Skip to the content

Kansas State University

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
  1. K-State Home >
  2. News Services >
  3. December news releases
Print This Article  


Source: David Stone, 785-532-2978,
News release prepared by: Emily Vietti, 785-532-2535,

Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010


MANHATTAN -- David Stone, the Pickett Professor of Military History and director of the Institute for Military History and 20th Century Studies at Kansas State University, is editor of the new volume "The Soviet Union at War 1941-1945."

The book is published by British publishing company Pen and Sword Books; Casemate Publishing will distribute it in the U.S.

Stone specializes in Russia and the Soviet Union, South Asia, and military history.

"I was discussing possible projects with the publisher, and we agreed that there was an enormous amount of new research on the Soviet side of World War II that had never been put together into a coherent whole for students and general readers," Stone said. "A lot of that new material was in Russian or in scholarly journals that the general public doesn't have access to. The idea was to give people a sense of how our picture of the history of World War II's Eastern Front has changed with access to new sources available since the fall of the Soviet Union."

Stone, who also wrote some sections of the book, brought together a group of preeminent World War II scholars to contribute to the collection.

"The challenge was putting together a team of top experts on particular fields," Stone said. "I had responsibility for writing the introduction, the conclusion and the Soviet military section, as well as coordinating the work of the authors of the other chapters."

The publisher describes the 256-page book as a penetrating reassessment of the Soviet war effort and economy, with the scholars offering a telling insight into the way in which enormous obstacles were overcome, and sacrifices made, to achieve an overwhelming victory that changed the shape of Europe.

Stone said the process of editing the book certainly was different than that of writing an entire book himself. But he is satisfied with the final product.

"I'm delighted with how the book turned out," he said. "We have a terrific line-up of contributors, and the result is a comprehensive picture of the Soviet war effort. World War II was decided by the conflict between Germany and the Soviet Union on the Eastern Front, and I hope that this book will give readers a better sense of what happened."

Stone's first book, "Hammer and Rifle: The Militarization of the Soviet Union, 1926-1933," was a selection of the History Book Club. It also was named the winner of the 2001 inaugural Best First Book prize of the Historical Society and was co-winner of the 2001 Shulman Prize of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies. He also is the author of "A Military History of Russia: From Ivan the Terrible to the War in Chechnya."