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Memoirs Hardcover – 6 May 1971
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Top customer reviews
library of someone seriously interested in the great patriotic war. However it does not replace
the modern biographies for openness and balance.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
True, the tanks we sent the USSR were not nearly as good as their own. The same could be said about most of the military equipment we sent them. President Truman's renouncement of a lot of FDR's Lend-Lease activities made us look bad also. But the truth remains that the Red army may well have starved to death if it weren't for western contributions. And Studebakers served their troops better than they EVER did our own populace. Zhukov is clearly at odds with what occurred because while we PAID for (a good deal of) the war, the Soviets FOUGHT (most of) it. It really exemplifies the blue collar vs. white collar struggle that the Cold War represented.
Given the date of publication of this book (1960's), I can understand the disparaging statements Zhukov makes about the United States. He directly blames us for Vietnam (!!).
By reporting things as such (clearly distorted and/or false), Zhukov argues from a position of inferiority. That is outrageous; it essentially downplays the Soviet Union's role (!!), which is very, very sad.
This book is still outstanding, however. It is the testimony of the war's greatest general, and hence is invaluable.
Under both Krushchev and Stalin - Zhukov could do little but endure the maelstrom of histrorical criticism - made worse by the 'cult of personality' and myth that had built up around his actions. Historys under both regimes were re-written so as to exclude him entirely, don't mention his part in the defence of Moscow, and portray him as a incompetent meddler in the Battle of Berlin.
Having used this source as my primary source in an A-Level history coursework to evaluate the memoir's historical usefullness. I have concluded that the memoirs do undoubtably give an interesting first hand account of events - accompanied by some very astute observation. However Zhukov omits as much as he includes (NB operation Mar's details are limited to a number of pages only), his answering of critics is selective, he passes the buck a lot and is typically no more usefull than the many other politically motivated memoirs of the Soviet Cold War Era.
Firstly this isn't a pick up and read book - but if you are interested in Zhukov, it charts his life from a child, to October 1917 and throughout the course of WWII. However the memoirs should be analysed in reference to many other sources then it can be seen the controversies and debates that Zhukov vails in a shroud of supposed historical objectivity.
The memoirs perhaps give as much an indication of the post-war historiographical debates as they do the events of the war.
To be honest - unless one is studying Zhukov, Harrison.E.Salisbury provides a condensed and explained version of Zhukov's account which is a fascinating read should one wish to hear Zhukov's account - including explanantions of the many obscure references and remarks.
Secondly, the Soviet Union did not get the 20 bln. dollar reparations from Germany thanks to the US pressure. By doing so US straightened the USSR's financial obligation before the US and made them even.
Zhukov is the greatest of all commanders and if he, and not Stalin, was the leader, Zhukov would have spared many more lives, especially, when taking Berlin and before the war, when the 3/4 of the officer corps was executed.