Stalin's Wars: From World War to Cold War, 1939-1953
Geoffrey Roberts

Stalin's Wars: From World War to Cold War, 1939-1953

This major study of Stalin as warlord and peacemaker is the culmination of a decade of research in American, British and Russian archives. It proposes a wholesale revision of the accepted view of this period of Stalin’s life and career. The book argues that new evidence from Russian archives shows that the Soviet dictator was a highly effective and very successful war leader, one who was committed to a peacetime grand alliance with the west – an aim thwarted by the outbreak of the Cold War. It also examines Soviet internal politics from the 1930s to the 1950s and highlights the importance of the patriotic identity adopted by the Stalin regime and how this impacted on Soviet foreign and domestic policies.

Stalin emerges from this book as a highly talented but complex and contradictory dictator: a diplomat as well as a despot, a soldier and a statesmen, a rational bureaucrat and a paranoid politician. The greatest paradox of all is that Stalin – the greatest of warlords - was the dictator who defeated Hitler and helped save the world for democracy.

This controversial book has provoked admiration and critique in equal measure from the reviewers. But even its sternest critics acknowledge it as a brilliantly written study of the last decade of Stalin’s life and career - a work of major scholarly importance that will shape debate on the Second World War and the Cold War for years to come.

Book Details:

  • Author: Geoffrey Roberts
  • Published Year: 2006
  • Rights Sold
    • UK: Yale University Press

Geoffrey Roberts

Geoffrey Roberts was born in Deptford, south London in 1952. His father worked as a labourer at the local power station and his mother as a cleaner and tea lady. A pupil of Addey & Stanhope Grammar School he left aged 16 and started his working life as a clerk with the Greater London Council. In the 1970s he was an International Relations undergraduate at North Staffordshire Polytechnic and postgraduate research student at the London School of Economics. In the 1980s he worked in the Education Department of NALGO, the public sector trade union.Geoffrey returned to academic life in the 1...
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Book Reviews

  • "Roberts had produced a robust defence of Stalin as wartime dictator and postwar generalissimo, but also one of the best narrative accounts we have of the real Stalin and his retinue."
    Richard Overy, Literary Review, December 2006/January 2007
  • "a brilliant revisionist analysis of the Soviet dictator…Roberts superbly conveys the demonic qualities of this evil, charming maestro, perhaps the mightiest figure of the 20th century"
    Kevin Myers, The Irish Independent, 23 December 2006
  • "Stalin’s Wars is an astonishing defence of the Soviet dictator…will provoke lively debate and is a must-read for anyone interested in Stalin and his times."
    BBC History Magazine, January 2007
  • "colourful account…highly readable"
    The Economist, 6 January 2007
  • "a commendable and comprehensive work on neglected aspects of Soviet history…all the rarer for coming from a scholarly source in Ireland."
    Seamus Martin, The Irish Times, 27 January 2007
  • "A tremendous amount of scholarly and documentary research has gone into this volume, and for that alone it merits the highest praise."
    Arnold Beichman, The New York Post, 4 February 2007
  • "Roberts has done an enormous amount of research and “Stalin’s Wars” is a remarkable historical work"
    Joseph C. Goulden, The Washington Times, 11 February 2007
  • "This hugely impressive book….will remain indispensable for any student of Stalin, Soviet history and the Cold War in general for a very long time to come."
    Geoffrey Warner, International Affairs, March 2007