This book should be of interest to anyone who wants to understand better how Governements can sometimes make a terrible mess of their business. It tries to draw lessons from one semi-fictional (the Fall of Troy) and three real life episodes from history-the last two - the loss of the Amreican colonies and Vietnam - are worth the price of the book on their own.
Although the author sets out the events, this is not narrative history as she intersperses her judgments, analysis and opinions as she goes through. This is OK if you have some familiarity with the history, but can be confusing - as it was for me when she dealt with the creation of Protestantism - if you are not.
I think this must be quite an old recording as the editing was not what you expect - but the narrator is excellent, with great judgement of pace and tone, always important, I think, for narrated history books.
Barbara Tuchman is a very fine historian, and I intend to get another of her books with next month's credit. In the meantime, I can recommended this book wholeheartedly.
Barbara Tuchman won a Pulitzer Prize for this book and it is easy to understand why. She deals with a massively important turning point in history and writes in such an uncluttered and interesting style, and strikes a nicely judged balance between the historical narrative and comment. But you do need to concentrate to keep a grip of the huge cast of characters and the foreign names!
Superbly well narrated.
The only problem with listening to audio history books with a military them is that unless your grasp of of the geography is very good, you occasionly need to resort to a map to keep track of what's going on. But this does not detract from the enjoyment of the book.
This is a very good one volume history of WW2. The author strikes a nicely judged mixture of grand strategy and detail, and whilst it focuses far more on the European theatre than the war against Japan, the picuture he presents is pretty well balanced. He writes in a lively and striaghtforward style, and in the audiobook, he is very well served by Christian Rodska's narration - well paced, good variation in tone and he brings the quotes which are spread throughout the book nicely to life - it's a long book, but doesn't seem so. A minor problem is that, although the narrator does his best, some of the statistics which the author uses to support his arguments are difficult to absorb - you have to concentrate!
The final chapter on conclusions indulges in a the kind of what-iffery military historians are somewhat prone to but it is nonetheless quite interesting if a bit muddled in places.
I'm very happy to recommend this book with one caveat which has nothing to do with the book itself. Unless you are familiar with the geography and the history to some extent, you will find yourself wanting to look at a map! I got the book out of the library as well which solved the problem for me - and the maps are very good.