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The Second World War by John Keegan

The Second World War (1989)

by John Keegan

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Great overview of WWII. The analysis was enlightening and conservative. ( )
  JaredChristopherson | Nov 16, 2015 |
A good introductory Book on the Global Catastrophe. Everything is included, the proportion of coverage is good for an English Language Book, and there is acknowledgement that the Soviet Army killed the bulk of the German one. The maps are not the best feature but the ones on the air war are good as I've seen. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Nov 22, 2013 |
A readable history from a British historian's perspective. I noticed it was more relaxed and less partisan (general vs. general, etc.) than American histories tend to be. It covers a lot of information in sufficient detail to get a grasp of the whole war. ( )
  FFortuna | Jul 27, 2013 |
There is no easy way to write about WWII, obviously you can't cover everything. Someone else used best introduction and overview, I think that works well. I would believe with the least amount of effort I came away with the most and greatest understanding of the war in this book. Although he is much to politically correct and kind to the horrid mistakes made in the war, this left me wondering what else was avoided. I will read on. ( )
  Newmans2001 | Dec 3, 2011 |
This book was awesome! Really well written and very informative. I never in my life thought I would want to read a book about WWII, in the past the subject bored me to death..this book completely changed the way I look at military history altogether. I'm actually excited to read more about the events surrounding WWII. ( )
  phaga | Mar 31, 2010 |
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John Keegan's "The Second World War" (1989) is the Apollonian counterpoint to Max Hastings "Inferno" (2011). Mr. Keegan purges much of the blood and guts from the story: The million who died in the siege of Leningrad are a dependent clause. But he delivers a narrative of such intelligence, clarity and grace that the reader leaves the book with an elevated understanding of what happened and why. Mr. Keegan, the author of "The Face of Battle" and other books in the military canon, is superb on the war lords. "Hitler's attitude towards Russia," he observes, ". . . was suffused by ideology drawn from many sources—racial, economic, historical—and fermented by his own rancours and ambitions into a self-intoxicating potency." Contrasting FDR with "the devious, double-dealing and treacherous" Stalin and Churchill, "transparently a patriot, a romantic and an imperialist," Mr. Keegan writes: "Roosevelt had dozens of attitudes and a few deeply held values, which were precisely those of Americans of his class and his time: He believed in human dignity and freedom, in economic opportunity and in political compromise; . . . he had few policies, either for peace or for war, while war itself he found utterly distasteful." An elegant, seamless account of the strategic, military and industrial dimensions of the war, with penetrating analysis of its leading figures.
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Don't combine with the Illustrated edition of Keegan's Second World War (ISBN 0670823597).
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0143035738, Paperback)

The best one-volume treatment available, The Second World War by John Keegan is an outstanding synthesis of an enormous amount of material on "the largest single event in human history." The book proceeds chronologically through the war, but chapters appearing at appropriate moments focus on particular themes, such as war production, occupation, bombing, resistance, and espionage. Keegan's ability to translate the war's grand strategies is impressive, and the battle descriptions are superb. Generals obviously play a key role in this narrative, but ordinary soldiers also receive proper credit, as do the often-overlooked merchant marines whose heroic efforts to supply Great Britain made the Allied victory possible. Keegan, author of the landmark book The Face of Battle, is without doubt one of our greatest military historians, and here his analytical powers and skilled writing are on full display.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:39 -0400)

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Discusses the war in 3 theatres - Western and Eastern Europe and the Pacific - up to 1943, and from 1943 to 1945.

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