Bestselling historian Andrew Nagorski takes a fresh look at the decisive year 1941, when Hitler’s miscalculations and policy of terror propelled Churchill, FDR, and Stalin into a powerful new alliance that defeated Nazi Germany.
In early 1941, Hitler’s armies ruled most of Europe. Churchill’s Britain was an isolated holdout against the Nazi tide, but German bombers were attacking its cities and German U-boats were attacking its ships. Stalin was observing the terms of the Nazi-Soviet Pact, and Roosevelt was vowing to keep the United States out of the war. Hitler was confident that his aim of total victory was within reach.
By the end of 1941, all that changed. Hitler had repeatedly gambled on escalation and lost: by invading the Soviet Union and committing a series of disastrous military blunders; by making mass murder and terror his weapons of choice, and by rushing to declare war on the United States after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. Britain emerged with two powerful new allies—Russia and the United States. By then, Germany was doomed to defeat.
Nagorski illuminates the actions of the major characters of this pivotal year as never before. 1941: The Year Germany Lost the War is a stunning examination of unbridled megalomania versus determined leadership. It also reveals how 1941 set the Holocaust in motion, and presaged the postwar division of Europe, triggering the Cold War. 1941 was a year that forever defined our world.
Andrew Nagorski served as Newsweek’s bureau chief in Hong Kong, Moscow, Rome, Bonn, Warsaw, and Berlin. He is the author of six previous critically acclaimed books, including Hitlerland and The Nazi Hunters. He has also written for countless publications. Visit him at AndrewNagorski.com.
"Andrew Nagorski ‘s vivid, incisive account shows how and why 1941 marked not just the beginning, but the beginning of the end, of World War II.”
– William Taubman, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Khrushchev: The Man and His Era and Gorbachev: His Life and Times
"In 1941, the seemingly all-powerful Adolf Hitler snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by making two fatal mistakes: declaring war on the Soviet Union and the United States. In his gripping, deeply researched account of this pivotal roller-coaster year, Andrew Nagorski masterfully shows how Hitler’s hubris and willful lack of knowledge led to the Nazis’ destruction and set the stage for the Cold War that still haunts us today.”
– Lynne Olson, Author of Last Hope Island and Madame Fourcade’s Secret War
“1941 must have been the bravest and stupidest year of modern times. With gripping narrative and eye-popping revelation, Andrew Nagorski shows us why character is destiny.”
– Evan Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of Being Nixon and Ike’s Bluff
“The Year Germany Lost the War is a seamlessly written and well-researched investigation of how Hitler bungled his geopolitical playing hand in 1941, thereby sinking the Third Reich. There is never a dull moment or lull in this fast-paced narrative. Highly recommended!”
– Douglas Brinkley, Author of American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space