A Frozen Hell: The Russo-Finnish Winter War of 1939-1940 by William Trotter

By William Trotter

In 1939, tiny Finland waged war-the type of struggle that spawns legends-against the effective Soviet Union, and but their epic fight has been mostly overlooked. Guerrillas on skis, heroic single-handed assaults on tanks, unfathomable persistence, and the charismatic management of 1 of this century's actual military

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Even efforts by ambitious or unscrupulous rulers to impose their will on dukes and earls did not lead to attempts to dismantle central authority (as would occur in France during the Hundred Years War); the barons who forced King John to issue Magna Carta in 1215 combined their insistence on limiting royal power with a determination to preserve it. They and their dependents retained leadership in their areas, providing the Justices of the Peace who long served as local agents of the central power; in contrast, the succession of French bureaucrats (of whom the intendants of the seventeenth century are perhaps the most famous) appeared as foreign intruders in many regions of that country.

Each of the media of access proper to one or another particular network operates to some degree in the others. Money is of course at work in all of them, but so in a way are considerations of legitimacy and standards of competence or skill operative in the market. ). States rely on market exchanges (not always free of control, to be sure) to sustain their population and develop the wealth from which tax revenues come, as well as to provide other goods that governments require, such as weapons for armies; and they depend on communicative networks to diffuse information, to educate or influence citizens and officials, and to provide relevant scientific knowledge.

To be sure ancient city-states and medieval communes posited similar ends for themselves, but seldom outside a transcendent order thought to contain them, and in whose service they were expected to operate. The passage from a form of life primarily characterized by ordained or teleocratic networks to one in which autonomous ones become increasingly prominent brought changes that it makes a certain sense to see in terms of gains and losses, however subjective and contested such judgments may be.

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