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.
In The Russian Revolution, historian Sean McMeekin traces the origins and events of the Russian Revolution, which ended Romanov rule, ushered the Bolsheviks into power, and changed the course of world history. Between 1900 and 1920, Russia underwent a complete and irreversible transformation: by the end of these two decades, a new regime was in place, the economy had collapsed, and over 20 million Russians had died during the revolution and what followed. Still, Bolshevik power remained intact due to a remarkable combination of military prowess, violent terror tactics, and the failures of their opposition. And as McMeekin shows, Russia's revolutionaries were aided at nearly every step by countries like Germany and Sweden who sought to benefit-politically and economically-from the chaotic changes overtaking the country.
The first comprehensive history of these momentous events in a decade, The Russian Revolution combines cutting-edge scholarship and a fast-paced narrative to shed new light on a great turning point of the twentieth century.
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.
Church of Spies
By Mark Riebling
The Vatican's silence in the face of Nazi atrocities remains one of the great controversies of our time. History has accused wartime pontiff Pius the Twelfth of complicity in the Holocaust and dubbed him Hitler's Pope.” But a key part of the story has remained untold.
Pope Pius in fact ran the world's largest church, smallest state, and oldest spy service. Saintly but secretive, he sent birthday cards to Hitlerwhile secretly plotting to kill him. He skimmed from church charities to pay covert couriers, and surreptitiously tape-recorded his meetings with top Nazis. Under his leadership the Vatican spy ring actively plotted against the Third Reich.
Told with heart-pounding suspense and drawing on secret transcripts and unsealed files, Church of Spies throws open the Vatican's doors to reveal some of the most astonishing events in the history of the papacy. Riebling reveals here how the world's greatest moral institution met the greatest moral crisis in history.