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Sean McMeekin Books In Order

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Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Red Millionaire: A Political Biography of Willy Münzenberg, Moscow’s Secret Propaganda Tsar in the West (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
History's Greatest Heist: The Looting of Russia by the Bolsheviks (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Berlin-Baghdad Express: The Ottoman Empire and Germany's Bid for World Power (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Russian Origins of the First World War (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
July 1914: Countdown to War (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Ottoman Endgame: War, Revolution, and the Making of the Modern Middle East, 1908 - 1923 (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Russian Revolution: A New History (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Stalin's War: A New History of World War II (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
To Overthrow the World: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Communism (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Historically Inevitable?(2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

Sean McMeekin
Sean McMeekin was born in Nampa, Idaho on May 10, 1974 and is an American historian that is focused on European history of the early twentieth century, particularly regarding the origins of World War I, and the role of Russia and the Ottoman Empire. Other research interests include the Second World War, communism, Russian history, and German history.

He grew up in Rochester, New York and studied history at Stanford University, where he got his BA in 1996 and at the University of California, Berkeley, where he got his MA in 1998 and his PhD in 2001. Sean has also studied at University of Paris 7, Humboldt University, Mezhdunarodny Universitet, Moscow, and Moscow State University He also held a Henry Chuancey Jr ’57 Postdoctoral Fellowship at Yale and was a fellow of the Remarque Institute at New York University.

He taught in Turkey as an assistant professor in the Centre for Russian Studies at Bilkent University in Ankara and the College of Social Sciences and Humanities of Koc University in Istanbul.

He has penned nonfiction books as well as scholarly articles which have appeared in journals like Common Knowledge, Current History, Communisme, Contemporary European History, Historically Speaking, and The World Today.

Sean has won a Barbara Jelavich Book Prize for “The Berlin-Baghdad Express” in 2010, and a Norman B Tomlinson Jr. Book Prize for “The Russian Origins of the First World War”, which was also nominated for the Lionel Gelber Prize. He’s also won an Arthur Goodzeit Book Award for “The Ottoman Endgame” in 2015, and a Historian’s Prize of the Erich-und-Erna-Kronauer-Stiftung in 2016.

“July 1914” is a non-fiction book that was released in the year 2013. When the Serbian-supported hitman shot down Archduke Franz Ferdinand late June of 1914, the world appeared to be unmoved by it. Even Franz Josef I, Ferdinand’s uncle, was notably ambivalent on the Hapsburg heir’s death, saying it was God’s will. There wasn’t anything to suggest this episode would lead to a conflict, much less a world war of such horrific and massive proportions that it’d fundamentally reshape the course of human events.

As Sean reveals in July of 1914, The Great War, might have been avoided wholly had it not been for a tiny group of statesmen, that, during the month after the assassination happened, planned on using the Archduke’s murder as the trigger for a long-awaited showdown back in Europe. The main culprits have escaped blame ever since.

Many accounts of the war’s outbreak have placed much of the responsibility on Austro-Hungarian and German militarism. Instead, McMeekin draws on some astonishing new evidence from some archives across Europe to show that the worst offenders were truly in France and Russia. And it was their duplicity and belligerence ensured war was inevitable.

Whether they were plotting a war or just rode the whirlwind almost blind, each of these men involved sought to capitalize on the fallout from Ferdinand’s killing. The men are German Chancellor Bethmann Hollweg, Austrian Foreign Minister Leopold von Berchtold, French president Raymon Poincare, and Russian Foregin Minister Sergei Sazonov. These men also unwittingly lead Europe toward the greatest cataclysm that it’d ever seen before.

This is a revolutionary accounting of World War I’s genesis, and it tells the gripping tale of Europe’s countdown to war from the bloody opening act on June 28th and on to Britain’s last plunge on August 4th. All to show just how one month, and only a handful of men, changed the entire course of the twentieth century.

Sean does a great job of keeping you always interested while the events and diplomatic discussions play out, and he delivers a book that is well written and brilliantly researched. It provides an excellent accounting of what happened after Ferdidnand was assassinated and the diplomatic machinations which led to the breakout of war.

He goes in depth, while showing how the rickety Russian and Austro-Hungarian empires both made moves which they hoped would be preludes to a short and localized fight. He sets out a well reasoned commentary of it all and is much complicated than just the simple story of what happened.

“Stalin’s War: A New History of World War II” is a non-fiction book that was released in the year 2021. World War II endures in the popular imagination as a heroic struggle between evil and good, with villainous Hitler driving all of its events. However Hitler wasn’t in power when the fight erupted in Asia. And he was certainly dead before it had ended. His armies didn’t fight in multiple theaters, and his empire didn’t span the Eurasian, nor did he inherit any of the spoils of war. This central role belonged to Joseph Stalin. World War II was Stalin’s war, not Hitler’s.

This book, which draws on ambitious new research in European, Soviet, and US archives, revolutionizes our understanding of this global conflict by moving its epicenter further to the east. Hitler’s genocidal ambition might have helped unleash Armageddon, however like McMeekin illustrates, the war which emerged in Europe in September of 1939 was the war which Stalin wanted, not Hitler. So did the Pacific war of 1941 to 1945 fulfill Stalin’s goal of unleashing a devastating war of attrition between the “Anglo-Saxon” capitalist powers that he viewed to be his ultimate adversary and Japan.

Sean also reveals to what extent that Soviet Communism was rescued by the US and Britain’s self-defeating strategic moves. This starts with Lend-Lease aid, while British and American supply boards agreed almost blindly to each and every demand the Soviets made. Stalin’s war machine, McMeekin illustrates, was largely reliant on American material from tanks, warplanes, jeeps, trucks, fuel, ammo, motorcycles, and explosives to industrial inputs and tech transfer, and on to the foodstuffs which fed Stalin’s Red Army.

This unreciprocated American generosity gave Stalin and his armies the mobile striking capabilities and powers to conquer much of Eurasia from Beijing to Berlin, all for Communism.

This is a groundbreaking reassessment of the Second World War, and is essential reading for anybody trying to comprehend the current world order.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Sean McMeekin

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