At the Guardian he named ten top civil war novels, including:
Dr Zhivago by Boris PasternakRead about the other entries on the list.
“You are hereby invited to watch me face the firing squad,” Pasternak is supposed to have said when he handed over his manuscript to be smuggled out of Russia. The author’s, and the protagonist’s, concern for the needs of the individual was vulnerable against the novel’s tumultuous events and the Soviet censor. But it overcame the latter, at least. Zhivago was published in Italian, then English and French, before a Russian version appeared – allegedly with CIA help. Pasternak was awarded the Nobel prize for literature in 1958, though under threat of arrest or exile he could not collect it. Written over and covering more than 40 years, Dr Zhivago is about much more than the Russian civil war that began in 1917 – but that internal conflict is at its heart.