Alfred J. RieberJul 12, 2023
Stalin As Warlord
Yale University Press 2022
The Second World War was arguably the defining moment in the history of the Soviet Union. In Stalin as Warlord (Yale University Press, 2022), eminent Russia specialist Alfred J. Rieber examines Stalin as a wartime leader, arguing that his policies were profoundly paradoxical. In preparation for the war, Stalin mobilized the whole of Soviet society in pursuit of his military goals and intensified the centralization of his power. Yet at the same time, his use of terror weakened the forces vital to the defense of the country. In his efforts to rebuild the country after the devastating losses and destruction, he suppressed groups that had contributed immeasurably to victory. His steady, ruthless leadership through war cultivated a legacy that burdened the Soviet Union, and continues to burden Russia through its present-day invasion of Ukraine.
Piotr H. Kosicki is Associate Professor of History at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is the author of Catholics on the Barricades (Yale, 2018) and editor, among others, of Political Exile in the Global Twentieth Century (with Wolfram Kaiser). His most recent writings appeared in The Atlantic and in The Times Literary Supplement.