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accessible yet horrifying single volume history of WWII, 8 Jun 2012

The Second World War
This is a superbly written, and very readable, account which covers the global sweep of the Second World War, with clear explanation of the factors which drove events at the time, as well as excellent narrations of the events themselves. There is also a strong human dimension in the writing - the motivations of the key players and the effects of war on the lives of combatants and civilians is recounted superbly, often in the words of those who were there.Antony Beevor's magisterial, and superbly researched, history is not biased towards coverage of a particular geographical region or country. This history explains the events of the war in each of the main, and many of the smaller, theatres of war; there is much here for, example, about the events in Asia, as well as the war in Western and Eastern Europe. As a general reader i found much that was new to me, and many fresh insights into the events of which I already had fairly good knowledgeBeevor makes clear...

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The sheer immensity of the Second World War is even now, after more ink has been spilt on it than on almost any other event in history, almost impossible to grasp. The war affected countless people in every conceivable small and big way, it changed the fate of innumerable nations and set the tone for issues with which we are still grappling, and it showcased the very best and very worst in human nature. Very few historians are capable of capturing this epic panorama of tragedy and triumph on paper. Happily for us, Antony Beevor is one of those chosen few who can. In the past few decades he has established himself as a war historian of the first rank. This volume can be seen as the culmination of a stellar career during which he has introduced us to the very nature of war and its human elements. Beevor's sweeping, magisterial account of this great conflict excels in three ways that are characteristic of his past scholarship on D-Day, Stalingrad and Berlin.Firstly, Beevor...
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This is a superbly written, and very readable, account which covers the global sweep of the Second World War, with clear explanation of the factors which drove events at the time, as well as excellent narrations of the events themselves. There is also a strong human dimension in the writing - the motivations of the key players and the effects of war on the lives of combatants and civilians is recounted superbly, often in the words of those who were there.Antony Beevor's magisterial, and superbly researched, history is not biased towards coverage of a particular geographical region or country. This history explains the events of the war in each of the main, and many of the smaller, theatres of war; there is much here for, example, about the events in Asia, as well as the war in Western and Eastern Europe. As a general reader i found much that was new to me, and many fresh insights into the events of which I already had fairly good knowledgeBeevor makes clear...
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There is already a much more erudite and in depth review of the book above so all I can add are my impressions of it which may be of value to you.Whilst I eagerly devour just about anything written about WWII I was particularly looking forward to this all encompassing book on the war. I am probably in the majority in that I have just finished Max Hastings' similar effort before tackling this and I have to say that this book is a much more - the only word I can think of is - entertaining read. It is truly a delight and I have finished it in a two day readathon. This has NOT been time wasted. I have one, probably obvious, caveat in that similarly to Mr Beevor's last book on D-Day there is not much new on display here. This could have been a problem had not well known events take on new resonance with the author's brisk and incisive style. For me this style still didn't make "D-Day" the great book it promised to be but it would appear that there is enough room when writing about...
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