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256 crisp pp, 1.5 kilo to post, masses of photos. Fault? upper right corner creased. About the author > Karpov was born in Orenburg, he graduated from the Tashkent Military academy in 1941 when he was also middleweight boxing champion of Uzbekistan. He was repressed in 1941 and transferred to a punishment battalion on the Kalinin Front in 1942. He was rehabilitated due to bravery in the face of the enemy in 1943 and promoted to lieutenant. He was awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union in 1944 for capturing 79 prisoners. After the war, Karpov attended the Frunze Military Academy (1947) and served in Central Asia, retiring as a regimental commander and chief of staff of a division in 1966. Karpov started writing in 1945 and graduated from the Maxim Gorky Literature Institute via a correspondence course in 1954. From 1966 he was editor of the magazine Oktyabr in Uzbekistan and became editor of the magazine Novy Mir between 1981 and 1986. From 1986 to 1991, he was 1st secretary of the USSR Union of Writers. The book > The blurb on the inside flap of the dust cover pretty well sums up the importance of this book: "World War II was won on the Russian Front. It was here that the Germans incurred 80 per cent of their losses, and it was here that they suffered their first serious defeats. The Russian winter, the skill of the army and the endeavors of the people halted the Blitzkrieg forever. But the Soviet Union paid a staggering price for its victory. More than a quarter of the country's property was destroyed. By the end of the war, 25 million people were homeless, 30 million were wounded and 20 million had been killed.... This is not a military history of the war, but an attempt to to tell the story in human terms." & a review >> The photos in this book reflect all aspects of that nation's experiences during World War II. They mesh effectively with the text, which is predictably patriotic but not stridently so. Though there are numerous photos of military history, this is not a military history per se but, rather, an account of a nation under severe stress. Women's roles, for example, are amply recorded. This excellent collection uniquely captures its subject. In its words and photos lurk the character and values of an extraordinary people.