Book cover of Beyond the Wall by Katja Hoyer
Europe

Beyond the Wall

In 1990, a country disappeared. When the Iron Curtain fell, East Germany simply ceased to be. For over forty years, from the ruin of the Second World War to the cusp of a new millennium, the GDR presented a radically different German identity to anything that had come before, and anything that exists today. Socialist solidarity, secret police, central planning, barbed wire: this was a Germany forged on the fault lines of ideology and geopolitics. […Learn More]

Book cover of When the World Seemed New: George H.W. Bush and the End of the Cold War by Jeffrey A. Engel
Biography & Autobiography

When the World Seemed New: George H.W. Bush and the End of the Cold War

The collapse of the Soviet Union was the greatest shock to international affairs since World War II. In that perilous moment, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and regimes throughout Eastern Europe and Asia teetered between democratic change and new authoritarian rule. President Bush faced a world in turmoil that might easily have tipped into an epic crisis. As presidential historian Jeffrey Engel reveals in this page-turning history, Bush rose to the occasion brilliantly. […Learn More]

Book cover of In the Midst of Civilized Europe: The Pogroms of 1918–1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust by Jeffrey Veidlinger
Eastern Europe

In the Midst of Civilized Europe: The Pogroms of 1918–1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust

Between 1918 and 1921, over a hundred thousand Jews were murdered in Ukraine by peasants, townsmen, and soldiers who blamed the Jews for the turmoil of the Russian Revolution. In hundreds of separate incidents, ordinary people robbed their Jewish neighbors with impunity, burned down their houses, ripped apart their Torah scrolls, sexually assaulted them, and killed them. Largely forgotten today, these pogroms—ethnic riots—dominated headlines and international affairs in their time. Aid workers warned that six million Jews were in danger of complete extermination. Twenty years later, these dire predictions would come true. […Learn More]

Book cover of 1941: The Year Germany Lost the War by Andrew Nagorski
Europe

1941: The Year Germany Lost the War

Bestselling historian Andrew Nagorski “brings keen psychological insights into the world leaders involved” (Booklist) during 1941, the critical year in World War II when Hitler’s miscalculations and policy of terror propelled Churchill, FDR, and Stalin into a powerful new alliance that defeated Nazi Germany. […Learn More]

Book cover of Checkpoint Charlie: The Cold War, The Berlin Wall, and the Most Dangerous Place On Earth by Iain MacGregor
Europe

Checkpoint Charlie: The Cold War, The Berlin Wall, and the Most Dangerous Place On Earth

In the early 1960s, East Germany committed a billion dollars to the creation of the Berlin Wall, an eleven-foot-high barrier that consisted of seventy-nine miles of fencing, 300 watchtowers, 250 guard dog runs, twenty bunkers, and was operated around the clock by guards who shot to kill. Over the next twenty-eight years, at least five thousand people attempt to smash through it, swim across it, tunnel under it, or fly over it. […Learn More]

Book cover of The Lighthouse of Stalingrad: The Hidden Truth at the Heart of the Greatest Battle of World War II by Iain MacGregor
Eastern Europe

The Lighthouse of Stalingrad: The Hidden Truth at the Heart of the Greatest Battle of World War II 

To the Soviet Union, the sacrifices that enabled the country to defeat Nazi Germany in World War II were sacrosanct. The foundation of the Soviets’ hard-won victory was laid during the battle for the city of Stalingrad, resting on the banks of the Volga River. To Russians, it is a pivotal landmark of their nation’s losses, with more than two million civilians and combatants either killed, wounded, or captured during the bitter fighting from September 1942 to February 1943. Both sides endured terrible conditions in brutal, relentless house-to-house fighting. […Learn More]