The book is about the History of WWII. Unlike the thousands of other books about this period in History, this book offers a reality check on what then happened and how it happened. The typical narrative is that it was a good war in which forces of democracy and freedom fought and won over forces of Nazis’ totalitarian dictatorship, aggression, and genocide. This typical narrative also misses a small, inconvenient, but essential fact that on the side of democracy and freedom was the Communist totalitarian dictatorship of the Soviet Union that was as aggressive and genocidal as Nazis, if not more so. It also misses another inconvenient fact that in the first two years of WWII, from September 1939 to June 1941, totalitarian Germany and the totalitarian Soviet Union were allies, actively supporting each other politically and economically. They even had a formal diplomatic agreement with the secret protocol specifying details of the attack of this totalitarian alliance against Poland and the territorial division of this country. Finally, this book very convincingly demonstrates how the Roosevelt administration in the USA spared no effort to support the Soviet Union. It worked hard, bleaching out its image from all traces of seas of blood of its millions of victims, and successfully turned this monster of the country from a technological weakling into technologically advanced military power.
MY TAKE ON IT:
In my opinion, this book should be required reading for any individual involved in the politics of democratic societies. Not only it provides in great detail information about History, but it also demonstrates how much distortion of History in service of the ideology of socialism impacts the actions of individuals in control and how it results in huge costs that people have to pay as a result of these actions. It is not only people under Soviet dictatorship who suffered these costs by having miserable lives of economic and intellectual deprivations. It was also the people of democratic states who had to suffer a decrease in well-being resulting from vast amounts of resources of these states directed to support the growing power of the USSR during WWII and then to maintain substantial military expenses to contain it. I would suggest looking at two historical events to demonstrate how they happened. One is from WWII – the Warsaw uprising again Nazis in 1944, and another is Russia’s current aggression against Ukraine.
The first event was when Stalin rejected all requests of the USA and UK to help the Polish resistance and allowed Nazis to destroy thousands of people, which could become an obstacle to his plans of control over Poland. It is described in chapter 30 of this book. It clearly demonstrates the ideological and moral weakness of the Western leadership of the time. Just imagine that instead of timidly asking for help, Roosevelt demanded it and warned that refusal to help Poland meant immediately suspending all lend-lease supplies. Stalin would have no choice but to comply because, without tremendous material support from the USA, Red Army would not be able to fight. The result of such assertiveness in this and similar cases would be the democratic Easter Europe, significantly diminished abilities of the USSR to initiate and conduct Cold War, and much better lives that generations of people elsewhere would have in the second part of the XXth century.
The second event, even if it started 77 years after WWII, is directly related to this war and its History distortion. Russian dictator Putin and other members of the contemporary Russian elite grew up in an environment where the USSR’s role in WWII was glorified, its material and military achievements magnified beyond any reasonable relation to factual reality, and the role of Western allies diminished to insignificance. This distortion became an inseparable part of these peoples’ worldviews. It also created the foundation for their strong belief in the superiority of their people and, therefore, Russian ability to generate military power superior to anything that could be generated by the West, despite the West’s enormous economic and technological superiority. Such belief will sustain Russian aggression as long as the West allows it by pretending that it does not happen before February 2022 and not providing sufficient weapons to Ukraine to win quickly.
If Western leaders truly learned the History of WWII, they would understand that choice is not fight or not fight. The option is what price to pay. Admission of Ukraine to NATO on February 21st of 2022 would save hundreds of billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives. Correspondingly, the suspension of military support to Ukraine, if it happens, will lead not to peace but to spending trillions of dollars and millions of lives due to the expansion of this war. It remains to be seen what road they will choose.