The People's War: Responses to World War II in the Soviet Union / Edition 1

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Overview

The People's War lifts the Stalinist veil of secrecy to probe an almost untold side of World War II: the experiences of the Soviet people themselves.

Drawing on a wealth of archival and recently published material, contributors detail the calculated destruction of a Jewish town by the Germans and present a chilling picture of life in occupied Minsk. They look at the wartime experience of intellectuals, for whom the period was a time of relative freedom, and discuss women's myriad roles in combat and other spheres of activity. They also reassess the behavior and morale of ordinary Red Army troops and offer new conclusions about early crushing defeats at the hands of the Germans--defeats that were officially explained as cowardice on the part of high officers.

A frank investigation of civilian life behind the front lines, The People's War provides a detailed, balanced picture of the Stalinist USSR by describing not only the command structure and repressive power of the state but also how people reacted to them, cooperated with or opposed them, and adapted or ignored central policy in their own ways. By putting the Soviet people back in their war, this volume helps restore the range and complexity of human experience to one of history's most savage periods.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
Robert Thurston and Bernd Bonwetsch ably collaborate to edit The People's War: Responses To World War II In The Soviet Union, an informative wealth of writings drawn from notable scholars and historians on how ordinary soviet citizens responded to the experiences, horrors, and deprivations of war, including Stalinist leadership and the Nazi invasion of the motherland. The contributors draw upon a wealth of archival and recently published material, much of which was not previously available until the collapse of the Soviet Union. Here detailed is the calculated destruction of a Jewish town by the Germans, an chilling picture of life in occupied Minsk, cultural developments, women's roles in combat, the morale of ordinary Red Army troops, and more. A balanced, comprehensive picture of civilian life behind the front lines, candid descriptions of command structure and the repressive power of the soviet state, and the reaction, cooperation, and opposition to them by the soviet people, all provide a wide ranging, complex, and revealing historical portrait not previously possible and highly recommended for students of Soviet studies, World War II history, and the endurance of the human spirit under even the most difficult of circumstances.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780252026003
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.60 (d)

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