Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
White Eagle, Red Star: The Polish-Soviet War 1919-1920 and The Miracle on the Vistula Paperback – October 23, 2003
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
Lenin, following doctrine of Karl Marx, believed that the communist revolution, initiated in Russia, should be taken abroad to the rest of Europe and beyond. He wanted to go global. Time of the capitalistic society was nearing its end, he thought; social conflicts came to their extreme during World War I, hence - it was time to abolish old system and replace it with Socialism, Communism and the so called 'classless society' of eternal justice.
Feeling already victorious in his 'domestic' dispute over who were to rule Russia, Lenin believed time was ripe for other countries.
And let's not forget that the Communist movements elsewhere in Europe following the end of the Great War were strong and lively, especially in Germany. Lenin believed that if Bolsheviks could beat Poland the gates of Berlin would stand wide open to Communist takeover enthusiastically supported by German workers. And then the rest of Europe would fall into their hands.
It did not happen that way, Russians were beaten at the gates of Warsaw, Communist Revolution in Germany run out of steam, Social Democrats and supporters of democracy in general prevailed, Europe was spared horrors of the Gulag System created soon after in the Soviet Union by Joseph Stalin.
Norman Davies in his book attempted to explain in detail what exactly had happened and how did it happen. As far as I can tell this book, originally written, I believe, close to thirty years ago (was it not his doctoral dissertation?Read more ›
At the time of this war, it was not necessarily certain that either system would prevail or that Comumuism was such a bad thing. We know a bit better these days since those in power tend to stay in power - for better or worse and usually the latter - unless there is a system that can check them. At the time of this war - according to the philosophy esposed by Marx (and to a certain extent Hegel), the founder of the doctrine - world revolution was an essential requirement for its success. It was this very action that necessitated a change in that theory and the new flavor of the month became Communism in one country with its export later once victory was secure (although Lenin's NEP was a harbinger). This is exactly what happened as we now know. Historically, Russia had far less of a claim to these lands than Poland, at least since the time of Ivan IV. I do not question the fact the Pilsudski was the instigator nor would I say that he was not a dictator - a strong person was needed to forstall the imposition of Communism from within Poland itself (many of the best Communists were Poles or Lituanians - Dzerzhinski, Radek, Rokossovski, etc.). Nonetheless, the evacuation of the Germans from the Ostland created a vacuum that had to be occupied somehow and the race was on.
The Western victors of WW1 were exhausted and had no particular interest in this conflict. It is quite likely that this war prevented the imposition of Communism throughout Central Europe or if not, at the very least it prevented another war to decide the issue.Read more ›
In Davies analysis, some type of conflict between the Soviet Union and the Polish state was inevitable. The collapse of the Russian, Austro-Hungarian, and German Empires left an enormous power vacuum in Eastern Europe, particularly the borderlands between central Poland and western Russia. The Soviet leadership, facing great challenges from internal enemies, was convinced that the revolution had to expand, particularly to Germany, to be secure. They also perceived the Polish nationalist regime led by Pilsudski as a tool of western capitalism and inevitable foe. The Pilsudski regime, in fact, was regarded with considerable distaste by the French, British, and Americans, and pursued a strongly independent policy. A more important vision driving the Polish leadership was of a greater Polish state or Polish led federation from the Baltic to the Black Sea.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Little known but very important war. The world owes a debt to the Poles. Wonderful read.Published 5 months ago by Frederick A. Green
Norman Davies is the Dean of English speaking Polish historians. He is witty, erudite, and iconoclastic. His scholarship is impeccable. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Matthew Dambro
It's really the only book I could find on the topic. That being said, the author had no real access to any soviet archival material as the book was written amidst the dark days of... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Kevin long
It was interesting. But mostly political. I had hoped to read more about the actual battles. The fighting etc. Read morePublished 17 months ago by R. C. Randall
Norman Davies, a premier student of Polish history, wrote this book. It covers the Polish-Russian War from both sides and opened for me a new chapter in world history. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Matthew J. Brennan
Good commentary on the politics of the conflict, but I would have liked a bit more on the describing more of the actual battles of the campaignPublished 19 months ago by Rich S
Good read for those interested in the obscure history of easter Europe/Baltics in 1920- and how these poor countries have been the pawn of Mother Russia and the West.Published 21 months ago by Poskarp
I always enjoy reading about the vaulted Red Army getting trashed. Well-written and most entertaining.Published 22 months ago by Scott in Vermont