By Anna Reid
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Overlapping with and overshadowed by the First World War, the Allied Intervention in the Russian Civil War was one of the most ambitious military ventures of the twentieth century. Launched in the summer of 1918, it drew in 180,000 troops from fifteen different countries in theaters ranging from the Caspian Sea to the Arctic, and from Poland to the Pacific. Though little remembered today, its consequences stoked global political turmoil for decades to come.
In A Nasty Little War, top Russia historian Anna Reid offers a sweeping and deeply researched account of the conflict. Initially launched to prevent Germany from exploiting the power vacuum in Eastern Europe left by the Russian Revolution, the Intervention morphed into a bid to destroy the Bolsheviks on the battlefield. But Allied armaments, supplies, and loans could not prevent Russia’s anti-Bolshevik armies from collapsing, and the Allies were forced to retreat in defeat. The humiliation sapped British imperial swagger, chastened American idealism, and stoked militarism and nationalism in France and Germany.
Combining immersive storytelling with deep research, A Nasty Little War reveals how the Allied Intervention reshaped the West’s relations with Russia, and set a pattern for other interventions to come.
“A bracing account…[Reid] is a skillful narrator with an eye for the telling anecdote.”Wall Street Journal
“A vivid and sparkling account, full of colour and dark drama.”Guardian
“A lively narrative.”Foreign Affairs
“Superbly researched…Reid’s prose is vivid and colourful…this hugely impressive but emotionally grueling book is essential reading.”Irish Independent
“Well-written and accessible.”The Past
“Readers of A Nasty Little War will love the page-by-page experience…thanks to the clarity of Reid’s account, [readers will] feel the failure of the Intervention coming almost from the first page.”Open Letters Review
“An elucidating work of research that resonates amid another ongoing intervention involving Russia.”Kirkus
“A vivid critical assessment of Western meddling in foreign affairs.”Publishers Weekly
“Brilliantly depicts the disastrous failure of our intervention in the ‘Russian’ civil war. The atmosphere, the characters, the absurdity are all there.”Antony Beevor, New York Times–bestselling author of Stalingrad
“In witty, elegant prose, Reid uncovers the true story of the West’s failed and forgotten attempt to reverse the Bolshevik revolution. Excellent.”Anne Applebaum, New York Times–bestselling author of Twilight of Democracy
“A compelling and meticulously researched account. Through its pages strut arrogant warlords, tsarist generals, Bolshevik revolutionaries and British and American military commanders; at stake, the future fate of Russia. With Putin’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine—and the West’s determination to see him defeated—A Nasty Little War is chillingly topical.”Giles Milton, author of Checkmate in Berlin
“Combining exemplary research, arresting anecdotes and elegant prose, Anna Reid’s history of the Allied attempt to strangle the Bolshevik revolution in its cradle is that rare beast—an academically impeccable history book that is a pleasure to read.”Roger Moorhouse, author of Poland 1939
“A vivid and remarkably timely account of a Western intervention that we have largely forgotten, but the Kremlin has brooded on for more than a century.”Martin Sixsmith, New York Times–bestselling author of Philomena
- On Sale
- Feb 6, 2024
- Page Count
- 400 pages
- Basic Books