Stalin's War: A Radical New Theory of the Origins of the Second World War

Ernst Topitsch, Author St. Martin's Press $24.95 (152p) ISBN 978-0-312-00989-2
Topitsch's well-argued theory is that Stalin rather than Hitler was the central figure of the war and that by carrying out his role in a strategy conceived by Lenin as early as 1920 he not only masterminded the grand outlines of World War II but emerged as its true victor. In part the plan called for maneuvering Germany and Japan into a confrontation with the Western powers while the Soviet Union maintained a safely neutral position until both sides had exhausted themselves. Stalin, through negotiations of the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact and the Russo-Japanese Neutrality Pact, achieved with the least possible risk the greatest possible advantage for the Soviet Union. Topitsch contends that Stalin was the only statesman who had at the time a clear, broad-based objective, that Hitler ""fell like a schoolboy into the trap set for him,'' and that the Allied leaders never guessed that Britain and the United States were the ultimate target of Stalin's war. Sure to be widely reviewed and discussed. Topitsch is a professor in Austria. (October 21)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1987
Release date: 09/01/1987
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