ENG / RUS
hard cover, ill., 384 pp., 2011
Rights sold: Italian language
In the eyes of many contemporaries and historians of the Russian Civil War, the White movement was an aff air for the former imperial elite who did not understand or accept the Revolution. The Whites wanted to return the past to Russia. Th is was underscored by the lofty image of the “White holy warrior” that emerged in the work of Russian poets in the early 20th century, and by work on the totally unpoetic White “counter-revolution”, the focus of Soviet historians. But what did the White government really aspire to? How did the Whites govern the territory they controlled and mobilize their army? What did Russians think of the White government and the expeditionary army of the Triple Entente, which acted in support of the Whites? And why did residents of far-flung Russian provinces often fi ght with the Whites against the Bolsheviks?
Lyudmila Novikova’s book, a history of the anti-Bolshevik Northern Region, is an attempt to answer these questions. Based on materials from Russian and foreign archives, the book focuses on the political paradoxes of the White movement as well as the provincial context of the White struggle, which to a large part determined the course and outcome of the Russian Civil War.
Lyudmila Novikova is a historian, the editor of a book in the international project to create a 16-tome collective monograph, Russia in the Period of the First World War and Revolution (1914–1922). Since 2005 she has taught at the faculty of foreign languages and regional studies at MSU.
It is one of the best history books that I have read recently. Besides the fact that it is a piece of professional historical research… it is written by an intelligent and careful person and is obviously the result of many years of thought. Indeed this second circumstance strikes me as particularly important.
…the main value of Novikova’s book lies in the fact that it combines professional craft with deep historical contemplation that emerges even in the details: Novikova finds it important to mention the weather conditions prevailing during the events she describes (whether the Revolution or attacks on the front), the height differences of interlocutors, the age and personal circumstances of even secondary characters. In conjunction with a competent reading of the structural factors (social status, economic interests, political competition and so on), this fundamental interest in real life makes the narrative more three-dimensional and believable.