The Crimean War: A History

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Henry Holt and Company, Apr 12, 2011 - History - 608 pages

Please note that the maps available in the print edition do not appear in the ebook.

From "the great storyteller of modern Russian historians," (Financial Times) the definitive account of the forgotten war that shaped the modern age

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 enmeshed four great empires—the British, French, Turkish, and Russian—in a battle over religion as well as territory; that it fixed the fault lines between Russia and the West; that it set in motion the conflicts that would dominate the century to come.

In this masterly history, Orlando Figes reconstructs the first full conflagration of modernity, a global industrialized struggle fought with unusual ferocity and incompetence. Drawing on untapped Russian and Ottoman as well as European sources, Figes vividly depicts the world at war, from the palaces of St. Petersburg to the holy sites of Jerusalem; from the young Tolstoy reporting in Sevastopol to Tsar Nicolas, haunted by dreams of religious salvation; from the ordinary soldiers and nurses on the battlefields to the women and children in towns under siege..

Original, magisterial, alive with voices of the time, The Crimean War is a historical tour de force whose depiction of ethnic cleansing and the West's relations with the Muslim world resonates with contemporary overtones. At once a rigorous, original study and a sweeping, panoramic narrative, The Crimean War is the definitive account of the war that mapped the terrain for today's world..


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Quick: What was the Crimean War about?If you can't easily answer the question, or even locate the Crimean War within a couple of decades of the mid-19th century, then you are not alone. As Figes ... Read full review

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Without doubt, this would be the most complete, detailed and yet eminently readable account of the Crimean War, I have come across. As an amateur student of the Crimean War, I have made its study and collection of realted artefacts, my hobby. Mr Figes' obvious devotion to the preparation of this history is quite incredible. The facts and figures he furnishes are amazing and his epilogue supplies much previous little known information on the outcome of the conflict .I would hope that he continues to produce further well written histories on other topics.
Thankyou Mr Figes.
Edwyn Rudge


1 Religious Wars
2 Eastern Questions
3 The Russian Menace
4 The End of Peace in Europe
5 Phoney War
6 First Blood to the Turks
7 Alma
8 Sevastopol in the Autumn
10 Cannon Fodder
11 The Fall of Sevastopol
12 Paris and the New Order
Epilogue The Crimean War in Myth and Memory
Select Bibliography

9 Generals January and February

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About the author (2011)

Orlando Figes is the author of The Crimean War: A History, The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia, Natasha's Dance: A Cultural History of Russia, and A People's Tragedy, which have been translated into more than twenty languages. The recipient of the Wolfson History Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Award, among others, Figes is a professor of history at Birkbeck College, University of London.

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