http://www.bedetheque.com/serie-3239-BD-Siberie.html

Les Ombres du passé
Crimée 1920
de Crisse (Scénario & Dessin)
http://www.bedetheque.com/serie-3219-BD-Ombres-du-passe-(Les).html

L'Ombre des damnés
Unger kahn
de Crisse (Scénario & Dessin)
http://www.bedetheque.com/serie-1269-BD-Ombre-des-damnes-(L-).html#

Corto Maltese en Sibérie (1920)
de Hugo Pratt (Scénario et Dessin)
http://www.bedetheque.com/serie-6382-BD-Corto-Maltese-(Couleur-Format-Normal).html#18147

La jeunesse de Corto Maltese (1904-1905)
de Hugo Pratt (Scénario et Dessin)
http://www.bedetheque.com/serie-6382-BD-Corto-Maltese-(Couleur-Format-Normal).html#18131


Here you go. :)

Cat
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Njordr
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Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:39 am

I would like to cite "Kozakovich & Connors" (story Robin Woods, drawings Garcìa Duràn) and "Anders" (story Robin Wood, drawings Alfredo Alejandro Falugi), comics written and drawn by Argentinian authors.
Robin Wood is so relevant to be nicknamed "la Lejenda".

In Italy they've been published by Eura Editoriale, a publishing house interested also in Belgian authors, as Jean Van Hamme (XIII) and Hermann Huppen (aka Hermann, Les Tours de Bois-Maury).

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andatiep
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Thu Oct 07, 2010 7:06 pm

Cat Lord wrote:Extract from the manual ;) :



Here you go. :)

Cat


Thanks :)

I just realize how few english translation there is from the european (French, belgian and italian) comics production... :(
There is no Corto Maltese in Siberia in english ! It's incredible :confused:
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