Skip to Main Content (Press Enter) Toggle side nav
Red Cavalry by Isaac Babel
Add Red Cavalry to bookshelf
Add to Bookshelf

Red Cavalry

Best Seller
Red Cavalry by Isaac Babel
May 12, 2015 | ISBN 9781782271123

Buy from Other Retailers:

  • May 12, 2015 | ISBN 9781782271123

    Buy from Other Retailers:

Product Details


“One of the great stylistic accomplishments of the 20th century… [and] Mr. Dralyuk’s is simply the best translation available.” — The Wall Street Journal

“A classic series of wartime sketches in a translation that emphasizes their lyricism and dark comedy. . . Though the stories are brief and deliver a clear message about the frustrations of battle, Babel’s rhetoric is never plainly parable- or fablelike; he uses a blunt realism to sketch out scenes that can have a variety of resonances. Writing about war has changed with the times, but war hasn’t, and these stories from nearly a century ago remain grimly current. Short but emotionally deep studies of life during wartime.” Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

“Red Cavalry remains one of the most powerfully detailed and revealing depictions of a legendary people living through one of the most famously violent experiments of the modern age. . . Babel’s characters are stoic yet passionate, savage yet sophisticated, prone to blind, obstinate rage in one moment, and to sensitive reflection and acts of kindness in the next.” — MAKE Literary Magazine

“Red Cavalry is one of Russia’s great books, up there with Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Chekhov, Bulgakov, Turgenev, Gogol, Pushkin, Gorky, Solzhenitsyn. Babel’s brief career is marked by the depth, truth, and vitality of what he was able to complete. Boris Dralyuk’s translation will earn Babel new admirers and place him securely in this canon for readers of Russian literature in English.” — Los Angeles Review of Books

“Casual violence (‘[he] grabbed her hair, bent back her head and smashed her face with his fist’) alternates with beauty, sometimes in the same sentence (‘We fled without staining our swords crimson with the wretched blood of traitors’)… This translation is of the first 1926 edition, before censorship and the author’s own revisions altered the text.” — Publishers Weekly

“Babel’s narrative concision and his ability to shift registers, from the prosaic to the poetic and back, are riveting. . . Babel prefigures the sensibilities of David Simon, juxtaposing grit, gore, humor, and beauty—in a very different kind of ghetto.”  — Daniel Berchenko, Publishers Weekly Staff Pick

“I had read Babel before, but never realized what I was missing. This was the first time I felt that I really had read Babel. It was just a total experience.” — Corey Robin, Cullman Center Fellow, for New York Public Library blog

“Fine writing.” — East-West Review

“Babel was a literary chameleon – able to vividly capture the voices and characters he met during the brutal years of the Polish-Soviet War (1919-21), where nations barely born were fighting over borders soon to be forgotten. The stories here are gory and profane, funny and disturbing, filled with the blood, anguish and up-close horrors of one of the last wars in Europe fought with sabers and horses… Red Cavalry is an indictment of the banality of armed conflict through the voices of commissars and idealists, revolutionaries and soldiers alike. It should be required reading in every high school, in every nation where people still think wars are worth fighting.” – Paul Richardson, Russian Life Magazine 

“Isaac Babel’s Red Cavalry, now granted an afterlife in Boris Dralyuk’s lyrical and fluid translation…” – Nirmal Dass, First Things  

Looking for More Great Reads?
21 Books You’ve Been Meaning to Read
Get the latest updates from Isaac Babel
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
By clicking SIGN UP, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to Penguin Random House’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
Something awesome is on its way.
Back to Top