Deathride by John Mosier


Mosier’s usually revisionist outlook holds true as he takes on the largest war ever fought, the Russo-German war 1941-1945. Using facts and figures, but also lots of extrapolations and educated guesses, Mosier tries to separate truth from Soviet-inspired myth when it comes to the Great Patriotic War. And, God knows, there are plenty of myths that the self-serving Soviet propaganda machine cranked out concerning the conflict.

Mosier is never afraid to praise Hitler or Stalin for a correct decision, casting aside political correctness in favor of historical correctness; his job is not to judge the morality of either regime (which is good, since it would be hard to find any morality at all in either one of them) but to determine what really happened during the war itself.

Many of his conclusions are unique, some seem almost preposterous, but he never fails to make you think about what he is saying. This has always been Mosier’s approach, he is the shock jock of academic historical study, to take what is supposedly common knowledge about an historical subject and turn conventional wisdom on its head. Sometimes this works, and sometimes it doesn’t work. To say that Mosier is uneven would be a gross understatement.

But not here; in Deathride Mosier has crafted something challenging, thought-provoking and documented. A fine book , all in all, but be prepared for the historian to take a much softer approach to Hitler’s generalship than is typically seen.

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