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Reviews

  • Twice I missed my stop on the Tube reading this book... this is a jewel among histories, taking a single episode from the penultimate year of the Great War, illuminating a continent, a revolution and a series of psychologies in a moment of cataclysm and doing it with wit, judgment and an eye for telling detail... Catherine Merridale, who won the Wolfson history prize for Red Fortress, her 2013 book about the Kremlin, is one of those historians whose work allows you to understand something more about the world we inhabit now.

    David Aaronovitch, The Times
  • 'A detailed look at the famous train journey... fascinatingly realist... [Merridale] is good at capturing the frankly dodgy atmosphere of high politics and low motives that swirled around post-abdication Russia... Merridale can bring humour into the most gruesome moments.

    André Van Loon, Spectator
  • Catherine Merridale is one of the foremost foreign historians of Russia, combining wry insights with deep sympathy for the human beings suffering the tragedies she writes about... It combines diplomatic intrigue, spycraft, towering personalities, bureaucratic bungling, military history and ideology. Ms Merridale neatly unites background and foreground, and deftly evokes the atmosphere of the time... excellent

    Economist
  • Praise for RED FORTRESS: 'Magnificent ... [a] a superbly written book' Telegraph 'A zingy, razor-keen history of the Kremlin' Spectator Books of the Year 'Exhilarating'

    Guardian
  • A brisk and often witty overview for the lay reader of the circumstances leading up to the February and October revolutions.

    Helen Rappaport, The Sunday Times
  • With a novelists' readability and a fertile imagination... Merridale retraces his week-long journey... At the same time, she skilfully weaves into the story the unfolding revolution

    Observer Review
  • With the 100th anniversary of the two Russian revolutions of 1917 around the corner... surely no author will give a better account than Merridale of how, in that fateful year, Lenin made his way with German help from exile in Switzerland to Russia.

    Financial Times BOOKS OF THE YEAR
  • Fills a lacuna in the canonical record of Soviet communism.... A superbly written narrative history that draws together and makes sense of scattered data, anecdotes, and minor episodes, affording us a bigger picture of events that we now understand to be transformative

    Kirkus Reviews
  • Merridale corrects factual errors made by predecessors and opens a fresh interpretive perspective. Personal reenactment of Lenin's eight-day train-and-ferry journey gives force to materials uncovered through assiduous research in newly opened archives as Merridale resolves perplexities long surrounding the political gambles, devious espionage, and shadowy financing that transport Lenin through Germany on a sealed train bound for a land tempestuously shedding its czarist past and desperate for a leader to guide it into an uncharted future. . . . History recovered as living drama

    Booklist
  • A colorful, suspenseful, and well-documented narrative

    Publishers Weekly

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