Regarding books on the diplomacy and strategy of war, Trumbull Higgins' work is a half-way house between those that take war's broad sweep in contrast to detailing the tactics of an individual battle. A brilliantly-wrought description of Hitler's lemming-like compulsion to conquer the Soviet Union, even at the risk of jeopardizing all of Germany's other military fronts, its major emphasis is on the war as seen through German eyes, with somewhat less attention directed to what was happening in Soviet staff headquarters. The book is exquisitely documented. In fact, the voluminous bibliography alone justifies the author's effort. Concentrating upon the preliminary diplomacy that established the political possibility for Hitler's June 22nd attack on the Soviet Union, the book carries the story to Field Marshal Paulus' surrender of his elite Sixth Army at Stalingrad on June 28, 1943. In between unfolds the whole fantastic story of Stalin's growth from fecklessness and military stupidity that helped to destroy half of the original Soviet army, to a position where he won Hitler's admiration for the manner in which he had stopped the German advance. As for Hitler, his emotionalism had launched an unwanted invasion and his fantasies became so excessive that at the moment of the Stalingrad surrender, he was planning the construction of a mammoth stadium in which to celebrate the Bolshevik defeat....This follows in the tradition of Higgin's earlier books (Korea and the Fall of MacArthur, 1960; Winston Churchill and the Dardanelles, 1963) with their history of well-grounded research and an intellectual readability.