Many modern war historians have a tendency to focus on analyzing battle strategies as a way of determining the ebb and flow of war. While this approach is reasonable because battle strength, on so many different levels, is normally where ultimate victory or defeat happens, there is also a need to examine the use of government propaganda in rallying the nation behind its fighting forces. Berkhoff, in this study on the Soviet propaganda machine during the Great Patriot War, shows how the political leadership under Stalin attempted to control the propagation and consumption of critical information in the prosecution of the war effort. Every conceivable means was used to rally Russians to defend the nation against ‘insidious’ Nazi invaders intent on harming the Motherland. Bureaucracies were created and ordered to control this message so that over 170 million people would put the defence of the nation as a cause worth dying for. Stringent and comprehensive censorship of the press, radio, and book publishers became the main means the Kremlin used to turn public sentiment against the enemy. The author supplies numerous examples of how government agencies like Agitprop distorted the savagery of this protracted war to rally common folk to joining its ranks: anecdotes about superhuman acts of patriotism were fabricated; certain references about the enemy suddenly became popular or fell out of vogue; and certain critical pieces of news were suppressed because of their potential negative impact on public morale. Above all else, Stalin and the NKVD made every effort to make sure that the Russian people (and not its numerous minorities) knew who they were fighting and were prepared to sacrifice everything for their ultimate extermination. Anything short of this commitment would result in summary execution or substantial time in the Gulag. If that meant the government redefining heroism and controlling the dissemination of public information in the form of news, the end definitely justified the means. The Soviet Union was a huge country with numerous ethnic groups that may have initially sympathized with the Hitlerite invaders, and it was the job of the regime to make sure they were neutralized as much as possible by taking over complete control of people’s lives. Stalin would only use non-Russian material such as reports of Nazi genocide in the Ukraine to intensify hatred against them as the Wehrmacht drove further into Russia in late 1941 to early 1942. Berkhoff’s thesis includes the belief that these concerted efforts to intensify national fury against the German invaders had a terrible consequence later when the tide turned and the Red Army started to overrun much of eastern Europe.