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Russia at War, 1941-45 [Paperback]

Alexander Werth
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 1106 pages
  • Publisher: Carroll & Graf Publishers Inc; New edition edition (9 Oct 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 088184084X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881840841
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.5 x 5.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 308,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book has given me a new perspective on the second world war. The war between Russia and Germany has not been examined in detail by most U.S. accounts of the war. The case has certainly not been made that nearly the entire outcome of WWII was decided by the clash between the Russian and German armies. In his extermely readable acount of the entire eastern front campaign, Werth provides invaulable first hand accounts of many aspects of the Soviet drive to defeat the Nazi's. Werth was on location in Stalingrad shortly after the surrender of German troops. His account of the famous battle rivals that of any other I have read, including Anthony Beevor's Stalingrad. The only draw back of this great account is that it is written in such a pro-Soviet manner as to almost make the reader believe that Werth is an apologist for the crimes of the Soviets during the entire conflict, especially the invasion of Germany. This book is not for the cold warrior, but a must read for anyone with an interest in the little explored eastern front.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great first-hand World War 2 journalism 22 July 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Alexander Werth's first-hand reporting about the most massive land war in world history largely beats all other second-hand sources written after World War 2 because of his immediacy, access to front-line soldiers, his interviews conducted on the scene, and descriptions of the reality at hand closer to the battles as they occured, which later books emphasizing political analysis or military history often lack. Stylistically as well, Werth's journalism is excellent; his prose is perfectly lucid, readily understandable, extremely readable and a model of exposition. This book's one of the best on the war.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great first-hand World War 2 journalism 22 July 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Alexander Werth's first-hand reporting about the most massive land war in world history largely beats all other second-hand sources written after World War 2 because of his immediacy, access to front-line soldiers, his interviews conducted on the scene, and descriptions of the reality at hand closer to the battles as they occured, which later books emphasizing political analysis or military history often lack. Stylistically as well, Werth's journalism is excellent; his prose is perfectly lucid, readily understandable, extremely readable and a model of exposition. This book's one of the best on the war.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Werth Was There 14 Jan 2012
By John D. Blair - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In an old radio program, I think it was "Duffy's Tavern", a character told a fantastic tale. Charlie, one of listeners, would say something like, "Oh come on! That's the craziest thing I ever heard. Do you expect us to believe that?" To which the character, I believe it was Baron Munchausen would reply, "Vas you there, Charlie?" It was a signature line. The audience howled.
Werth was there.
I've been reading a lot about the Eastern front lately. Most books concerning the Eastern front, sooner or later, quote or cite Alexander Werth. Werth was born in St. Petersburg and lived there until he was 16. He spoke fluent Russian. From 1941 to 1948 he reported for the Sunday Times and the BBC.
Other reviewers have compared Russia at War with Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. It's a good comparison -- the books are similar. (Shirer praises the book.)
Perhaps amateur historians in the West, such as myself, are beginning to realize that, to a large extent, against all odds, Russia defeated Nazi Germany. New information from Russian archives may kindle a new interest in an unknown, but fascinating story. Russia at War is a well written, first hand account of what happened on the Eastern front.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monumental 16 May 2004
By Randy Keehn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Unknown Binding
Years ago I got this book because I have always been interested in WWII. It was such an exspansive book that I kept putting off reading it. However, the more and more I read about aspects of the Eastern Front, the more I realized that I was missing the big picture. I realized that I needed to read "Russia at War" in order to put things in perspective. I took a deep breath and found myself very satisfactorily immersed in a fascinating look at a "win at any cost" war. There's a reason that the paperback was 941 pages (not counting bibliography and index); this was one long, drawn out war. The Western Front had action throughout the same period but, until D-Day, not much to match the scale of Russia's ongoing battle. This was a repeated theme in which Stalin kept insisting that the Western powers do SOMETHING to take some of the relentless pressure off of his armies. Details abound in "Russia at War" but this in not a book that bogs down in them. Leningrad, Stalingrad, and other battles are focussed upon but it is the whole story that I appreciated. That is, the whole of the military story. Werth, who was present throughout much of what he covered, does not seem to do well with the political perspective. However, neither did the Western powers at the time. After the war many jump shifted from allies to enemies without missing a beat but Werth seemed stuck in the "allies for victory" mindset.
I've read 200 page books that I couldn't wait to get done with. This is a book that kept my rapt attention throughout thanks in part to the magnitude of the subject and in part to the skill of the author. It's not something to pick up on a rainy day. However, it IS something one should read it one wishes to know the whole picture of the War in Europe.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Have History 5 Jun 2012
By VANAGODAVE - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book by Alexander Werth is a complete package on Soviet WW2 history. I especially like the fact that the author was actually there during the war as a correspondant and saw first hand the aftermath of the war on the Russian people. This he also conveys in his book with first hand accounts and interviews. Some other readers have commented that this history might be lacking since it was written so long ago especially before Russian release of information after the end of the Soviet Government. I do not find this to be absolutely true. The author does make note of Soviet statistics, but follows up with his own and near accurate numbers and makes no blind assumptions to data supplied by the Soviet government.

I also liked the fact the book was written very well and did not read like "instructions" like so many histories of the Soviets of WW2. The book is full of human accounts and not just raw data. I also think that in reading this, I understand Russia better as a nation and have some grasp on Russian cultural process too. If you study WW2 history and want a more holistic education, I would suggest reading this book.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The author saw the war 23 May 2009
By Dalton C. Rocha - Published on Amazon.com
I read both volums of this book, in a tranlation to the portuguese, here in Brazil.Hundreds of pages, all writen for a man who live and saw the facts.Alexander Werth saw the war.He was there.This book wasn't writen, by a scholar living today, using only old papers,old videos and his imagination.Alexarder Werth was a russophile?Yes, but we must realize that Russia was the nation that defeat both Hitler and Napoleon.
Hitler lost about 7 millions militaries, form Soviet Union, against less than 2 millions from all more than 20 allies armies together.The World War II in Europe was decided by Soviet Union.Not that I'm not a communist.In fact I'm a deeply anti-comunist, unemployed agronomist and brazilian.
There are problems with this book?Yes, it has no new discoveries from former Soviet Union files.And it's very long,but remains authorizative.I still have both volums of this book, in my house.
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