Mackinder Forum Seminar #45: “Reassessing the Second World War in Terms of Geopolitics” by Sean McMeekin

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On December 5, 2021, 1:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m. Eastern US Time, Professor Sean McMeekin addressed the Mackinder Forum Seminar on “Reassessing the Second World War in Terms of Geopolitics.”

Abstract: World War II endures in the popular imagination as a heroic struggle between good and evil, with Adolf Hitler driving the main events. But Hitler was not in power when the conflict erupted in Asia—and he was dead long before it ended.  Nazi Germany never even fought in the Asian theater, and Hitler’s empire in Europe left behind little but bones & ruins.  In its origins and its legacy, the Second World War was not Hitler’s, but Stalin’s war.

Reading: The Introduction to Professor McMeekin’s Stalin’s War: A New History of World War II.

Biography: Sean McMeekin is the Francis Flournoy Professor of European History at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY.  He received his Ph.D. and M.A. in History from UC Berkeley and his B.A. from Stanford University.  He has previously taught at Koç University, in Istanbul, Turkey; at Yale University; at Bilkent University, in Ankara; and at New York University. He is the author of Stalin’s War.  A New History of World War II (2021); The Russian Revolution.  A New History (2017); The Ottoman Endgame. War, Revolution, and the Making of the Modern Middle East (Penguin, 2015), awarded the Arthur Goodzeit Book Prize; July 1914: Countdown to War (2013), which was reviewed on the cover of the New York Times Book Review; The Russian Origins of the First World War (2011), which won the Norman B. Tomlinson Jr. Book Prize and was shortlisted for the Lionel Gelber Prize; The Berlin to Baghdad Express: The Ottoman Empire and Germany’s Bid for World Power, 1898–1918 (2010), winner of the Barbara Jelavich Book Prize; History’s Greatest Heist: The Looting of Russia by the Bolsheviks (2008), listed for the Ed Hewett Prize; and The Red Millionaire (2004), along with numerous articles, reviews, and book chapters.