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Ian Ona Johnson
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Ian Ona Johnson is the P.J. Moran Family Assistant Professor of Military History at the University of Notre Dame. His research focuses on the origins and conduct of war, and the maintenance of peace. His first monograph,  Faustian Bargain: The Soviet-German Partnership and the Origins of the Second World War, appeared with Oxford University Press in June 2021. He has also edited the memoirs of a Russian veteran and revolutionary for publication, The White Nights: Pages from a Russian Doctor’s Notebook. 

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Faustian bargain

The Soviet-German Partnership and the Origins of the Second World War

Beginning immediately after World War One and continuing for more than a decade, the German military and the Soviet Union--despite having been mortal enemies--entered into a secret partnership designed to overturn the order in Europe. Centering on covert economic and military cooperation, their arrangement led to the establishment of a network of military bases and industrial facilities on Soviet soil. Through their alliance, Germany gained the space to rebuild its army. In return, the Soviet Union received vital military, technological and economic assistance. Though Hitler ended their partnership in late 1933, he and Stalin would renew it in 1939. The result was the German - and then Soviet - invasion of Poland. Drawing from twenty archives in five countries, including new collections of declassified Russian documents, Faustian Bargain offers the definitive exploration of a shadowy but fateful alliance that led to the outbreak of the Second World War.


"Johnson's book is a revelation and a triumph. It lays bare one of the least-known and least-understood of inter-war relationships – the odious pariahs' dance between Germany and the Soviet Union. Well-written and academically impeccable, it is an essential read for everyone interested in the period." -- Roger Moorhouse, author of Poland 1939: The Outbreak of World War II and The Devils' Alliance: Hitler's Pact with Stalin, 1939-1941

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