OVERRIDE

Ivan's War

Life and Death in the Red Army, 1939-1945

Catherine Merridale

Picador

They died in vast numbers, eight million men and women driven forward in suicidal charges, shattered by German shells and tanks. They were the soldiers of the Red Army, an exhausted mass of recruits who confronted Europe's most lethal fighting force and by 1945 had defeated it. For sixty years, their experiences were suppressed, replaced by patriotic propaganda. We know how the soldiers died, but nearly nothing about how they lived, how they saw the world, or why they fought. In this ambitious, revelatory history, Catherine Merridale uncovers the harrowing story of who these soldiers were, and how they lived and died during the war.
They died in vast numbers, eight million men and women driven forward in suicidal charges, shattered by German shells and tanks. They were the soldiers of the Red Army, an exhausted mass of recruits who confronted Europe's most lethal fighting force and by 1945 had defeated it. For sixty years, their experiences were suppressed, replaced by patriotic propaganda. We know how the soldiers died, but nearly nothing about how they lived, how they saw the world, or why they fought. In this ambitious, revelatory history, Catherine Merridale uncovers the harrowing story of who these soldiers were, and how they lived and died during the war.

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Ivan's War
ONEMARCHING WITH REVOLUTIONARY STEP 
 
Whenever people think that they will have to fight a war, they try to picture what it will be like. Their stories seldom correspond to reality, but forecasting is not the purpose. Instead, the idea that the boys will soon be back or that the enemy will be destroyed with surgical precision, like the myth that it will all be over by Christmas, serves to foster a confident, even optimistic, mood at times when gloom might be more natural. In 1938, as the momentum for large-scale war gathered, the citizens of Stalin's empire, like
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REVIEWS

Praise for Ivan's War

"Catherine Merridale has picked the locks that kept this history hidden. . . . Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the history of the time."--The Economist
 
"[A] breathtaking, sweeping, yet well-balanced and finely tuned study."--The Times Literary Supplement (London)
 
"With extraordinary patience and a wonderful ear for nuance . . . [Merridale] produces what may be the best historical portrait of life in the Red Army yet published."--The New York Review of Books
 
"Combines, quite effectively, painstaking historical reconstruction and sympathetic projection."--The New York Times
 
"[A] profoundly empathic work of history."--Newsday
 
"An impressive work of history, managing to give a sense of the amazing hardships of the frontoviki's experience."--The New York Sun
 
"Succeeds admirably in fashioning a compelling portrait, helped immensely by her talent as a writer."--Foreign Affairs
 
"[Merridale] does a marvelous job. Ivan's War is full of the type of information that will make you find someone to tell."--Richmond Times Dispatch
 
"This book is the raw and bleeding version . . . a tightly edited, well-paced and very readable account."--The Seattle Times
"Catherine Merridale has picked the locks that kept this history hidden. . . . Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the history of the time."--The Economist
 
"[A] breathtaking, sweeping, yet well-balanced and finely tuned study."--The Times Literary Supplement (London)
 
"With extraordinary patience and a wonderful ear for nuance . . . [Merridale] produces what may be the best historical portrait of life in the Red Army yet published."--The New York Review of Books
 
"Combines, quite effectively, painstaking historical reconstruction and sympathetic projection."--The New York Times
 
"[A] profoundly empathic work of history."--Newsday
 
"An impressive work of history, managing to give a sense of the amazing hardships of the frontoviki's experience."--The New York Sun
 
"Succeeds admirably in fashioning a compelling portrait, helped immensely by her talent as a writer."--Foreign Affairs
 
"[Merridale] does a marvelous job. Ivan's War is full of the type of information that will make you find someone to tell."--Richmond Times Dispatch
 
"This book is the raw and bleeding version . . . a tightly edited, well-paced and very readable account."--The Seattle Times

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Catherine Merridale

  • Catherine Merridale is the author of the critically acclaimed Night of Stone: Death and Memory in Twentieth-Century Russia. The professor of contemporary history at the University of London, she also writes for the London Review of Books, New Statesman, and the Independent.
  • Catherine Merridale
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    Ivan's War

    Life and Death in the Red Army, 1939-1945

    Catherine Merridale

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    Picador

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