Join us when distinguished publisher and historian Iain MacGregor presents and signs his latest book, THE LIGHTHOUSE OF STALINGRAD: The Hidden Truth at the Heart of the Greatest Battle of World War II, just released in paperback. His talk promises to be very relevant as he will not only discuss Soviet/ Russian propaganda but also the many ironic Ukrainian links to the story.
A thrilling, vivid, and “compelling” (Wall Street Journal) account of the epic siege during one of World War II’s most important battles, told by the brilliant British editor-turned-historian and author of Checkpoint Charlie
To the Soviet Union, the sacrifices that enabled the country to defeat Nazi Germany in World War II were sacrosanct. The foundation of the Soviets’ hard-won victory was laid during the battle for the city of Stalingrad, resting on the banks of the Volga River. To Russians, it is a pivotal landmark of their nation’s losses, with more than two million civilians and combatants either killed, wounded, or captured during the bitter fighting from September 1942 to February 1943. Both sides endured terrible conditions in brutal, relentless house-to-house fighting.
Within this life-and-death struggle, Soviet war correspondents lauded the fight for a key strategic building in the heart of the city, “Pavlov’s House,” which was situated on the frontline and codenamed “The Lighthouse.” The legend grew of a small garrison of Russian soldiers from the 13th Guards Rifle Division holding out against the Germans of the Sixth Army, which had battled its way to the very center of Stalingrad. A report about the battle in a local Red Army newspaper would soon grow and be repeated on Moscow radio and in countless national newspapers. By the end of the war, the legend would gather further momentum and inspire Russians to rebuild their destroyed towns and cities.
This story has become a pillar of the Stalingrad legend and one that can now be told accurately. Written with “impressive skill and relish” (Sunday Times), The Lighthouse of Stalingrad sheds new light on this iconic battle through the prism of the two units who fought for the very heart of the city itself. Iain MacGregor traveled to both German and Russian archives to unearth previously unpublished testimonies by soldiers on both sides of the conflict. His “utterly riveting” (Alex Kershaw) narrative lays to rest the questions as to the identity of the real heroes of this epic battle for one of the city’s most famous buildings and provides authoritative answers as to how the battle finally ended and influenced the conclusion of the siege of Stalingrad.
Iain MacGregor has been an editor and publisher of nonfiction history for thirty years. During his career he has published books on every aspect of military history, working alongside bestselling and award-winning authors such as Sir Max Hastings, Sir Simon Schama, James Barr, Michael Wood, David Grann, William Taubman and Stephen E. Ambrose. Moreover, he is also an award-winning author, publishing the acclaimed history of Cold War Berlin: Checkpoint Charlie. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and his writing has appeared in the Guardian, the Spectator and BBC History Magazine. He lives with his wife and two children in London.
"MacGregor's wonderful book shines important new light on the most horrific, and arguably the most important, battle of the 20th century. It is a story of 'backs to the wall' defence of the Motherland that modern Russians, with the boot now on the other foot, would do well to study." —Telegraph
"The finest of military history, utterly riveting, based on revelatory and superb research, and a heart-rending account of arguably the most impactful battle to defeat Nazism in WWII. A wonderful and important and timely book." —Alexander Kershaw, New York Times bestselling author of The Bedford Boys
A “constantly captivating…well-researched and often moving” (The Wall Street Journal) history of Checkpoint Charlie, the famous military gate on the border of East and West Berlin where the United States confronted the USSR during the Cold War.