June, 1941 Hitler and Stalin John R. Lukacs

Publication date:
12 May 2006
192 pages: 210 x 140 x 21mm

Buy this eBook

Yale eBooks are available in a variety of formats, including Kindle, ePub and ePDF. You can purchase this title from a number of online retailers (see below).

This brilliant new work by the author of the best-selling "Five Days in London May 1940", is an unparalleled drama of two great leaders confronting each other in June, 1941. It describes Hitler and Stalin's strange, calculating, and miscalculating relationship before the German invasion of Soviet Russia, with its gigantic (and unintended) consequences. John Lukacs questions many long-held beliefs; he suggests, for example, that among other things Hitler's first purpose involved England: if Stalin's Communist Russia were to be defeated, Hitler's Third Reich would be well-nigh invincible, and the British and American peoples would be forced to rethink the war against Hitler. The book offers penetrating insights and a new portrait of Hitler and Stalin, moved by their long-lasting inclinations. Yet, among other things, Lukacs presents evidence that Hitler (rather than his generals) had moments of dark foreboding before the invasion. Stalin could not, because he wished not, believe that Hitler would choose the risk of a two-front war by attacking him; he was stunned and shocked and came close to a breakdown. But he recovered, grew into a statesman, and eventually became a prime victor of the Second World War. Such are the ironies of history; John Lukacs paints them with a shining narrative skill.

John Lukacs is one of America's most respected historians and the author of more than two dozen books on history, nine of which are published by Yale University Press.

'No one has done more to turn the short history book into an art form. ... This book provides a fascinating insight...' - Antony Beevor, The Mail on Sunday

'Lukacs relishes historical ironies... [He believes] that history is not the product of vast, impersonal economic and material forces, but rather lies in the hands of great leaders and statesmen - even ones whose greatness is wholly negative.' - Ludovic Hunter-Tilney, Financial Times Magazine

'Lukacs's short, incisive book examines in detail the days leading up to the invasion and analyses the ambiguous relationship between Hitler and Stalin. ... He provides an absorbing account of events that really did change the world and of the two men at the heart of them.' - Nick Rennison, The Sunday Times

'John Lukacs is a prolific and eminent scholar. ... His latest book is a gallant attempt to make sense of the Hitler-Stalin relationship. ... One of the attractions of the author's writing style - at least to me - is his directness, committing to paper what others save for conversation over post-seminar coffee. ... June 1941 is vigorously written; if it is neither a monograph nor a narrative study it certainly avoids the blandness of a textbook.' - Evan Mawdsley, Literary Review