SOCIAL SCIENCES

1941: The Year Germany Lost the War

S. & S. Jun. 2019. 400p. ISBN 9781501181115. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781501181122. HIST
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In January 1941, Adolf Hitler's war machine seemed unstoppable. Yet by the end of the year, Germany was fighting a multi-front war against the Grand Alliance of the United States, the UK, and the Soviet Union. Germany's army was stalled outside of Moscow, engaged in a desperate fight in North Africa, and stretched thin in the Balkans. As historian Nagorski (The Nazi Hunters) adroitly notes, the creation of the Grand Alliance and the defeat of the Third Reich were not inevitable. While much of the narrative here focuses on the actions of Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill, Nagorski also introduces numerous secondary characters. Some, such as Charles Lindbergh, did all they could to prevent the alliance, while others, such as Ambassador John Winant, crafted the agreements that would ultimately help to win the war.
VERDICT Nagorski's latest fits into recent scholarship that sees World War II as an influential turning point in history, beyond its significant battles, altering the course of the three nations involved in the Grand Alliance. While his thesis is not revolutionary, his study is well researched and will be of interest to a wide audience.

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