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Customer Review

29 November 2014
To try and summarise what was happening in Russia from 1918-22 is a formidable undertaking. The action reigned far and wide from every point on the compass. From the chaos and bloodshed the Bolsheviks emerged triumphant with virtually all of what had constituted Imperial Russia under their control. There were times when that outcome seemed unlikely as the regime buckled under the strain of assaults from their White Russian opponents backed by a miscellany of Western and Eastern Powers and bits spun off into independent countries.
In the end control of the country's population and industrial core allied with ideological certainty and ruthless unified leadership proved the prevailing factors. It is certainly one of history's greatest what if questions in considering what might have happened if the Bolsheviks had been overthrown. It is hard to believe that the outcome could have been any worse for Russia and the countries surrounding it.
Although the author is more sympathetic to the Whites he gives a lively and readable history of this complex subject. Inevitably there is a degree of repetition and some mistakes ( Sergei Kirov was the assassinated Mayor of Leningrad not Moscow in the 30's ) but overall this is a useful introduction to the subject. I am not sure why so many propaganda pictures are used to illustrate the book, there are plenty of photos that would do the job better.
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3.5 out of 5 stars