The narrative is set firmly against the background of Moscow and its people, beginning in early 1941, when the Soviet Union was still untouched by the war raging to the west. We hear how, despite a mass of secret intelligence, the breaching of the border by the Wehrmacht in June took the country by surprise, and how, when the Germans pushed to Moscow in November, the Red Army and the capital's inhabitants undertook to defend their city. Finally, in the winter of 1941-1942, they turned the Germans back on the city's very outskirts. Braithwaite's dramatic, richly illustrated narrative of the military action offers telling portraits of Stalin and his generals. By interweaving the personal remembrances of soldiers, politicians, writers, artists, workers, and schoolchildren, he gives us an unprecedented understanding of how the war affected the daily life of Moscow, and of the extraordinary bravery, endurance, and sacrifice, both voluntary and involuntary, that was required of its citizens.
This is a brilliantly researched and realized history, and an essential addition to the literature of World War II.
©2006 Rodric Braithwaite; (P)2006 Tantor Media, Inc.
"Braithwaite delivers a tragically human Moscow of 1941." (Booklist)
"This is an absorbing contribution to what [Braithwaite] considers WWII's turning point." (Publishers Weekly)
A grabbing listen that is hard to "put down". Narration is superb.
As a native Russian speaker who grew up in Moscow, I appreciated usage of some of Russian terms...However, for a non-Russian speaker, I wonder whether the Russian lingo would make this a litter harder to enjoy. As a result, this is 5 stars for current/former Moscovites/Russians and 4 stars for non-Russian speakers.
This book moved at a snails pace. My complaint is that the author seems to chronicle the execution of every Russian by the Soviet Army and NKVD (secret police). The events are certainly tragic, but as the hours go by fatigue sets in and I can't listen any longer. This is the only Audible title I can recall not finishing. The reader is good, but he can only help so much...
This is an excellent telling of one of the most dramatic and heart breaking time in history. This book gives the story from several perspectives. Full of no-win situations that turn regular people into heroes or monsters.
Not a lot of military commentary, especially from a German perspective. More about everyday life prewar and during the battle.
While I made it thru this "story" it was not very well organized and hard to stay interested .......
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