Mawdsley, Evan 1945–
Mawdsley, Evan 1945–
Office—University of Glasgow, Department of History, Ste. 205, 1 University Gardens, Glasgow G12 8QQ, Scotland. E-mail—[email protected]
Academic and historian. University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, professor of international history. Royal Historical Society fellow.
(With late wife, Margaret P. Mawdsley) Moscow and Leningrad: Blue Guide, Ernest Benn (London, England), 1980.
(Editor, with others) History and Computing III: Historians, Computers, and Data: Applications in Research and Teaching, Manchester University Press (New York, NY), 1990.
A Directory of CPSU Central Committee Members, 1917-1990, Lorton House (London, England), 1991.
(With Thomas Munck) Computing for Historians: An Introductory Guide, Manchester University Press (Manchester, England), 1993.
The Stalin Years: The Soviet Union, 1929-1953, Manchester University Press (New York, NY), 1998.
(With Stephen White) The Soviet Elite from Lenin to Gorbachev: The Central Committee and Its Members, 1917-1991, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2000.
Thunder in the East: The Nazi-Soviet War, 1941-1945, Hodder Arnold (New York, NY), 2007.
On editorial board for War in History, 1995—, Europe-Asia Studies, 1998, and Journal of Slavic Military Studies, 2006—.
Evan Mawdsley is an academic and historian. Born in 1945, he earned a bachelor of arts degree from Haverford College in Pennsylvania in 1967, a master of arts degree from the University of Chicago in 1968, and a Ph.D. from the School of Slavonic Studies of the University of London in 1972. He began work at the University of Glasgow in 1970, becoming a professor of modern and international history there in 1999. He is also a fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Mawdsley published his first book, The Russian Revolution and the Baltic Fleet: War and Politics, February 1917-April 1918, in 1978.
Mawdsley published his third book, The Russian Civil War, in 1987, and it was reprinted in 2007. The book looks at the conflict between various factions within Russia, from the Bolsheviks to the Cossacks and the monarchists, and shows how the average citizen had little role in the civil war and revolution. The author also shows how French, British, and American forces stepped in at different points of the conflict to lend their support.
A contributor to Kirkus Reviews described the book as "a well-rendered account of a history too little known in the West." Booklist contributor Gilbert Taylor mentioned that "for sorting out this pitiless, fateful convulsion in Russian history, Mawdsley is an exceptionally clear guide." Harold V. Cordry, writing in Library Journal, observed that the author's explanations of events in the historical account were "useful." Cordry cautioned, however, that "despite its readability, this book is more for the informed than the lay reader."
With Thomas Munck, Mawdsley published Computing for Historians: An Introductory Guide in 1993. The book offers computer techniques, research design plans, and statistical methods geared toward historians. Richard J. Jensen, reviewing the book in the Journal of Interdisciplinary History, criticized that "the computer sections are disappointing. A whole chapter on generic word processing seems written for people who do not know what it is—an approach about as useful as a lecture on what swimming is all about." Jensen suggested that "a full chapter on spreadsheet technique is called for in the second edition."
Mawdsley published The Soviet Elite from Lenin to Gorbachev: The Central Committee and Its Members, 1917-1991, in 2000 with Stephen White. The book looks into the lives and backgrounds of the members of the top echelon in the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from the associates of Lenin to those of Gorbachev.
David R. Stefancic, writing in History: Review of New Books, proposed that Mawdsley and White's "research and conclusions will cause many of us to reassess our generalizations about the Soviet system and its participants over its seventy years of existence." Stefancic appended that The Soviet Elite from Lenin to Gorbachev "is necessary reading for specialists in Soviet" studies.
Mawdsley published The Stalin Years: The Soviet Union, 1929-1953 in 1998. Here Mawdsley seeks to place the twenty-five years of Stalinism into context in Soviet and Imperial Russian history. He also looks at the conditions that helped the political ideology's growth.
Hannes Adomeit, reviewing the account in Europe-Asia Studies, summarized that "the book is not meant to be a comprehensive and definite work about Stalin and Stalinism but designed—as part of a series—as a college textbook. It can also be considered as an interpretive guide to such readers (as this reviewer) who are not historians but are interested in an important historical subject. These dual purposes are competently met not least because of Mawdsley's sharp analytical mind and keen sense for the essential." Adomeit praised Mawdsley for compiling the diversity of topics that went into the book, noting that he "is able to deal with them at ease and succeeds in the end in pulling the analytical strings together to provide answers to the three questions he posed at the outset."
In 2007 Mawdsley published Thunder in the East: The Nazi-Soviet War, 1941-1945. The account looks at the confrontation between the Nazi forces and the Soviet Union toward the end of World War II, considered to be the largest continuously fought land battle in history. Mawdsley approaches the battle on a number of levels, discussing strategic plans of the various armies, the actions of individual soldiers, and the significance and outcomes of specific battles in a number of cities.
James V. Koch, reviewing the book in H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online, remarked that the account would "appeal primarily to specialists who continue to dissect" the Eastern Front campaign. Koch noted that "except for David Glantz, no other published source on the Eastern front has presented such detailed troop, equipment and economic data in such an accessible fashion." Koch also pointed out that the author "does offer several provocative views, for example, that the 1937-38 Soviet purges did not destroy the Soviet Army's leadership cadre, and that Zhukov was the outstanding military commander of the entire war. Mawdsley also pays considerable attention to major topical issues such as the Soviet economy and partisan warfare," adding that "Mawdsley's strength is as an explicator of the major forces that determined the outcome of this, the most destructive land battle of all time." Koch claimed that "Mawdsley is one of the first military historians to pay substantial attention to Joseph Stalin's speeches," which is part of the reason he called Thunder in the East "the state-of-the-art general history of the Eastern front." Koch concluded that the account would "extend our knowledge and improve our understanding of what actually happened and why."
Benjamin Schwarz, writing in the Atlantic Monthly, found the book to be "crisply written." Schwarz commented that "this exceptionally precise and judicious work, now the authoritative general history, is especially useful because it largely supports some of the most provocative arguments in two new, not-so-judicious books: Stalin's Wars, a minute examination of Stalin's wartime leadership, by Geoffrey Roberts; and Europe at War, 1989-1945, by Norman Davies."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Historical Review, October 1, 2001, Anthony D'Agostino, review of The Soviet Elite from Lenin to Gorbachev: The Central Committee and Its Members, 1917-1991, p. 1503.
Atlantic Monthly, May 1, 2007, Benjamin Schwarz, review of Thunder in the East: The Nazi-Soviet War, 1941-1945, p. 103.
Booklist, October 1, 2007, Gilbert Taylor, review of The Russian Civil War, p. 19.
Business History, April 1, 1992, Ron Weir, review of History and Computing III: Historians, Computers, and Data: Applications in Research and Teaching, p. 142.
Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, May 1, 2001, P. Rutland, review of The Soviet Elite from Lenin to Gorbachev, p. 1689.
Computers and the Humanities, January 1, 1994, review of Computing for Historians: An Introductory Guide, p. 402.
English Historical Review, September 1, 2004, S.V. Morcom, review of The Stalin Years: The Soviet Union, 1929-1953, p. 1097.
Europe-Asia Studies, June 1, 1999, Hannes Adomeit, review of The Stalin Years, p. 709; March 1, 2003, Michael Jabara Carley, review of The Soviet Elite from Lenin to Gorbachev, p. 311; January 1, 2008, Mark Harrison, review of Thunder in the East, p. 158.
History Today, September 1, 1990, Christopher Rice, review of The Russian Civil War, p. 57.
History: Review of New Books, January 1, 2001, David R. Stefancic, review of The Soviet Elite from Lenin to Gorbachev, p. 81.
History: The Journal of the Historical Association, June 1, 1989, Richard Taylor, review of The Russian Civil War, p. 340; February 1, 1994, R.J. Morris, review of Computing for Historians, p. 87; January 1, 2000, Maureen Perrie, review of The Stalin Years, p. 194.
International History Review, December 1, 2006, Martin Kitchen, review of Thunder in the East, p. 876.
Journal of Interdisciplinary History, spring, 1992, Richard Jensen, review of History and Computing III, p. 711; January 1, 1996, Richard J. Jensen, review of Computing for Historians, p. 481.
Journal of Modern History, December 1, 1990, Ronald Grigor Suny, review of The Russian Civil War, p. 895.
Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2007, review of The Russian Civil War.
Library Journal, October 1, 2007, Harold V. Cordry, review of The Russian Civil War, p. 84.
Queen's Quarterly, spring, 1990, review of The Russian Civil War, p. 167.
Reference & Research Book News, February 1, 1999, review of The Stalin Years, p. 27.
Slavic Review, fall, 1989, Vladimir Brovkin, review of The Russian Civil War, p. 495; fall, 2001, Graeme Gill, review of The Soviet Elite from Lenin to Gorbachev, p. 652.
Slavonic and East European Review, January 1, 1989, Israel Getzler, review of The Russian Civil War, p. 149; January 1, 2007, P.F. Robinson, review of Thunder in the East, p. 164.
Times Higher Education Supplement, November 24, 2006, Geoffrey Roberts, review of Thunder in the East, p. 22.
University of Glasgow, Department of History Web site,http://www.gla.ac.uk/history/ (June 12, 2008), author profile.