The White Guard

The White Guard


Kiev - Kyiv - is in chaos. Russia has withdrawn from World War I but the Germans have set up a puppet government in Ukraine. Civil war rages: the Bolsheviks have seized power in Russia, but the anti-revolutionary White Guard who have fled to Ukraine, are rallying to resist. In the meantime, Ukrainian nationalists are camped outside the capital, and a Red army is on its way to bring everyone to heel. While all this is going on, the Turbin family try to eke out their existence in Kyiv and discuss what they should do. They are exactly the sort of family - monarchist intelligentsia - for whom the future looks particularly menacing.
Bulgakov's brilliant and evocative prose brings the city and the moment unforgettably to life and sheds some fascinating light on the complex interwoven histories of Ukraine and Russia.


  • It's a visceral book and very visual. It's got little details that just take you there immediately. I don't know what it would be like for someone who doesn't know the history but to me, it feels like you're watching something happen before your eyes.
    Orlando Figes,

About the author

Mikhail Bulgakov

Mikhail Afanasyevich Bulgakov was a Russian, later Soviet writer, medical doctor, and playwright active in the first half of the 20th century. He is best known for his novel The Master and Margarita, published posthumously, which has been called one of the masterpieces of the 20th century
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