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A Small, Stubborn Town


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The Russians are invading. But the locals have a plan.

About the Author

Andrew Harding is a British journalist and author of two internationally acclaimed non-fiction books, The Mayor of Mogadishu, and These Are Not Gentle People, which won South Africa's top literary prize. Andrew has been a foreign correspondent for BBC News for three decades, reporting from the former Soviet Union, Asia and Africa. He has covered many of the world's conflicts, including the war in Ukraine, and has won numerous awards, including an Emmy.


'A short, brilliant book... Its characters could have walked out of a novel'
*Financial Times*

'A cracking story ... that never loses sight of the "murderous absurdity" of Russia's war'
*The Spectator*

'[A] remarkable story ... propulsive'
*The Irish Times*

'Riveting and vividly written ... this gripping story is the literary equivalent of a superb miniature painting'
*The Observer*

'The story of Ukraine in perfect microcosm - ordinary people doing absolutely extraordinary things - beautifully told'
*Christina Lamb*

'A short, brilliant book on the battle for Voznesensk. Harding captures the mixture of courage, bewilderment and mania of Ukrainians who decide to fight the invasion'
*Financial Times*

'Harding has told a mesmerising story of how in the face of a mighty army, ordinary people can sometimes turn and simply say, "No."'
*Mail on Sunday*

'Elegantly told ... a deceptively simple narrative that explains a great deal about the dynamics of this war and many others'
*The Times*

'Harding recreates the fighting blow by-blow ... [and] the personalities of his interviewees come to life'
*The Telegraph*

'Reads like a daring tale from WW2'
*Tortoise Media*

'Extraordinary; filled with a deep sense of enduring humanity. Immensely powerful, timely and real.'
*Philippe Sands, author of East West Street*

'It would be wonderful if the story told in this beautiful little book were the author's invention. But alas, the story itself is pure truth. Andrew Harding's characters invite the reader into their daily struggle which we witness with awe and empathy. We are touched by their courage and dignity - qualities that the author must surely have possessed in equal measure to record these extraordinary events.'
*Andrey Kurkov*

'A piercing book: the story of extraordinary heroism by ordinary people, and an accessible, limpid account of what battle is actually like.
*James Meek*

'This gripping account is the Russian invasion of Ukraine in microcosm.'
*Lindsey Hilsum*

'Fascinating, vivid, often harrowing, and deeply moving. A must-read for anyone trying to grasp both the human dimension and larger dynamics of this brutal contemporary war.'
*Fiona Hill, author of There Is Nothing for You Here*

'A captivating tale of one Ukrainian town and a heartening story of people's defiance, ingenuity and spirit. Originally reported and beautifully written.'
*Arkady Ostrovsky, author of The Invention of Russia*

'Maybe the most compelling book on Ukraine published in English this year[...] A Small Stubborn Town reads like a novel, both in light of its beautifully wrought prose, and the extraordinary story of the remarkable civilian defence mounted by the town's eclectic residents'
*The Telegraph*

'A gripping account of why Ukraine managed to so effectively thwart Russia's attempts to fully overrun its territory. With snapshot clarity and a real-time narrative structure, it reminds readers that Ukrainians know for exactly what, and exactly why, they are fighting.'
*The New Voice of Ukraine*

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