Synopses & Reviews
In the history of the modern world, there have been few characters more sinister, sadistic, and deeply demented than Baron Ungern-Sternberg. An anti-Semitic fanatic whose penchant for Eastern mysticism and hatred of communists foreshadowed the Nazi scourge that would soon overtake Europe, Ungern- Sternberg conquered Mongolia in 1919 with a ragtag force of White Russians, Siberians, Japanese, and native Mongolians. In The Bloody White Baron, historian and travel writer James Palmer vividly re-creates Ungern-Sternberg's spiral into ever-darker obsessions, while also providing a rare look at the religion and culture of the unfortunate Mongolians he briefly ruled.
James Palmers account of [Baron Ungern-Sternbergs] brutal and ill-starred life is elegant, waspish and evocative.
This is an epic biography (ranging from WWI battles, to the Civil War, to Manchuria) told in an easy style that infects the reader with curiosity, peeling back myths to reveal the strange and twisted man that was Ungern-Sternberg.”
Palmer effectively evokes both the enormous scope and the small absurdities of war.”
Simon Sebag-Montefiore, Sunday Telegraph
The rise and fall of Baron Ungern-Sternberg is one of the most demented, savage and grotesque stories of modern times. Palmer, with his special knowledge of Mongolia and enthusiasm for Ungern's blend of lunacy, politics and war, delivers an enjoyable, exciting biography that recounts the crimes and conquests of this monster compellingly, colourfully and with cinematic relish.”
New York Times
What makes The Bloody White Baron so exceptional is Palmers lucid scholarship, his ability to make perfect sense of the maelstrom of a forgotten war. This is a brilliant book, and Im already looking forward to his next.”
Michigan War Studies Review
[C]olorfully written.... Palmers absorbing biography of Ungern brings to life a sinister but important man who helped shape events in a remote part of the world in the early twentieth century.&rdquo
About the Author
James Palmer has traveled extensively in East and Central Asia and has worked with Taoist and Buddhist groups in China and Mongolia on environmental issues. In 2003 he won the Spectator's Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize for travel writing. He lives in Beijing.