Friday, April 22, 2022

Myths and Legends of the Eastern Front: Reassessing the Great Patriotic War by Boris Sokolov and Richard W. Harrison

 Sadly this book is a waste of time and effort. Undoubtedly there are myths and legends when it comes to the Eastern Front and any of them have been addressed and continue to be researched and discussed by academics and scholars (from Stalingrad to Kursk, from the Cult of Martyrs to the Stalin cult). Sokolov is a well-known name when it comes to the Soviet experience in WWII and, unfortunately, for all the wrong reasons. He's light on sources and heavy on counterfactuals, tenuous extrapolations, and broad generalizations. Trying to not only take on the history of the Soviet experience in WWII but, more so, the myths and legends surrounding it, you will be unable to do them justice in the 300 or so pages of text Sokolov has produced. At best he's scratching the surface in some areas and, at worst, he's reinforcing and creating his own myths along the way. This volume is very much not recommended and to be avoided.

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