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"Best RCW Book" Topic

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Comments or corrections?

catavar24 May 2018 9:17 a.m. PST

What, in your opinion, is the best RCW book that's available? I'm interested in one that covers the military aspect well. Any recommendations appreciated.

Lascaris24 May 2018 11:56 a.m. PST

Here's what I have in my library on the subject. I enjoyed all of these books for various reasons so you might want to scope out Amazon and see what others say about them.

General histories
A People's Tragedy by Figes
Red Victory by Lincoln

Campaign histories
Warsaw 1920 by Zamoyski
Russian Sideshow by Willett (covers America's involvement)
Setting the East Ablaze by Hopkirk

Red358425 May 2018 3:39 a.m. PST

The Peter Hopkirk books are all excellent although less about the RCW itself and more about some of the fascinating 'sideshow' events. Highly recommended though.

Mark Plant26 May 2018 12:47 p.m. PST

link for the ones I have read

stephen m26 May 2018 4:31 p.m. PST


I love your site. I am slogging my way though Figes work, still in the pre 1900s. How do you rate the book wrt the military aspects of the Revolution? The battles, campaigns, and personalities? Thank you.

Mark Plant26 May 2018 10:19 p.m. PST

Figes is a social historian. The military aspect is low down his list of priorities. His analysis explains why, when it came to winning the war, the Whites failed -- despite being militarily more effective.

The only war you will find detailed in depth is the Polish one -- unless you read Russian, Latvian. Estonian etc.

stephen m27 May 2018 4:09 a.m. PST

Thank you Mark.

catavar01 Jun 2018 9:02 a.m. PST

Thanks for the recommendations.

Henry Martini01 Jun 2018 6:01 p.m. PST

'The White Army', by General Anton Denikin, provides a detailed military history of the southern campaigns – naturally with a pro-White spin, given who the author is.

stephen m04 Jun 2018 2:47 p.m. PST

The White Army may be the go to book but is pricey! Any idea of an on line edition?

Mark Plant10 Jun 2018 9:33 a.m. PST

The standard English translation of the The White Army has most of the military stuff taken out. IIRC correctly, done by his daughter.

The 2nd Kuban campaign is done in some detail, because that was their glory moment. The failed drive on Moscow doesn't get the same treatment.

I couldn't be bothered making a copy of it when I read it, which usually means I didn't find it that helpful.

A fuller translation of the original would be quite good though.

Sergio29 Jul 2018 8:22 a.m. PST

If you are able to read Italian, those are in my opinion the best books on RCW:



They are two volumes of a single project written recently with good maps, fine bibliography, order of battles and many other things. It deals exclusively with the military aspects of the civil war with emphasis on the southern, northern, western and eastern theaters of the war.

Have a look!

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