Spies and Commissars: The Early Years of the Russian Revolution

Robert Service


A fast-moving tale full of fascinating characters - not least be children's author Arthur Ransome, whom I had no idea had anything to do with Communism. The author's style reminds me of Barbara Tuchman, and he has a similarly sharp eye for character detail.

At times the narrative feels a little superficial and forced, perhaps not sure whether to focus on anecdotes or history, and it might have made the book more distinctive to tell the latter purely by way of the former rather than meeting both half-way. But still a great overview of an under-served period of great contemporary and historical importance.

Finished on Fri, 28 Dec 2012 12:24:45 -0800.   Rating 3/5.