Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, the Nazis and the West

By Laurence Rees

With testimonies from nearly a hundred separate witnesses, Laurence Rees re-examines the key decisions made by Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt during the war. The horror of war is handled sensitively and there is much to think about here. It is thought-provoking to say the least. Rees reveals the deeper stories behind Stalin’s earlier relationship with the Nazis and gives us a surprising view of the Soviet leader. As his theories develop, he provides a different perspective on events leading up to the second world war – one that is deeply embarrassing for many Russians. He talks to former Soviet secret police; to allied seamen who braved Arctic convoys; and to Red Army veterans who open up and recount how they fared in hand-to-hand combat on the Eastern Front. Much like James Holland, Rees writes a gripping account, combining first-hand narratives with facts and figures to illustrate what happened, where and when. Despite this being grim in parts, it is eminently readable.

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