Recently I was privileged to read a new book by Georgy Gounev, a history instructor in emeritus studies at Saddleback College. “Fighting Evil with the Help of Satan,” describes the relationship between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin during World War II.
The book serves as a piece of historical fiction, detailing the pivotal relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union after the Nazi invasion of Russia in 1941. Through a great deal of investigative research, Gounev was able to find firsthand accounts and other documents that shed light on this issue.
“History has been completely falsified in terms of this Soviet-U.S. relationship. Stalin himself destroyed many documents in 1945,” Gounev said.
Gounev was born and raised in Bulgaria, where he obtained a master’s degree in history from the University of St. Clement located in Sofia. Later, he earned his doctorate from the Institute of Foreign Relations in Moscow, Russia, where the Soviet Union historically used to prepare diplomats.
It was very interesting to read how Roosevelt handled his relationship with Stalin. According to the book, it was Roosevelt’s appeasement of Stalin’s desire for territory in Eastern Europe that enabled the dictator to build his vast empire after World War II.
The book supports this thesis with many examples, including the United States government’s complete ignorance of the murder of over 21,000 Polish prisoners of war by Soviet troops. This had happened even after the temporary Polish government located in England filed for an investigation with the Red Cross.
Roosevelt ignored great atrocities such as these as well as Soviet territorial aggression in order to maintain an allegiance with the Soviet Union and defeat the Nazi empire, whom he considered the greater threat to world peace.
The unique perspective on the relationship between Roosevelt and Stalin made the book fascinating. Gounev creates a broad experience for the reader by referencing various first-hand accounts, as well as other letters and documents from that time period.
When asked why this book is important to students, Gounev said that, “If someone is interested in the issue of Russian-American relations, this book gives crucial background to that relationship.”
Through this book, readers are able to gain an understanding of how the United States has conducted relations with the Soviet Union in the past, which has led to how we conduct relations with Russia in the present day.
Gounev added that, “Relations with Russia are one of the biggest challenges facing the Obama presidency,” signaling the importance of understanding this historical relationship.
For anyone interested in the history of World War II or the history of Russian-American relations, this book is a great read.