- 279,00 Kč
From the bestselling author of One Minute to Midnight, this is the riveting story of the last six months of World War II, when the hopeful Allied situation inspired by the Yalta Conference descended into the open conflict that would lead to the Cold War.
When FDR, Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin gathered outside the Crimean city of Yalta in February 1945, they had Hitler's armies on the run, and victory was just a matter of time. Their mission was to forge the decisions that would shape the postwar world, and above all to divide up Europe between Soviet and Western influence. These men had been fighting side by side for nearly four years but the cracks in their alliance were emerging; even before the Second World War ended, another conflict was beginning.
Six Months captures this turning point of the twentieth century, re-creating the steady breakdown in relations between powers. While the Berlin airlift and the Iron Curtain would not arrive for three years, by August 1945 the West and the Soviet Union were firmly on the path to a Cold War. Michael Dobbs brilliantly renders the personalities and geopolitics that drove this descent, illuminating the aims and frustrations of the key leaders. This is a vivid story of power, personalities, and national interests competing at a crucial moment in history.
According to popular mythology, from February to August 1945 allied armies rolled to victory in WWII, but then ineffectual Western leaders caved in to Stalin, resulting in the cold war. Veteran journalist Dobbs (One Minute to Midnight) takes a more nuanced view and asserts that neither Russian nor Western leaders understood one another's inner workings. In mapping a course for Europe, both Roosevelt, at Yalta in February 1945, and Truman, at Potsdam in July of that year, failed to sway Stalin from his desire to impose a Soviet sphere of influence on Eastern Europe. Critics labeled this a betrayal of democratic ideals, but the Red Army was on the spot, and no one supported a war to eject them. Skeptical of the great man theory of history, Dobbs thinks that the cold war was probably inevitable, and merely delayed by the presence of a mutual enemy. He says also that Stalin was not, like Hitler, purely autocratic, and operated within the Soviet Union's own systemic constraints. His goal was to prepare for a new war with the West within the next 20 years, but Eastern Europe proved a persistent drain and the U.S.S.R.'s clunky command economy could not hope to satisfy its citizens. Dobbs offers an astute narrative of the six months that changed the world. 8 maps.