Even today, the meaning of World War II remains elusive. Beevor, in his latest book, calls it "the greatest man-made disaster in history." That description is very plausible; less so is his idea that it was part of an international civil war between left and right. In 1941 the veteran anti-Communist Winston Churchill allied himself with Joseph Stalin, frustrating the efforts of the Nazis to turn the war into an anti-Bolshevik crusade. Nor were the Japanese much concerned that President Roosevelt was (relatively speaking) a man of the left; they attacked Pearl Harbor because of American threats to their interests, not to their ideology. On the other hand, ideological slogans could be strong motivators. Men clung to the idea of fighting for the Führer, or for the emperor, to keep them going in the face of certain defeat. Russians, for their part, were encouraged to fight for the motherland, rather than for the ideals of international socialism, in what was labeled the Great Patriotic War.