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Red Mutiny: Eleven Fateful Days on the Battleship Potemkin (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 17. Mai 2007

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15 von 17 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Red Mutiny: Eleven Fateful Days on the Battleship Potemkin, a real thriller. 22. Mai 2007
Von Avid Reader - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I recently read the nonfiction thriller, Red Mutiny by Neal Bascomb, at the emphatic urging of my husband. While I'm not normally drawn to naval history or mutiny books, this one is a winner. It is a swashbuckling tale of mutiny aboard the Russian battleship Potemkin in June of 1905. The cruelty of the officers forcing the crew to eat maggot-infested meat served as a "tipping point" of accumulated abuses imposed on an entire working class, and in this case, sailors serving the Czar during a disastrous and ill-advised war with Japan.

Bascomb has a gift for the narrative and keeps us involved with the characters and on the edge of our seats as he recreates battle scenes and political strife both on land and aboard ship. He also draws a fascinating and maddening parallel between suffering of the people (particularly those in Odessa) and a rather detached and pampered Czar Nicholas II going about his usual life of opulence. By contrast, the heroic leader of the mutiny, Matyushenko, is shown to be a brave and principled revolutionary who refuses to fire on other sailors and civilians forced onto the steps of Odessa. His amazingly heroic dash between the powerful guns of other battleships makes him a legendary figure and one who inspires others to pick up the banner of revolt. While this particular moment may have failed, it is certainly a significant moment in the early stages of the Russian revolution.

I think you will find yourself completely engaged in this tale and with its young revolutionary leaders. It's a great read!
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Ranks Among the Great Mutiny and Sea Adventure Books 21. Mai 2007
Von readsalot2 - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I just read this over the weekend -- what an incredible book! I became a fan of Neal Bascomb's when I discovered his first book, Higher, a few years ago. His stories are varied (architecture, running, and now mutiny), but they're all wonderfully engaging and keep you on the edge of your seat. I knew very little about the Potemkin mutiny before reading this book, and I can't believe it hasn't been the subject of a big book or movie (other than Eisenstein's famed The Battleship Potemkin from nearly a hundred years ago) before. This is an incredible story of bravery as a revolutionary called Matyushenko rallies his fellow sailors to overthrow their officers and take over the largest battleship in the Russian fleet. What follows is a harrowing 11 days as they attempt to spread the revolution to the rest of the Russian fleet, and to the peasants on land (most notably in Odessa). It's an incredible testament to the lengths people will go to for the sake of freedom. I highly recommend it, especially to anyone who enjoys a great naval/sea adventure a la Patrick O'Brien!
23 von 32 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A Morally Ambiguous Account 12. September 2007
Von R. A Forczyk - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
In Red Mutiny, Neal Bascomb provides a dramatic account of the rebellion of the crew of the Russian battleship Potemkin in the Black Sea in June 1905. Although the author has done considerable historical research for this volume, it is essentially a journalistic account and it lacks the objectivity and detail that one might find written by a professional historian. Reading this book, it is clear that the author has two objectives: to present the human drama of the mutiny and to depict the mutiny as a vital precursor to the revolutions of 1917. Essentially, the author casts the leader of the mutiny - sailor Afanasy Matyushenko - as the underdog fighting for "freedom" and Tsar Nicholas II and his naval officers as the oppressive "bad guys." Indeed, this book is virtually set up as a `morality play' - just minus the actual moral lessons. The author writes very well and he does succeed in constructing a page-turner narrative that flows well, but along the way he seems to have lost his moral compass and I just couldn't stomach having people who murder helpless human beings presented as "heroes." This book is based on the best Marxist tradition of `the ends justifies the means.'

Before getting into the mutiny itself, the author spends a brief time laying out background events such as the Russian naval defeat at Tsushima and the early life of mutineer Matyushenko. Early on it is apparent that this is a Tsarist-bashing account that lacks any pretense of objectivity, when the author refers to Russia starting the war with Japan (the war began with a Japanese sneak attack) and that "the tsar allowed the butchery of his own people." The author makes generalizations such as, "many [Russian] officers were boorish tyrants with a cruel streak," that sounds like it was written by Bolshevik propagandists in 1919 rather than a modern historian. The author paints an exceedingly grim picture of life in the Imperial Russian Navy and the hardship endured by Matyushenko and his peers, but this doesn't square well with his off-hand comment that some sailors re-enlisted and were made petty officers. If service was so horrible, why would anyone re-enlist? Throughout the volume, Bascomb deplores the poor living conditions of the average Russian, but makes no effort to compare their lot with their peers in other countries. In fact, conditions in many other countries for industrial workers was almost as bad, evidenced by the large number of strikes in the United States, Italy and France - and the Tsar was not the only one to authorize his troops to fire on striking workers. For example, President Grover Cleveland sent federal troops in to end the Pullman Strike in 1894, killing 13 strikers.

On the Potemkin, the author spends very little effort telling us about the officers, other than that they were either incompetent bullies like Captain Golikov or "good guys" like Lieutenant Kovalenko, who sympathized with the mutineers. While the author makes clear that the mutiny was part of a wider conspiracy brewing among the crews in the Black Sea Fleet, the specific spark came as a result of the crew supposedly being forced to eat rotten meat. The reader is only given one version of the outbreak of the mutiny - essentially that of the mutineers - and since it is clear that the mutiny was pre-meditated, it is not so clear that the officers actually provoked the mutiny as provided an excuse for it to begin. I must admit that I found the author's description of Matyushenko's motivations and behavior increasingly repugnant, beginning with his murder of his unarmed captain and tossing the body overboard. Throughout, I found the description of Matyushenko's behavior to be violently anti-social and akin to the murderous rage of a Charlie Manson. Despite the author's flattering depiction of him as a freedom fighter, it is clear that Matyushenko was more of an anarchist who always had a chip on his shoulder and who wanted to kill anyone who tried to force him to adhere to rules. He fought to exact `revenge' on those he felt had wronged him, not for any love of freedom or concern for others. Furthermore, the ease at which Lieutenant Kovalenko - who as an officer had higher responsibilities - slides in with the rebels and abandons his country and family is nauseating. The Potemkin mutiny was a typical Russian peasant mush of mindless mob violence and ignorance, for no higher purpose. Once they killed their officers, the crew had no idea what to do and simply thrashed about the Black Sea, looking for somewhere to go and something to do.

The author's description of events at riot-torn Odessa when the Potemkin arrived flying the red flag of mutiny are also rather credulous. Despite the fact that it was rioting workers who started the fires along the docks, he blames the local garrison commander for the death of over 1,000 citizens in the resulting conflagration. In this book, everybody in the regime is just guilty, guilty, guilty, while everyone who fights the regime is a hero. At one point in Odessa, Matyushenko asks why he is being treated like a criminal - which is rather funny given that he had already committed multiple murders, kidnapping and grand theft (he took 24,000 rubles from the ship's safe). The denouement of this tale is rather abbreviated, in that we do learn about Matyushenko's execution in 1907 but otherwise only the briefest information on the fates of the mutineers is provided. Overall, this is an excellent read but readers should be cognizant that the author has sympathized too closely with the mutineers, at the expense of truth.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
a pleasure 8. April 2009
Von Daniel L. Fisher - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
I read only russian history. mostly book about the great patriotic war but others as well. this book was my second favorite read, next to, Vasily grossman's /LIFE AND FATE.. When I finished this book it was like I had lost a friend.. great book.. I think anyone could find this an enjoyable read
3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
An excellent book on an event not often covered in English language literature. 18. Juni 2007
Von Ryan Fisher - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
It must be understood that while no doubt hundreds of books in whole and part about the Potemkin mutiny exist, only a few were written in or translated into English.
While many people are familiar with the 1922 Eisenstein film "Battleship Potemkin," which has enjoyed a world audience and international laurels, few understand the greater significance of the events that took place that fateful summer in 1905.
In "Red Mutiny," Neal Bascomb has presented his well researched vision of the mutiny, its roots and its subsequent conclusion.
It is interesting how the events that caused sailors to revolt against the Imperial Russian Navy can easily be coupled loosely with current events. The great shame of the Potemkin mutiny is the condemnation by the international community and reluctance to support revolution despite the obvious injustice Russians faced under the Tsar. It is very telling how nearly all national governments, even the U.S., feared the Potemkin mutiny as a threat to their own political stability and condemned the mutineers.
Bascomb navigates the oft propagandized nature of the mutiny by Communist elements to discern clearly that the mutiny was not based on Bolshevik goals. The mutineers of the Potemkin were not pushing a political agenda as much as they simply sought to be treated with some modest decency.
While sailors throughout time have suffered similar injustices, Potemkin's mutineers had simply had enough, all the while Russian Naval leadership allowed seditious sentiment to incubate within the lower ranks.
An excellent book, and based on the source material it is a book that was very carefully researched.
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