Word War II went on until 1945, but as Nagorski shows in this deeply researched study, Germany essentially sealed its fate in 1941. Building on his study of 1940, The Greatest Battle, where he argued that the Nazis lost their first major fight due to Hitler’s flouting of his generals’ advice, Nagorski, a long-time Newsweek journalist, traces a series of disastrous decisions the Führer made in 1941. That pivotal year started with Britain on its own, America standing back, and Stalin observing the Nazi-Soviet Pact while the Nazis made tremendous gains by bombing London and sinking British and American ships. But hubris, not military wisdom, led Germany to declare war on the Soviet Union and the U.S. These actions not only doomed the Third Reich, they accelerated the Holocaust, set the ground for the postwar division of Europe, and led to the Cold War.