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  • Stalin's War

  • A New History of World War II
  • De : Sean McMeekin
  • Lu par : Kevin Stillwell
  • Durée : 24 h et 56 min
  • Version intégrale Livre audio
  • Catégories : Histoire, Russie
  • 5,0 out of 5 stars (1 notation)

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    Description

    A prize-winning historian reveals how Stalin - not Hitler - was the animating force of World War II in this major new history.

    World War II endures in the popular imagination as a heroic struggle between good and evil, with villainous Hitler driving its events. But Hitler was not in power when the conflict erupted in Asia - and he was certainly dead before it ended. His armies did not fight in multiple theaters, his empire did not span the Eurasian continent, and he did not inherit any of the spoils of war. That central role belonged to Joseph Stalin. The Second World War was not Hitler’s war; it was Stalin’s war.

    Drawing on ambitious new research in Soviet, European, and US archives, Stalin’s War revolutionizes our understanding of this global conflict by moving its epicenter to the east. Hitler’s genocidal ambition may have helped unleash Armageddon, but as McMeekin shows, the war which emerged in Europe in September 1939 was the one Stalin wanted, not Hitler. So, too, did the Pacific war of 1941-1945 fulfill Stalin’s goal of unleashing a devastating war of attrition between Japan and the “Anglo-Saxon” capitalist powers he viewed as his ultimate adversary.

    McMeekin also reveals the extent to which Soviet Communism was rescued by the US and Britain’s self-defeating strategic moves, beginning with Lend-Lease aid, as American and British supply boards agreed almost blindly to every Soviet demand. Stalin’s war machine, McMeekin shows, was substantially reliant on American material, from warplanes, tanks, trucks, jeeps, motorcycles, fuel, ammunition, and explosives, to industrial inputs and technology transfer, to the foodstuffs which fed the Red Army.

    This unreciprocated American generosity gave Stalin’s armies the mobile striking power to conquer most of Eurasia, from Berlin to Beijing, for Communism.

    A groundbreaking reassessment of the Second World War, Stalin’s War is an essential book for anyone looking to understand the current world order.

    ©2021 Sean McMeekin (P)2021 Basic Books

    Commentaires

    “A provocative revisionist take on the Second World War...an accomplished, fearless, and enthusiastic ‘myth buster’...McMeekin is a formidable researcher, working in several languages, and he is prepared to pose the big questions and make judgments.... The story of the war itself is well told and impressive in its scope, ranging as it does from the domestic politics of small states such as Yugoslavia and Finland to the global context. It reminds us, too, of what Soviet ‘liberation’ actually meant for eastern Europe.... McMeekin is right that we have for too long cast the second world war as the good one. His book will, as he must hope, make us re-evaluate the war and its consequences.” (Financial Times)

    "Indispensable.... There are new books every year that promise ‘a new history’ of such a well-studied subject as World War II, but McMeekin actually delivers on that promise.” (Christian Science Monitor

    "The volume is impressive even by the standard of histories of the second world war.... The book is well researched and very well written. It puts forward new ideas and revives some old ones to challenge current mainstream interpretations of the conflict...a new look at the conflict, which poses new questions and, one should add, provides new and often unexpected answers to the old ones.” (Guardian

    Ce que les auditeurs disent de Stalin's War

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    Global
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    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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    Image de profile pour SPFJR
    • SPFJR
    • 21/04/2021

    Sean McMeekin Does It Again!

    This is one of the most important nonfiction books I’ve found about the Second World War. Often you hear of the European war as Hitler’s war or Germany’s war and I’ve heard of the Second World War referred to as two wars (or more) with one name. But really these are all misleading characterizations since when looked at the right way, the entire conflagration becomes a conflict between flavors of Capitalism versus Soviet-led Communism. I actually would have thought that argument would be a silly construction made by an author trying to sell a book about Stalin. But having read this book carefully and thoroughly scrutinized it, I feel the author has presented a valid thesis. It is only by Stalin’s shrewd diplomatic engineering that he is able to turn the Capitalist ‘Allies’ against each other until well into the war. It is almost as though the Cold War had a hot phase before the traditional conflict we all know.

    This book offers one of the most uniquely refreshing ways of looking at the war that I’ve read in quite a long time. To me the narrator is very important as well and here this title excels.

    Excellent writing, Sean.
    Excellent narration, Kevin.

    Audience, please consider Dr. McMeekin’s other three Audible titles:
    (1) The Russian Revolution
    (2) Ottoman End Game
    (3) July 1914

    Audible, please get busy recording his other three titles, especially
    (1) Russian Origins of the First World War
    (2) Berlin - Baghdad Express
    (3) History’s Greatest Heist
    These are loved by fans of the historical era and would make great selling audio titles. Please do them up right, and in the listed order.

    25 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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    Image de profile pour Walter Jay Gunn
    • Walter Jay Gunn
    • 07/06/2021

    History Bent to Ideology

    Since the historical archives of the former Soviet Union became accessible to historians and authors, new perspectives on the formation and development of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics have been constructed. “Stalin’s War” is a notable example of the contemporary literature emanating out of the review and research of previously obscure and prohibited documents. To Sean McMeekin’s credit, he provides fresh insights into Soviet diplomacy which adds value to the richness of the historical narratives of its involvement and ultimate victory in World War Two.

    While McMeekin seems to believe that he has flipped the script on interpreting Joseph Stalin during the years leading up to World War Two through 1945 and into the Cold War era, his interpretation suffers from an immature ideological polarity and bias that is completely divorced from even a rudimentary understanding of the Marxist-Leninist revolutionary theory and thought which served as Stalin’s prime motivation. In presenting his work in this way, he creates an imbalance of perspective by wresting the archival artifacts out of their ideological and political context.

    There is no question that the victory of the Red Army over Hitler’s Fascist forces advanced the global prominence and influence of the U.S.S.R. but it is mendacious to imply that Stalin would somehow deliberately engineer a European war to achieve parity with, or superiority over, the west. Furthermore, McMeekin unwittingly presents Stalin as some sort of geo-political genius who was outmaneuvering and manipulating Churchill and Roosevelt at nearly every turn. Though Stalin was politically astute and cunning, such was not the case. If Stalin saw opportunities to take advantage of political and military openings given to him by the allies, he would be doing nothing different than western imperialist Capitalist powers would have done.

    To suggest that Stalin had been looking for opportunities to conquer or occupy nations prior to the war for the cause of Socialism just isn’t consistent with any Soviet pre-war political or military strategies. If anything, Stalin saw the U.S.S.R. on a defensive posture since his election to Party leadership in 1924. He well understood how vulnerable an economically, socially, and culturally backward the U.S.S.R. was and navigated a diplomatic, political, and military course to strengthen and defend the revolution of 1917. Wars of expansion were altogether too expensive and regressive when contrasted with Soviet economic goals. There is no dispute that the U.S.S.R. was aiding global Communist parties in various ways, but it was in no position to provocatively install Communist governments by armed occupation prior to World War Two. It could not afford the inevitable reactionary backlash and sanction.

    Given that the U.S.S.R. was rich in natural resources, farmland, and workers, there simply was no need for Stalin to engage in western-style Capitalist imperialism for resource acquisition. Quite the contrary, Stalin’s foremost goal was domestic industrial development and eventual economic independence while Hitler’s ambition for Fascist Germany was the occupation and exploitation of foreign labor, natural resources, and agricultural expansion. To say that Hitler and Stalin were collaborating or cooperating for the sake of common motives is disingenuous. For Stalin, territories west of Soviet Russia offered a defensive buffer against Hitler’s expansionism.

    Departing from objective observations, McMeekin frequently interjects assumptions that aren’t cited from the archives. Without offering any firm textual evidence in support, McMeekin shades various archival texts in such a way as to make it appear that the U.S. Democratic Party and the Roosevelt administration were auxiliaries of the Soviet state. His ideological impositions serve little value except to buttress the creative proposition of his work. It is a pro-Capitalist trope that enjoys a lack of stringent rhetorical critique.

    17 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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    • M. G. Zink
    • 07/05/2021

    A fresh and disturbing reassessment of WWII

    This is a superb book, well worth the time to absorb its nearly 700 pages. This could spark a new assessment of World War II. Josef Stalin is as cruel and ruthless as might be expected. The world leader
    who shines less brightly in this book is Franklin Delano Roosevelt. FDR and his inner circle, in particular Harry Hopkins, seem more tarnished, swimming in a toxic cocktail of hubris and naïveté.

    This is the third book I have read by Professor McMeekin. He takes full advantage of his access to archives in Russia and other countries that suffered behind the Iron Curtin for so many years.

    9 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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    • Stephen
    • 11/05/2021

    Completely new view of WWII

    How often does a book radically shift your understanding of a topic as familiar as World War 2? Sean McMeekin's new book, Stalin's War, accomplishes this seeming impossibility. I cannot recommend it highly enough if you are interested in the topic. By examining recently released Soviet archives, the book explains the thinking of the Russian leadership in general and Stalin in particular. Suddenly the structure and outcome of the war and even more importantly what happened in the post-war era, become much more understandable. There are some hard truths here for FDR admirers. Lend-lease was sold as a way to fight Nazism without shedding American lives, by providing countries such as England with war material. In reality massive amounts of aid, and not just war material, was sent to the Soviet Union, even after Barbarossa was defeated. No request by Stalin was denied, even the most outlandish such as getting Japanese territory and Italian ships even though the USSR did not materially participate in either theater, and even if it took resources needed by English or American troops. If one believes, as FDR did, that more government can solve nearly any problem, it is not surprising that one would be drawn to the Marxism and would want to see it succeed. But I had no idea the extend of the American support of Russia and how that impacted both the war and the subsequent loss of eastern Europe and China to communism.

    8 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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    • Kindle Customer
    • 15/06/2021

    Revisionist

    I was gravely disappointed with this savage rewriting of World War II history. I do not understand how McMeekin could hold Roosevelt and Churchill complicit in the crimes of Stalin. It is my belief that Roosevelt provided the resources while Russian did the fighting and dying. I agree that Stalin and his Communist Party were monsters and they had their own agenda even as they sought avoid the war. It backfired. But to have the Roosevelt Administration in collaboration with Stalin is nonsense. Russia experienced horrific losses and only survived due to American aid. Even then, Russia's social and economic conditions were slowly recovering from a devastating war with little assistance from America. Stalin may have won "His War" but he lost a lasting peace. There is too much anger in this book. I was both disgusted and tired of the tone of of this overly stated and I came to doubt the author's sincereity.

    5 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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    • Amazon Customer
    • 15/07/2021

    Boring, tedious, repetitive

    I finally had to stop with six hours remaining, and I typically never give up. This is an awful account of a very interesting topic. The author had to work hard to make this boring, he succeeded. Don’t waste your money or time on this bloated repetitive book.

    4 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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    • Charles
    • 19/06/2021

    Great Revisionsit History!

    Lay readers often misunderstand the primary purpose of revisionist history. Usually, the author's main goal is not to destroy the existing narrative, but to make readers reconsider their assumptions. Stalin's War certainly does that!

    It moves Stalin to the center of the war's narrative. There are some problems with that. It was Imperial Japan who started the Sino-Japanese War that later became a part of the global war with their invasion of Norther China in 1931. It was Hitler who invaded Poland in 1939 starting the war in Europe, later invaded the USSR, and declared war on the US after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. So, in that sense it was not Stalin's war, but McMeekin makes a strong case that Stalin played the realpolitik game of great war leader more ruthlessly and successfully than either FDR or Churchill.

    Even there perhaps McMeekin goes too far. The USSR suffered 27 million dead and had its agricultural and industrial heartland ravaged. The United States suffered less than 400k dead and ended the war with a larger share of the world economy than any nation in the history of the world. The British Empire fought from the very beginning and it was certainly weakened, but, against all odds it won, and it only suffered slightly more causalities than the United State.

    So, who exactly was the real winner? Certainly not the Soviet people.

    But that criticism misses the main point - to make readers reconsider the possibility that the traditional narrative of the war is hiding certain important truths. On that point McMeekin succeeds. His Stalin is more brilliant, more ruthless, and far more important than in the traditional Anglo-American narratives.

    This is not a good first book on World War II, but if you are a real buff it is certainly worth a read. It is interesting and even if you disagree with his main point discussion of Lend-Lease and Soviet espionage is thought provoking.

    Simply, great revisionist history!





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    • Cmoon
    • 11/05/2021

    a must listen

    From the research to the conclusions and everything in between, this is a fantastic book. I can't recommend it enough. I'll probably buy a hard copy, so I can feel its substance in my hands.

    4 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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    Image de profile pour Utilisateur anonyme
    • Utilisateur anonyme
    • 10/05/2021

    The best WW2 book ever

    Well, after an interesting introduction, the book unraveled into a great deal of interesting diplomatic and intriguing affairs. I’m very pleased and I highly recommend reading this book!

    4 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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      2 out of 5 stars
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    • millbill
    • 07/05/2021

    Not a fan

    This book is mistitled, and should be called Stalin bad. Lack of actual information is not covered by a painstaking recital of the complete lender lease catalogue, although he didn't quite count any pencils provided.

    4 personnes ont trouvé cela utile