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Book cover of World War II Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, Nazis, and the West

World War II Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, Nazis, and the West

by Laurence Rees

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Pages: 448
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780307377302






Available to Buy

Overview of World War II Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, Nazis, and the West

In this revelatory chronicle of World War II, Laurence Rees, winner of the 2006 British Book Award for History, documents the dramatic and secret deals that helped make the war possible and prompted some of the most crucial decisions made during the conflict.

Drawing on material available only since opening of archives in Eastern Europe and Russia, Rees reexamines the key choices made by Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt during the war. And as the truth about Stalin’s earlier friendly relationship with the Nazis is laid bare, a devastating and surprising picture of the Soviet leader emerges.

The emotional core of the book is the amazing new testimony obtained from nearly a hundred separate witnesses from the period—former Soviet secret policemen, Allied seamen who braved Arctic convoys and Red Army veterans who engaged Germans in hand-to-hand fighting on the Eastern Front. Their dramatic personal experiences make clear in a compelling and fresh way the reasons why the people of Poland, the Baltic states and other European countries simply swapped the rule of one tyrant for another.

Rees’ ability to weave high politics—the meeting of the Allied leaders at Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam—with the dramatic personal experiences of those on the ground who bore the consequences of their decisions is eye opening. World War II Behind Closed Doors will change the way we think about the Second World War.

Synopsis of World War II Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, Nazis, and the West

In this revelatory chronicle of World War II, Laurence Rees, winner of the 2006 British Book Award for History, documents the dramatic and secret deals that helped make the war possible and prompted some of the most crucial decisions made during the conflict.

Drawing on material available only since opening of archives in Eastern Europe and Russia, Rees reexamines the key choices made by Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt during the war. And as the truth about Stalin’s earlier friendly relationship with the Nazis is laid bare, a devastating and surprising picture of the Soviet leader emerges.

The emotional core of the book is the amazing new testimony obtained from nearly a hundred separate witnesses from the period—former Soviet secret policemen, Allied seamen who braved Arctic convoys and Red Army veterans who engaged Germans in hand-to-hand fighting on the Eastern Front. Their dramatic personal experiences make clear in a compelling and fresh way the reasons why the people of Poland, the Baltic states and other European countries simply swapped the rule of one tyrant for another.

Rees’ ability to weave high politics—the meeting of the Allied leaders at Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam—with the dramatic personal experiences of those on the ground who bore the consequences of their decisions is eye opening. World War II Behind Closed Doors will change the way we think about the Second World War.

Edwin Burgess - Library Journal

Rees (Auschwitz: The Nazis and the "Final Solution"), who wrote and produced the BBC/PBS television series of the same name, reexamines the key choices made by the Big Three during the war, particularly at Yalta and Tehran, interspersing grand strategy with vignettes from the ground. Was this a "moral" war of good people against bad people, or did the West make a deal with the Devil (i.e., Stalin) to defeat a vicious and unrelenting opponent? For World War II afficionados.

About the Author, Laurence Rees

Laurence Rees is the writer and producer of the BBC/PBS television series World War II Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, the Nazis and the West. His previous work includes the acclaimed television series and books The Nazis: A Warning from History, War of the Century, Horror in the East, and Auschwitz: The Nazis and the "Final Solution," for which he received the British Book Award for History Book of the Year. His other awards include the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Award and the Grierson Award. He lives in England.

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Editorials

Library Journal

Rees (Auschwitz: The Nazis and the "Final Solution"), who wrote and produced the BBC/PBS television series of the same name, reexamines the key choices made by the Big Three during the war, particularly at Yalta and Tehran, interspersing grand strategy with vignettes from the ground. Was this a "moral" war of good people against bad people, or did the West make a deal with the Devil (i.e., Stalin) to defeat a vicious and unrelenting opponent? For World War II afficionados.
—Edwin Burgess

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