The turning point of World War II came at Stalingrad. Hitler's soldiers stormed the city in September 1942 in a bid to complete the conquest of Europe. Yet Stalingrad never fell. After months of bitter fighting, 100,000 surviving Germans, huddled in the ruined city, surrendered to Soviet troops.
During the battle and shortly after its conclusion, scores of Red Army commanders and soldiers, party officials and workers spoke with a team of historians who visited from Moscow to record their conversations. The tapestry of their voices provides groundbreaking insights into the thoughts and feelings of Soviet citizens during wartime.
Legendary sniper Vasily Zaytsev recounted the horrors he witnessed at Stalingrad: You see young girls, children hanging from trees in the park.[...] That has a tremendous impact.” Nurse Vera Gurova attended hundreds of wounded soldiers in a makeshift hospital every day, but she couldn't forget one young amputee who begged her to avenge his suffering. Every soldier and officer in Stalingrad was itching to kill as many Germans as possible,” said Major Nikolai Aksyonov.
These testimonials were so harrowing and candid that the Kremlin forbade their publication, and they were forgotten by modern historyuntil now. Revealed here in English for the first time, they humanize the Soviet defenders and allow Jochen Hellbeck, in Stalingrad, to present a definitive new portrait of the most fateful battle of World War II.
About the Author
Jochen Hellbeck is a professor of history at Rutgers University and a specialist in twentieth-century Russia. His previous book, Revolution on My Mind, explored personal diaries written in the Soviet Union under Stalin. The German edition of Stalingrad won a DAMALS prize for best historical study of the year. Hellbeck runs a website, facingstalingrad.com, that features portraits and interviews taken with German and Russian veterans of the battle of Stalingrad. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.
On 26 December, 1991, the hammer-and-sickle flag was lowered over the Kremlin for the last time. Yet, just six years earlier, when Mikhail Gorbachëv became general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and chose Eduard Shevardnadze as his foreign minister, the Cold War seemed like a permanent fixture in world politics. Until its denouement, no Western or Soviet politician foresaw that the standoff between the two superpowersafter decades of struggle over every aspect of security, politics, economics, and ideaswould end within the lifetime of the current generation. Nor was it at all obvious that that the Soviet political leadership would undertake a huge internal reform of the USSR, or that the threat of a nuclear Armageddon could or would be peacefully wound down.
Drawing on pioneering archival research, Robert Service's gripping investigation of the final years of the Cold War pinpoints the extraordinary relationships between Ronald Reagan, Gorbachëv, George Shultz, and Shevardnadze, who found ways to cooperate during times of exceptional change around the world. A story of American pressure and Soviet long-term decline and overstretch, The End of the Cold War: 19851991 shows how a small but skillful group of statesmen grew determined to end the Cold War on their watch and transformed the global political landscape irreversibly.
By Carole K. Fink
The decades-long Cold War was more than a bipolar conflict between two Superpowers-it had implications for the entire world. In this accessible, comprehensive retelling, Carole K. Fink provides new insights and perspectives on key events with an emphasis on people, power, and ideas. Cold War goes beyond US-USSR relations to explore the Cold War from an international perspective, including developments in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Fink also offers a broader time line of the Cold War than any other text, charting the lead-up to the conflict from the Russian Revolution to World War II and discussing the aftermath of the Cold War up to the present day. The second edition reflects the latest research and scholarship and offers additional information about the post-Cold War period, including the "new Cold War" with Russia. For today's students and history buffs, Cold War is the consummate book on this complex conflict.
Winter Is Coming
By Garry Kasparov
The stunning story of Russia's slide back into a dictatorshipand how the West is now paying the price for allowing it to happen.
The ascension of Vladimir Putina former lieutenant colonel of the KGBto the presidency of Russia in 1999 was a strong signal that the country was headed away from democracy. Yet in the intervening yearsas America and the world's other leading powers have continued to appease himPutin has grown not only into a dictator but an internationalthreat. With his vast resources and nuclear arsenal, Putin is at the center of a worldwide assault on political liberty and the modern world order.
For Garry Kasparov, none of this is news. He has been a vocal critic of Putin for over a decade, even leading the pro-democracy opposition to him in the farcical 2008 presidential election. Yet years of seeing his Cassandra-like prophecies about Putin's intentions fulfilled have left Kasparov with a darker truth: Putin's Russia, like ISIS or Al Qaeda, defines itself in opposition to the free countries of the world.
As Putin has grown ever more powerful, the threat he poses has grown from local to regional and finally to global. In this urgent book, Kasparov shows that the collapse of the Soviet Union was not an endpointonly a change of seasons, as the Cold War melted into a new spring. But now, after years of complacency and poor judgment, winter is once again upon us.
Argued with the force of Kasparov's world-class intelligence, conviction, and hopes for his home country, Winter Is Coming reveals Putin for what he is: an existential danger hiding in plain sight.