California Literary Review

Russia

The Greatest Battle: Stalin, Hitler, and the Desperate Struggle for Moscow That Changed the Course of World War II by Andrew Nagorski

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October 8th, 2007

He focuses on the assault on Moscow, the largest battle in history between two opposing armies. In this battle seven million men took part, and of these 2.5 million were killed, taken prisoner, wounded, or went missing. The invading Nazi army numbered about three million, which as Nagorski might usefully have mentioned was six times larger than Russia’s last previous major invader, Napoleon’s Grande Armée in 1812.

Moscow 1941: A City and Its People at War – by Rodric Braithwaite

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April 22nd, 2007

The 19th century Russian poet Fyodor Tyutchev wrote mystically that “Russia is not to be understood with the mind.”

False Flags, Ethnic Bombs and Day X

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March 31st, 2007

“The formula ‘Day X’ in our documents meant the beginning of a large-scale war against the West. Our Department 12…had to participate in this through so-called ‘direct actions,’ which were clandestine acts of biological sabotage and terrorism against ‘potential strike targets’ on the enemy’s territory.”

Jays, Films, and Georg Steller

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March 25th, 2007

O’Brian based Aubrey on a Royal Navy captain of two centuries ago, Thomas Cochrane. Lord Cochrane’s exploits were at least as great as those of the fictitious Aubrey, and hardly less than those of Britain’s greatest naval hero, Lord Nelson. But while O’Brian admitted that Cochrane was the inspiration for Aubrey, he did not tell us before he died in 2000 whether he had a real-life model for Maturin. The answer, I think, lies in the handsome bird that I see now beyond our sun room window.

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