1941: The Year Germany Lost the War

Publishers Weekly

In this successful history, journalist Nagorski isolates 1941 as a turning point in world history, persuasively arguing it was the year Adolf Hitler’s political and military decisions ensured the downfall of the Third Reich. A year that began with the Soviet Union and Germany carving up occupied Poland, while British prime minister Winston Churchill tried to inveigle the United States to enter the war, ended with Russia, Britain, and the U.S. allied against Germany. As Nagorski recounts, 1941 was the year of “Germany’s attack on the whole world.” Hitler’s uneasy nonaggression pact with rival tyrant Josef Stalin came apart with the June 22 German invasion of the Soviet Union. Stalin ignored warnings of the attack from his generals, well-placed spies, and U.S. diplomats, nearly allowing Hitler’s prediction that a “swift victory over Russia was all but inevitable” to come true. Hitler, meanwhile, erred in committing to support Japan if it came to war with the U.S.; the December 7 attack on Pearl Harbor cemented a tripartite alliance that destroyed the Axis powers. Nagorksi’s strength is in piecing together political, diplomatic, and military narratives to create a cohesive whole. He’s a clear and lucid writer whose account of this pivotal year will please history buffs. Agent: Robert Gottlieb, Trident Media Group. (June)