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Behind the Front Lines of the Civil War:
Political Parties and Social Movements in Russia, 1918-1922
Vladimir N. Brovkin

Paperback | 2015 | $65.00 | £54.95 | ISBN: 9780691604732
Hardcover | 2016 | $162.50 | £137.95 | ISBN: 9780691633770
470 pp. | 6 1/8 x 9 1/4 | 1 map
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Countering the powerful myth that the civil war in Russia was largely between the "Whites" and the "Reds," Vladimir Brovkin views the struggle as a multifaceted social and political process. Brovkin focuses not so much on armies and governments as on the interaction of state institutions, political parties, and social movements on both Red and White territories. In the process, he exposes the weaknesses of the various warring factions in a Russia plagued by strikes, mutinies, desertion, and rebellions.

The Whites benefited from popular resistance to the Reds, and the Reds, from resistance to the Whites. In Brovkin's view, neither regime enjoyed popular support. Pacification campaigns, mass shooting, deportations, artillery shelling of villages, and terror were the essence of the conflict, and when the Whites were defeated, the war against the Greens, the peasant rebels, went on. Drawing on a remarkable array of previously untapped sources, Brovkin convicts the early Bolsheviks of crimes similar to those later committed by Stalin. What emerges "behind the front lines" is a picture of how diverse forces—Cossacks, Ukrainians, Greens, Mensheviks, and SRs, as well as Whites and Bolsheviks—created the tragic victory of a party that had no majority support.

This book has important contemporary implications as the world again asks an old question: Can Russian statehood prevail over local, regional, and national identities?

Originally published in 1994.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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