The Crimean War by Orlando Figes
A History

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Synopsis

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..

 

About Orlando Figes

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Orlando Figes is the author of The Crimean War, The Whisperers, Natasha's Dance, 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 Prize, among others, Figes is a professor of history at Birkbeck College, University of London.
 
Published April 12, 2011 by Metropolitan Books. 609 pages
Genres: History, War. Non-fiction
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Unrated Critic Reviews for The Crimean War

Kirkus Reviews

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The author ably chronicles the savagery of all parties—drawing on hitherto unknown Russian and Turkish archives, he reckons that the death count was more than 1 million, including the unfortunate dead of the besieged Russian city of Sevastopol—and illustrates the utter modernity of this first “to...

Feb 01 2011 | Read Full Review of The Crimean War: A History

The New York Times

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Figes maintains that the conflict was essentially a religious war, and he is frustrated that most writers have neglected that theme: “If the Balkan wars of the 1990s and the rise of militant Islam have taught us anything, it is surely that religion plays a vital role in fueling wars.” Figes write...

Jul 10 2011 | Read Full Review of The Crimean War: A History

Review (Barnes & Noble)

Viewed from this distance, across the killing fields of the First and Second World Wars, the Crimean War of 1853-1856 seems a rather desultory and unnecessary conflict—an accidental war fought by bungling combatants in an obscure and strategically unimportant corner of southeast Europe and southe...

May 09 2011 | Read Full Review of The Crimean War: A History

Historical Novel Society

When asked about the Crimean War, many readers may be able to recall only the barest of details, such as Tennyson’s “Charge of the Light Brigade” or images of Florence Nightingale nursing soldiers.

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Bookmarks Magazine

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 ...

Apr 10 2011 | Read Full Review of The Crimean War: A History

The New Yorker

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May 02 2011 | Read Full Review of The Crimean War: A History

HistoryNet

Besieging Sevastopol in 1854, Thomas Molyneux Graves, a British officer, captured the unrelenting intensity of battle during the Crimean War: "A few days will show an immense number of guns in battery and when our fire opens it will be tremendous…now I am so accustomed to the noise that I believe...

May 03 2011 | Read Full Review of The Crimean War: A History

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Tracy Farkas 5 Sep 2013

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