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on 5 October 2009
For students of the second world war and of the cold war's origins this might have been a very important book. But there are not many new archival sources and Roberts has been airing these same ideas for quite some time.
His treatment of the origins of the cold war is - I think - deeply flawed. He acknowledges that Stalin's European policy was ideologically-driven but he wouldn't go as far as admitting that this was a crucial factor in the outbreak of the cold war.
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on 8 August 2009
Very interesting and new perspective on Stalin's role in the Second World War and the beginning of the Cold War, but you have the feeling that Roberts take it too far. He for instance without any evidence say that Stalin was not involved in seperate peace negotiations with Hitler, and he also assert that Stalin wanted to keep the Grand alliance running and it was the US and the UK, which forced him more or less into a confrontation )-:
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on 27 December 2015
My son loved it
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on 2 June 2015
What a book! This book covers everything you need to know about the topic. I would highly recommend this to any students studying the field or those with a general interest.
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on 21 March 2007
This book is a very useful corrective to myths about the Second World War and the Cold War. It shows how the Soviet Union played a key role in winning the World War, defeating more than 75% of Hitler's divisions. As President Roosevelt said, "The Russian armies are killing more Axis personnel and destroying more Axis material than all the other twenty-five United Nations put together."

Roberts concludes, "Stalin was a very effective and highly successful war leader ... [who] was indispensable to the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany." Churchill continually promised to help the Soviet war effort. For example, in August 1942, he told Stalin that by spring 1943 a million British and US troops would have opened a second front in Western Europe. But Churchill delayed the second front until June 1944.

Roberts argues, "Stalin worked hard to make the Grand Alliance a success and wanted to see it continue after the war." The postwar Attlee government, on the other hand, worked hard to break up the Alliance, being more concerned to save the Empire than to keep the peace. Stalin said the Labour government was more conservative than the Conservatives in their defence of the British ruling class's imperial interests.

In 1947, President Truman adopted Labour's hostility to the Soviet Union and peaceful coexistence and launched the Marshall Plan. "For Stalin the Marshall Plan was the breaking point in postwar relations with the United States." The Plan put Western European countries under US control, enabling the US state to interfere in their internal affairs. It led straight to the formation of the anti-Soviet Western bloc, which started the Cold War and split the world into two camps.

Stalin's policy of peaceful coexistence did not mean accepting whatever the imperialists did. Two years after US forces intervened in Korea, he said, "One must be firm when dealing with America ... It's been already two years. And the USA has still not subdued little Korea. ... They want to subjugate the whole world, yet they cannot subdue little Korea."
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on 3 July 2014
great thanks
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