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Moscow 1941: A City & Its People at War: A City and Its People at War [Paperback]

Sir Rodric Braithwaite
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
Price: 9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 Mar 2007
Based on huge research and scores of interviews, this book offers an unforgettable and richly illustrated narrative of the military action that took place in Moscow during 1941; telling portraits of Stalin and his generals, some apparatchiks, some great commanders. It also traces the stories of individuals, soldiers, politicians and intellectuals, writers and artists and dancers, workers, schoolchildren and peasants. Click here to visit the author's website.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books; New Ed edition (1 Mar 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1861977743
  • ISBN-13: 978-1861977748
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 491,711 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'Braithwaite's epic history, skilfully drawing on the experiences
of ordinary Russians, goes a long way to setting the record straight'
-- Sunday Telegraph

'Extraordinary story'
-- BBC Radio 5, Simon Mayo

About the Author

Sir Rodric Braithwaite was British Ambassador in Moscow during the fall of the Soviet Union. He has also been Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee. He lives in London.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
By one measure - the number of people involved - the Battle of Moscow was the greatest battle in the Second World War, and therefore the greatest battle in history. Read the first page
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Russian resilience in defence of the Motherland 29 Sep 2009
By Benjamin Girth VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
Visiting Moscow on the way to the airport I surprised the Intourist guide asking if I could stop the bus. I wanted to see the monument marking the point at which the Germans got closet to Moscow. She was puzzled "You are interested in that?" Yes, I have always been fascinated in twentieth century Russian history, politics, economics and society - events on an enormous scale and the enigma that is the Russian spirit. It is really hard to write a dull book about Russia, "Moscow 1941" isn't but you have to look at the subtitle "A City and Its People at War" to appreciate what Rodric Braithwaite is writing about.

This is a not hard-core military account, it is more a social commentary. Moscow is never going to have the impact of Stalingrad or siege of Leningrad (900 days, 1 million died). But "by one measure- the number of people involved -the battle for Moscow was the greatest battle in the Second World War therefore the greatest battle in history." Although 926,000 were killed this is more than the battle for Moscow as the armies of the centre manoeuvred. The city was never taken; it was in danger for a comparatively short period (effectively out of the front line by December 1941) and bombed less intensively than London. Moscow had enormous importance to the Soviet economy, with a huge concentration of war industries so for the Germans it's capture was more than symbolic. The city did suffer; living under a totalitarian communist regime as well as enduring the German invasion. At the most critical of times there were purges and self-inflicted cruelty - business as usual for the secret police.

Braithwaite provides a wider perspective on communist Russia. I can appreciate it might be seen as tangential having little to do with Moscow in 1941.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
By Mr. A. C. Gilbert VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
The most interesting aspect of Braithwaite's excellent account of the momentous battle for Moscow is the way he manages to get "inside" the Russian people to an extent that I have never before witnessed. From his evocative introductory history of the city, through the numerous glimpses into the individual, human consequences of the war and onto the details of the battle and its aftermath, the book is a triumph. The Russian people are represented neither as cowed automatons bent under Stalin's will (indeed, the pages heave with accounts of dissent) nor simply as numberless masses streaming from Siberia westwards to overwhelm and crush the Nazis. There's a lot more understanding of the "Asiatic soul" of the Russian people, of their relationship to their land, to their religion and to their western neighbours, which gives the book far more depth and warmth than the usual "weight of numbers under a cruel dictator" response to the "why" of the Russian victory.

The battle for Moscow is little-known since it was subjected to a media black-out by the Soviets, and Braithwaite easily repositions it up with Stalingrad as the biggest and possibly the most important of the War. An absolute delight to read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best account I`ve read. 18 Jun 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read a few versions of the Battle of Moscow and I can honestly say that this is the best . Highly recommended.It fully describes the build up with the scene set from both sides , accurate portrayal of those involved in the Kremlin alongside the soldiers and the people who lived in Moscow at the time . If Stalin had lost this battle , which was immense , then it is probably that germany and Hitler would have won the war in the East , which of course was Hitler`s intention and target all the time following the defeat of Poland followed by the rapid fall oif France and the Low Countries.Broderrick Braithewait , the author , lived in Moscow as our ambassador is a Russiam history expert and admirer of the Russian people has , in my opinion , wriiten the definitive account of the momentous events which took place in Moscow 1941 perhaps the pivotal year of WW2 in many ways.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well written and gripping 9 May 2009
By John Hopper TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
The quote on the front cover by Simon Sebag Montefiore "a heartbreaking and thrilling story of peerless heroism and misery on a barely imaginable scale" sums it up perfectly. The author's account is a perfect mixture of military, political and social history, enlivened vastly by the interviews conducted with ordinary survivors about their experiences and those of their families and comrades who died. 5/5
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling account 2 Jun 2006
By D. Harris TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
This book presents the battle for Moscow in 1941 through interviews, diaries and other accounts from participants, both civilians and combatants (a distinction, as soon becomes clear, that is very blurred) on the Soviet side. It is a fascinating story of cruelty, courage - and of sheer obstinacy on the part of the defenders in a battle which has not so far had the recognition it deserves.

Braithwaite presents enough of the wider context, and eschews enough detail, to make it clear what was happening. (I do think that a few more maps would have helped, though). He also sets out the evidence in a number of areas that are still controversial, and shows how the changing politics of Russia, and the need in some quarters to discredit the former regime, have opened up areas to debate, and led to new interpretations, sometimes to the indignation of the veterans.

At the centre of the book is, of course, Stalin and his leadership. The effects of this - the cruelty and the waste, but also Stalin's role in stiffening resistenace - are made plain, but the book keeps its focus on the battle rather than being side tracked into a more general assessment of Stalin and his role in the war.

In the end, the impression the book left me was of the Russian people, defending their country quite literally "at all costs", not because of but despite the regime (and to the surprise of those, on both sides, who thought that revulsion at that regime would lead them to welcome the invader - a lesson the current crop of Western political leaders have disregarded) .

The outcomes of particular historical controversies, and the crimes of the regime, can take nothing away from their courage and sacrifice, which this book documents well.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A good portrait of the city and it's people under extreme...
This is not a straightforward account of the battle for Moscow; it attempts to follow the lives of Muscovites throughout that battle. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Simon Binning
5.0 out of 5 stars A Russian's "five-copecks" input
Overall an excellent effort! Bravo! I read criticisms by those who rated the book low and found that they contradict each other: one thinks it's shallow, another - too detailed,... Read more
Published on 15 Oct 2011 by Denis Peskov
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but a bit dry
I agree with a reader who says this book is not really a military account, but more a social commentary. Read more
Published on 3 July 2011 by Feedback68
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Moscow
To understand the Russians of today it's essential to understand what their parents and grandparents went through under Stalin and especially during what they call the Great... Read more
Published on 17 May 2008 by John Mole
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent account of wartime Moscow
To start off, I was quite surprised at how much I wound up enjoying this book, the author did a superb job in some cases. Read more
Published on 28 Feb 2008 by T. Kunikov
4.0 out of 5 stars Full of facts but could be written better
This book is full of facts, rare photographs and excerpts from memoirs. The writer tells the story of a city under threat of Nazi invasion during 1941 Winter. Read more
Published on 10 Jan 2008 by Ogun Eratalay
5.0 out of 5 stars An authoritative and readable account of the Battle for Moscow
Rodric Braithwaite has written a magnificent history of the battle for Moscow in 1941. Following after many other accounts of the fate of cities in the Second World War... Read more
Published on 16 Mar 2007 by A Common Reader
2.0 out of 5 stars poorly written and poorly conceived account
This could be a fascinating book, but it is let down by a number of fundamental flaws. Firstly, it is rather poorly written. Read more
Published on 22 Nov 2006 by Bookworm
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting topic, badly written.
I spotted this book in the local book shop and it sounded very interesting. The topic is certainly an interesting one as it was the biggest battle in history and is full of... Read more
Published on 4 Oct 2006 by A. Cioccarelli
1.0 out of 5 stars bitterly disappointing
I thought this book was bitterly disappointing. Having been sucked into the hype, I was depressed to find turgid prose, a pedestrian pace and none of the vigour and erudite... Read more
Published on 20 Aug 2006 by D. M. Shellard
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