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The Second World War by Antony Beevor

The Second World War (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Antony Beevor

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5731617,309 (4.25)9
Title:The Second World War
Authors:Antony Beevor
Info:Little, Brown and Company (2012), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 880 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Second World War by Antony Beevor (2012)


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Huge history of the war in Asia and Europe. Doesn’t skimp on brutality—cannibalism shows up in multiple areas, though only as a deliberate military tactic on the part of the Japanese. Military miscalculation happens on both sides, but, as someone said, the Americans don’t solve problems, they overwhelm them. ( )
  rivkat | Nov 1, 2016 |
One of the best histories I have ever encountered. Beevor speaks knowledgably about the Japanese war in China (where the Japanese were as barbaric as the Germans in Europe), and how a seemingly small defeat by Japan (against Soviet Russia) in 1938 over the Manchurian/Soviet border, changed the course of the entire war, as Japan feared Russian and turned South, attacking the United States instead of coordinating with Hitler and striking North against Russia. Beevor provides personality assessments than damn not a few generals for egocentrism and braggadocio while also considering the fate of the troops on the ground and the civilians who suffered the most. The German loathing of "sub-humans" permitted them actions which today seem incomprehensibly cruel and barbarous. War is definitely hell. I was someone skeptical of Beevor's ability to cover the entire conflict in just one volume, but he does it and in a lively, active voice that brings you back again and again to the work--as if you did not know the outcome. His descriptions of military aspects is down to the company and brigade level, so you see the leaders formulating a strategy and then the grunts trying to survive as they try to make that strategy work. Even though I have done extensive reading on WWII, I learned a great deal. Superb work of history. ( )
  neddludd | Jun 21, 2016 |
1st edition, fine condition
  bdwright | Sep 16, 2015 |
An exceptional historical record of the 2nd world war, starts with Japans invasion of mainland China, right until America’s victory. Looks at all the conflicts in Asian, Europe and the Pacific, which is important to understand the bigger picture. From the huge loss of life at Stalingrad, to the great victories by the Russians and Americans which helped us the UK defeat Germany and their allies. The second world should as the TV program says “Be a warning from history”, and lets hope nothing like that happens again, for us or our grandchildren. Real quality book, deserves to be an international best seller, the book is very popular amongst under-graduate students studying history, the book is in-depth, provides huge amount of information, 863 pages in total which includes the index, really long but ideal for history students, people interested in the second world war. Ultimate second world war book that comes from the same author as the book Crete, which won a Runciman Prize, and Stalingrad, all books that I have read, and all books that I value very highly. If you are into second world related histories, then following this authors work might just be up your street. ( )
1 vote Claire5555 | Jan 6, 2015 |
I saw this book referenced in several other WWII books that I own. Read several favorable reviews. Then ultimately bought it for my library. I am not expert on WWII, but do maintain a fair sized library with all sorts of related books and references.

Antony Beevor writes in a style that is fairly easy to read. Trying to cover a war as immense as WWII in complete detail would entail thousands of pages if various topics and areas weren't significantly summarized. That is what the author does with good effect and clarity.

What captured my attention as I started reading it was the opening chapter discussing the early Sino-Soviet battles specifically around Khalkhim Gol. Interestingly these battles set some of the tone and approach of the Soviets during the war in both the eastern and western Soviet Union fronts. Details I had not previously known.

Much my past reading is of biographies of military leaders so some areas of the war in those books were very focused. However, Beevor maintains a fairly balanced approach. Just enough detail to explain the situation, but not enough to overwhelm me. The conflict on the German eastern front was covered with probably more detail that other parts of the war. But, then again, a significant portion of the fighting, death and carnage of the war occurred there. Since I have not previously read many detailed books on this front, I found this book a good starter for later related reading.

In several other book reviews, some readers have dwelved on various errors that Beever included in the book. After doing some fact checking, most, if not all, of the highlighted items are indeed incorrect. However, on balance given the scope of the war, the noted errors do not detract in a major way from the book in general. I think any serious or interested reader can and should do his own fact checking both to learn more and verify the accuracy of authors. This should not be the exception with this book.

By and large, I found this book an excellent read to compliment multiple other books I own about World War II. After reading, I would suggest going to Amazon.com and reading thru reviewer comments about errors to find details and facts to verify with other resources. Given Beevor's writing style, eventually I look forward to reading some other books by him including, Stalingrad and The Fall of Berlin. ( )
1 vote usma83 | Jan 1, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
La segunda guerra mundial constituye la culminación de toda una carrera dedicada a la investigación y la narración históricas. Armado con la erudición más actualizada, apoyándose en un descomunal trabajo de investigación en el que siguen prevaleciendo las cartas y los diarios de los combatientes, y desplegando sus asombrosos recursos narrativos -que le permiten casar los grandes acontecimientos con las anécdotas más reveladoras-, Beevor nos muestra aquí el inmenso retablo de una guerra que se extendió desde el Atlántico Norte al Pacífico Sur, desde las nevadas estepas septentrionales a los áridos desiertos del norte de África; desde la jungla de Birmania hasta las fronteras de la Europa oriental; desde los prisioneros del Gulag reclutados para los batallones de castigo hasta las indecibles crueldades de la guerra entre China y Japón.

Aunque Beevor se enfrenta a un panorama gigantesco, jamás pierde de vista a los soldados rasos o a los civiles cuyas vidas fueron destruidas por las fuerzas titánicas desencadenadas en una guerra cuya historia sigue asombrándonos y emocionándonos como ninguna otra.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316023744, Hardcover)

Over the past two decades, Antony Beevor has established himself as one of the world's premier historians of WWII. His multi-award winning books have included Stalingrad and The Fall of Berlin 1945. Now, in his newest and most ambitious book, he turns his focus to one of the bloodiest and most tragic events of the twentieth century, the Second World War.

In this searing narrative that takes us from Hitler's invasion of Poland on September 1st, 1939 to V-J day on August 14th, 1945 and the war's aftermath, Beevor describes the conflict and its global reach--one that included every major power. The result is a dramatic and breathtaking single-volume history that provides a remarkably intimate account of the war that, more than any other, still commands attention and an audience.

Thrillingly written and brilliantly researched, Beevor's grand and provocative account is destined to become the definitive work on this complex, tragic, and endlessly fascinating period in world history, and confirms once more that he is a military historian of the first rank.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:31 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Using the most up-to-date scholarship and research, and writing with clarity and compassion, Beevor assembles the whole picture of the SEcond World War in a gripping narrative that extends from the North Atlantic to the South Pacific, from the snowbound steppe to the North African Desert, to the Burmese jungle, SS Einsatzgruppen in the borderlands, Gulag prisoners drafted into punishment battalions, and to the unspeakable cruelties of the Sino-Japanese War.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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