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Home » Books » History » Military History » World War II

The Long Walk

The True Story of a Trek to Freedom

By Slavomir Rawicz

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Format: Paperback, 288 pages
Other Information: maps
Published In: United Kingdom, 01 April 2007
Slavomir Rawicz was a young Polish cavalry officer. On 19th November 1939 he was arrested by the Russians and after brutal interrogation he was sentenced to 25 years in the Gulags. After a three month journey to Siberia in the depths of winter he escaped with six companions, realising that to stay in the camp meant almost certain death. In June 1941 they crossed the trans-Siberian railway and headed south, climbing into Tibet and freedom nine months later in March 1942 after travelling on foot through some of the harshest regions in the world, including the Gobi Desert. First published in 1956, this is one of the world's greatest true stories of adventure, survival and escape, has been the inspiration for the film The Way Back, directed by Peter Weir and starring Colin Farrell and Ed Harris.

About the Author

Slavomir Rawicz was born in Pinsk in 1915. After his ordeal of The Long Walk he settled in England in 1944 were he remained for the rest of his life working in education. He died in 2004.


One of the most epic treks of the human race...It must be read - and re-read. -- Sebastian Junger An heroic tale desperately live and compellingly told, Rawicz carries us with each weakening step, sustained by his simple undying vision of the liberty that lies beyond the cruel emptiness of Siberia and the sterile gravles of the Gobi. The Long Walk is an odyssey through the wastelands of Asia and the vastness of the soul - a classic of triumph over despair, of beauty found in the Void. Benedict Allen Positively Homeric. Cyril Connolly, The Times

EAN: 9781845296445
ISBN: 1845296443
Publisher: Constable
Dimensions: 19.5 x 13.3 x 1.9 centimetres (0.15 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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8 review(s)
All Reviews
John Gintowt on
This is a wonderful autobiography about a little known aspect of European history. Rawicz doesn't mention the parades of Soviet and Nazi tanks, side by side through the streets of Poland. His story, like that of so much of Polish intelligentsia who found themselves in the Soviet zone begins in the kangaroo courts of Russia, where he is sentenced to 25 years hard labour in the arctic north.
I have ready many of these accounts of people sentenced to Siberia, and this is among the best of those published. It is a ripping yarn about a group of men, and one girl, and their walk to Freedom. I absolutely recommend it.
Rae Howard on
I found this such a riveting read that I bought a copy for my son's birthday.
Diane Newland on
An excellent book, I really enjoyed it however there were some unanswered questions at the end and as the author has since died I imagine the questions won't ever be answered. Very inspirinh.
Glenda Jones on
So enjoyed this book, unbelievable what they went through, we have no idea what tough is. Thoroughly recommend.
Kelly Plummer on
A good yarn but is more fiction than fact as on line research reveals
June Jarka on
This is a great book for those who want to read about the determination of a group of people to survive and extricate themselves from a dangerous situation. It tells of their bravery and sheer will to survive that led them from a forced labour camp in Siberia through the steppes of Siberia to the Gobi Desert to get to their final destination, India, without the aid of a caravan or animals. People said travelling through the searing heat of the Gobi Desert couldn't be done, but the survivors did just that. A must read for anyone who enjoys factual historical stories and the sheer courage of survivors.
Maye Dunn on
There is speculation that this never happened that it is purely fictional. Slavomir Rawicz could never have written this unless he had experienced it. Truly incredible story of human endurance and human courage.
I found it hard to put down and will read it again.
Howard Phillips on
This was one of the most incredible stories I ever read,and one of the greatest feats of human endurance ever undertaken. It also told how cruel the human race can be and to what length people will go to secure freedom.
I would recommend this book as it was a great story

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