Great Leaders

Further reading

Here are some further reading suggestions, covering a range of interpretations:




  •  Andrew Roberts, Churchill: Walking with Destiny (2018)

  •  Richard Toye, Churchill’s Empire: The World That Made Him and the World He Made (2010)

  • Madhusree Mukerjee, Churchill’s Secret War: The British Empire and the Ravaging of India during World War II (2013)

  • William Manchester, The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill. (1989)

  •  Robert Rhodes James, Churchill, A Study in Failure, 1900-1939 (1973)

  •  Geoffrey Wheatcroft, Churchill’s Shadow: The Life and Afterlife of Winston Churchill (2021)



You can also read our blog posts that summarise the cases for and against Winston Churchill.





  •  Robert Tucker, Stalin in Power (1990)

  •  Isaac Deutscher, Stalin: A Political Biography (1949)

  • O Figes, The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin’s Russia (2007)

  • S S Montefiore Stalin, The Court of the Red Tsar (2003)

  • Sheila Fitzpatrick, Stalin’s Peasants (1994)

  • Sheila Fitzpatrick, Education and Social Mobility in the Soviet Union 1921-1934 (1979)

  • D. Filtzer, Soviet Workers and Stalinist Industrialization (1986)

  • Stephen Kotkin, Magnetic Mountain (1995)



You can also read our blog posts offering a range of perspectives on Stalin, here and here.

Putin and Ukraine

Is Putin’s interpretation of history wrong?

Under Putin’s rule, Stalin has gradually been rehabilitated. This has entailed a rewriting of Russian history emphasising Stalin’s role in defending the ancient territories of the Russian speaking world, and Putin’s role as his spiritual successor. It is this re-envisioning of Putin as ‘Putin the Protector’ which drives the narrative he uses to try to explain and justify the war in Ukraine to the world.

Parallel Histories has produced a set of resources that allow your students to debate Putin’s claims and analyse how his historical narrative has been constructed. By doing this, pupils get an insight into how historical events are being used in Russian propaganda to justify the war in Ukraine.

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