An Anti-Bolshevik Alternative
The White Movement and the Civil War in the Russian North
Transforms our understanding of the Russian Civil War
The traditional narrative of the Russian Civil War is one of revolution against counterrevolution, Bolshevik Reds against Tsarist Whites. Liudmila Novikova convincingly demonstrates, however, that the struggle was not between a Communist future and a Tsarist past; instead, it was a bloody fight among diverse factions of a modernizing postrevolutionary state. Focusing on the sparsely populated Arkhangelsk region in Northern Russia, she shows that the anti-Bolshevik government there, which held out from 1918 to early 1920, was a revolutionary alternative bolstered by broad popular support.
Novikova draws on declassified archives and sources in both Russia and the West to reveal the White movement in the North as a complex social and political phenomenon with a distinct regional context. She documents the politics of the Northern Government and its relations with the British and American forces who had occupied the ports of Murmansk and Arkhangelsk at the end of World War I. As the civil war continued, the increasing involvement of the local population transformed the conflict into a ferocious "people's war" until remaining White forces under General Evgenii Miller evacuated the region in February 1920.
“Novikova provides an interesting history of a relatively less known area of the revolution and civil war.”
—Slavonic and East European Review
“Novikova's treatment of the Russian Civil War is both original and compelling. It will be an agenda-setting book in the literature on the period. Wonderfully written and well argued, it should appeal to those with interests in Russian history and twentieth-century history more broadly.”
—Peter I. Holquist, author of Making War, Forging Revolution
“The White movement in North Russia had a character of its own, reflecting the particulars and peculiarities of the region, as this excellent new study reveals.”
“Novikova’s challenging work, originally published in 2011, has finally reached English-speaking audiences thanks to the translation work of Seth Bernstein. . . . Readers will quickly find that the book has a great deal to contribute toward multiple fields, including political, social, and military history, each given a fair deal of attention. . . . Any scholar studying this period of revolution, civil war, and crisis should add this book to their repertoire.”
“Clear and articulate, the narrative is detailed, exemplary, and driven by testimonials interspersed with precise description and individual portraits.”
—Cahiers du monde russe
LC: 2017046286 DK
344 pp. 6 x 9
17 b/w photos, 1 map