‘Let Everybody Die!’

The Crimean War
A History
Orlando Figes
Metropolitan, $35, 576 pp.

The Crimean War (1854–55), fought on a Russian peninsula in the Black Sea, began as a minor quarrel between French Catholics and Russian Orthodox over control of the Holy Places in Muslim-ruled Jerusalem. Britain, France, and Austria-Hungary joined Turkey in a war against Russia, and for the first time in history Europeans fought on the side of a Muslim power against another Christian country. The allies never quite decided whether their aim was to prevent Russia from expanding its empire in...

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About the Author

Jeffrey Meyers, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, has published Hemingway: The Critical Heritage (1982), Hemingway: A Biography (1985), and Hemingway: Life and Art (2000), as well as Samuel Johnson: The Struggle (2008), The Genius and the Goddess: Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe (2009), George Orwell: Life and Art (2010), and John Huston: Courage and Art (2011).