Great social history of the Red Army: This is a very well-written book about the people who fought in the Red Army and not a military history of that Army and its campaigns. As anyone who has ever spoken to fathers and uncles about WW2 knows, it is very difficult to get these men to open up. The author makes clear that the problem is even greater for members of the Red Army. Nevertheless, she did get real stories from the frontoviki and she weaves their stories beautifully into this terrific history.
Although this is a social and cultural history of the war, her descriptions of the battles, like Kursk and Stalingrad, are as good as longer books dealing with just the military aspects.
It is a pity and a shame that so few Americans (that I know) have ever even hear of Kursk. If you are one of them, read this book.