The Crimean War
The Charge of the Light Brigade, Florence Nightingale—these are the enduring icons of the Crimean War. Less well-known is that this savage war (1853-1856) killed almost a million soldiers and countless civilians; that it enmeshe...more
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Just to vent a little, I read this on my Kindle, and was unhappy about the ebook experience here. First, the conversion to ebook seems somewhat sloppy. I know that some books are converted in a process where the text is supplied to Amazon via a PDF file, and then presumably is scanned into Amazon's system. That appears to be what happened here, since so...more
His latest, The Crimean War, provides a thorough introductio...more
"It was the earliest example of a truly modern war - fought with new industrial technologies, modern rifles, steamsh...more
Once war began, the allies (Britain, France, the Ottoman Empire, plus others as well) bruised the Russian forces at the outset. Then, a surprisingly strong stand by the...more
That Friday was to be anything but good. The Catholics arrive...more
One thing Figes does is tell that story in more detail, doing more justice to those who lived through the bitter conflict. But he also adds a lot of context to this war, explaining why the governments chose t...more
Figes is an extraordinary writer, mixing the long lines of history with snippets of human interest and petit histoire easily.
The Crimea was a curious mix of the 18th and 19th century, where the Czar, King and Sultan still had real influence, but also where public opinion for the first time reared its ugly head, specially in Britain. Telegraph, steamboats, photography, MiniÃ© rifles, explosive shells an...more
I've always had an interest in the Crimean War - it pre-dates the Civil War and WWI and acts much like a precursor of both conflicts in many ways, both on the battlefield and in the diplomatic negotiations. As such, it is something that is (regrettably) overlook...more
It covers the war in all aspects, from the grisly siege of Sevastopol, the snarled diplomatic efforts which led to the start of the war, comparisons of the major players, the effects of religious differences, and the relatively neglected campaigns in the Baltic and Caucasus.
A worthy addition to the library of anyone interested in the era, to say no...more
Details of the military debacle are fascinating; Lord Raglan was clearly a geriatric imbecile (curious to note a pub called The Lord Raglan opposite Postman’s Park in London). However, it’s the cultural and social history that really makes this book. The interaction of the media and public opinion is fa...more
But that does not debase the quality of the book.
This is my first review of a history book. At first sight it seems to be something di...more
Orlando Figes argues three main points:
1. The war was far more about Russia's vision of itself as the protector of the Orthodox Church and pan-Slavic sentiment than many historians have believed.
2. The origins of the First World War lie largely in the d...more
This book is in amazing detail. In fact, I think this is the reason I put it at 4 stars instead of 5. It was too much detail. There are 480 pages, or so, of text to read and I think it could have been written in 400.
The book is a flashlight on one example of how religion and war have made a deadly mix in human history. I originally started reading the book wanting to get further background on the possibilities of why Adolph Hitler came to his way of thinking and thought processes. Before I read...more
This incident is of course mentioned but it is seen in the context of the war as a whole.
The author adds mightily to the history of this conflict putting it in context of the events that lead up to the conflict seen from the various perspectives of the participants, follows the war through all its horrors, of which it had many, debunks many of the myths and when the war ends proceed to expla...more
professional work. really should give it the fourth star, but probably I'm trying to game the recommendations from the GR alg
The sections on the combat were both informative and exciting. The writing style is easy and accessable.
The book would be well worth a read just for those points.
It was interesting to read about the pattern of massacres, and build up of hatreds, between Christian and moslems in the Caucuses and Balkans, it puts more recent events such as the...more
It was interesting. Well-researched, but I deducted a point since Figes did not list the Russian sources in Cyrillic.