The bestselling historian on the dramatic wartime relationship - and shocking similarities - between two tyrants
'Laurence Rees brilliantly combines powerful eye-witness testimony, vivid narrative and compelling analysis in this superb account of how two terrible dictators led their countries in the most destructive and inhumane war in history' Professor Sir Ian Kershaw, author of Hitler - Hubris and Hitler - Nemesis
This compelling book on Hitler and Stalin - the culmination of thirty years' work - examines the two tyrants during the Second World War, when Germany and the Soviet Union fought the biggest and bloodiest war in history. Yet despite the fact they were bitter opponents, Laurence Rees shows that Hitler and Stalin were, to a large extent, different sides of the same coin.
Hitler's charismatic leadership may contrast with Stalin's regimented rule by fear; and his intransigence later in the war may contrast with Stalin's change in behaviour in response to events. But at a macro level, both were prepared to create undreamt-of suffering, destroy individual liberty and twist facts in order to build the utopias they wanted, and while Hitler's creation of the Holocaust remains a singular crime, Rees shows why we must not forget that Stalin committed a series of atrocities at the same time.
Using previously unpublished, startling eyewitness testimony from soldiers of the Red Army and Wehrmacht, civilians who suffered during the conflict and those who knew both men personally, bestselling historian Laurence Rees - probably the only person alive who has met Germans who worked for Hitler and Russians who worked for Stalin - challenges long-held popular misconceptions about two of the most important figures in history. This is a master work from one of our finest historians.
Laurence Rees is the author of several acclaimed books on the Second World War and is a former Head of BBC TV History programmes. His work includes the television series and bestselling books The Nazis: A Warning from History, Auschwitz: The Nazis and the 'Final Solution', World War II: Behind Closed Doors and The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler. In 2017, his The Holocaust: A New History, was a Sunday Times bestseller. Educated at Oxford University, Rees holds honorary doctorates from the University of Sheffield and the Open University. His many awards include a British Book Award, a BAFTA, a George Foster Peabody award, a Broadcasting Press Guild award, a Grierson award, a Broadcast award, two International Documentary awards and two Emmys.
In this fascinating study of two monsters, Rees is extraordinarily perceptive and original
Coming from one of the world's experts on the Second World War, this is an important and original - and devastating - account of Hitler and Stalin as dictators. A must read
Professor Robert Service, author of Stalin: A Biography.
Laurence Rees brilliantly combines powerful eye-witness testimony, vivid narrative and compelling analysis in this superb account of how two terrible dictators led their countries in the most destructive and inhumane war in history
Professor Sir Ian Kershaw, author of Hitler - Hubris and Hitler - Nemesis
A brave and remarkable work. Revelatory, gripping and hugely relevant, it shows Hitler and Stalin as you've never known them. Truly a story of our time, with so many lessons for the troubled world we inhabit today, it will revolutionise your understanding of these two foremost tyrants
Damien Lewis, author of The Nazi Hunters
Laurence Rees's 'Hitler and Stalin' is an excellent addition to a subject that fascinates and horrifies in equal measure. Presenting this complex history with his usual clarity, his latest study is an enthralling read. By weaving many fresh eyewitness accounts into the narrative, offering new insights and commanding his reader's attention despite the huge scope of his task, Rees has written a book that will appeal to readers of biography and history alike
Julia Boyd, author of Travellers in the Third Reich
Laurence Rees has produced a vivid and terrifying portrait of the twentieth century's two most brutal tyrants. His mastery of the subject shines through on every page. Provocative, gripping and full of fresh insights, Hitler and Stalin is narrative history at its very best.
Henry Hemming, author of Churchill's Iceman
A fascinating history... always compelling
The Times - David Aaronovitch
Impressive . . . well paced and well informed with an eye for telling anecdotes and colourful character sketches . . . Rees' decision to add personal stories to his narrative adds an important layer to our understanding of both the dictators themselves and their victims
The Daily Telegraph - Robert Gerwarth
[There are] many gems in this impressive book
Daily Mail - Tony Rennell