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A major new history of the Second World War by a prize-winning historian

We remember World War II as a struggle between good and evil, with Hitler propelling events and the Allied powers saving the day. But Hitler’s armies did not fight in multiple theaters, his empire did not span the Eurasian continent, and he did not inherit the spoils of war. That role belonged to Joseph Stalin. Hitler’s genocidal ambition may have unleashed Armageddon, but as celebrated historian Sean McMeekin shows, the conflicts that emerged were the result of Stalin’s maneuverings, orchestrated to unleash a war between capitalist powers in Europe and between Japan and the Anglo-American forces in the Pacific. Meanwhile, the United States and Britain’s self-defeating strategy of supporting Stalin and his armies at all costs allowed the Soviets to conquer most of Eurasia, from Berlin to Beijing, for Communism.

A groundbreaking reassessment, Stalin’s War is essential reading for anyone looking to understand the roots of the current world order.

What's Inside

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Reader Reviews

Praise

"Stalin's War is above all about strategy: the failure of Roosevelt and Churchill to make shrewd choices as World War II played out. McMeekin brilliantly argues that instead of weighting the European and Pacific theaters to favor their own interests -- and weaken the inevitably antagonistic Soviet Union -- FDR and Churchill left the most critical parts of Asia unguarded while they ground down the German army, a decision that favored Stalin's interests far more than their own. Roosevelt's "Germany first" strategy and the trillion dollars of Lend Lease aid he poured into Stalin's treasury would underwrite Soviet control of China and East Central Europe after 1945, and hatch a Cold War whose dire effects are with us still."
Geoffrey Wawro, author of Sons of Freedom and director of the University of North Texas Military History Center
“Sean McMeekin’s new book fills a massive gap in the historiography of World War II.  Based on exhaustive research in Russian and other archives, his examination of Stalin’s foreign policy explores fresh avenues and explodes many myths, perhaps the most significant being that of unwittingly exaggerated emphasis on ‘Hitler’s war.’ He shows conclusively that the two tyrants were equally responsible, both for the outbreak of war in 1945 and the appalling slaughter which ensued.”
Nikolai Tolstoy
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