Stalin's General (Paperback)
The Life of Georgy Zhukov
Share this book
Marshal Georgy Zhukov is one of military history's legendary names.
He played a decisive role in the battles of Moscow, Stalingrad and Kursk that brought down the Nazi regime. He was the first of the Allied generals to enter Berlin and it was he who took the German surrender. He led the huge victory parade in Red Square, riding a white horse, and in doing so, dangerously provoking Stalin's envy.
His post-war career was equally eventful – Zhukov found himself sacked and banished twice, and wrongfully accused of disloyalty. However, he remains one of the most decorated officers in the history of both Russia and the Soviet Union. Since his death in 1974, Zhukov has increasingly been seen as the indispensable military leader of the Second World War, surpassing Eisenhower, Patton, Montgomery and MacArthur in his military brilliance and ferocity.
Making use of hundreds of documents from Russian military archives, as well as unpublished versions of Zhukov's memoirs, Geoffrey Roberts fashions a remarkably intimate portrait of a man whose personality was as fascinating as it was contradictory. Tough, decisive, strong-willed and brutal as a soldier, in his private life he was charming and gentle. Zhukov's relations with Stalin's other generals were often prickly and fraught with rivalry, but he was the only one among them to stand up to the Soviet dictator.
Piercing the hyperbole of the Zhukov personality cult, Roberts debunks many of the myths that have sprung up around Zhukov's life, to deliver fresh insights into the marshal's relations with Stalin, Khrushchev and Eisenhower. A highly regarded historian of Soviet Russia, Roberts has fashioned the definitive biography of this seminal 20th-century figure.
Geoffrey Roberts is a professor of history at the University College Cork, Ireland. He is a frequent contributor to British, Irish and American newspapers.
Confident and detailedJohn Lloyd, Financial Times
Although this book will naturally attract readers interested in military history, it also provides broad insights into how individuals functioned and survived under Stalin and Khrushchev. It is a skilfully written account of an extraordinary man living in extraordinary times.Evan Mawdsley, BBC History Magazine
This book is an example of high quality biography. It is meticulously researched and objective in its judgments. It is an important contribution to understanding the Soviet psychology as well as the history of the Second World War.Douglas Osler, Scotsman
In this comprehensive biography Geoffrey Roberts draws on newly available archive material and private papers to piece together Zhukov's remarkable story.Ian PindarGuardian
[A] well-written and meticulously researched biographyRichard Overy, Literary Review
Roberts does a large measure of justice to Stalin's general … in his thoroughly researched and well-written book, which will give pleasure not only to his fellow specialists and Second World War enthusiasts but also to a wide circle of readers.History Today
Geoffrey Robert's fine book, Stalin's General, takes its place among the last, but no less valuable pieces in the jigsaw of World War Two historiography. It is a shrewd, balanced account.Henry Coningsby, Waterstones.com
The most comprehensive biography of Zhukov available in English, which chronicles not only the marshall's well-known military feats but also, and very importantly, the military and political intrigues and infighting that went on behind the scenes … It is an informative, accessible and academically rigorous work, the publication of which fittingly marks the 70th anniversary of Stalingrad.Seamus Martin, Irish Times
Roberts is an excellent historian … This is a brisk, comprehensive biography.Herald
[Roberts'] book is worth particular attention…for its fascinating interweaving of public and private events and for the light it sheds on the changing patterns and possibilities of life among the Soviet elite.London Review of Books
[Roberts] has written in Stalin's General … the most comprehensive biography of Zhukov.Washington Post
Roberts has poured over Zhukov's personal papers, his unexpurgated memoirs and recent Russian scholarship to write a definitive account of an impressive if only intermittently sympathetic commander.Mike Oppenheim, Military History magazine
The most comprehensive biography of Zhukov available in English, which chronicles not only the marshall's well-known military feats but also, and very importantly, the military and political intrigues and infighting that went on behind the scenes.Seamus Martin, Irish Times
Roberts's biography contains an abundance of new material. It is an informative, accessible and academically rigorous work, the publication of which fittingly marks the 70th anniversary of Stalingrad.Seamus Martin, Irish Times
This is the first biography to establish beyond doubt what has long been hinted at by historians – that Zhukov was the most successful and influential of the Second World War generals.Douglas Osler, Scotsman