William Howard Russell's uncompromising dispatches from the Crimea to the London Times, collected in this book, revolutionized war reporting and the public's perception of war. Never before had Britons on the home front been exposed to the grim realities of remote battlefields, and they were shocked and outraged by what they read. Russell's images of the plight of the soldiers and his criticism of medical facilities led the government to vastly improve soldiers' living standards and Florence Nightingale to improve sanitation for the wounded. Even now, more than 150 years after his reporting from the Crimea, readers will find Russell's graphic descriptions to be extraordinarily modern.
Among the dispatches reproduced for the book are Russell's eyewitness accounts of the battles of the Alma, Inkerman, Balaklava, and the Tchernaya, and the carnage at the Malakoff and the Redan. His description of the brave fiasco that came to be known as the Charge of the Light Brigade inspired Alfred Lord Tennyson to compose his famous poem. Russell's refusal to compromise and his meticulous attention to detail set a standard that remains today.