Ian Kershaw's Fateful Choices: Ten Decisions That Changed the World, 1940-41 offers a penetrating insight into a series of momentous political decisions that shaped the course of the Second World War.
The hurricane of events that marked the opening of the Second World War meant that anything could happen. For the aggressors there was no limit to their ambitions; for their victims a new Dark Age beckoned. Over the next few months their fates would be determined.
In Fateful Choices Ian Kershaw re-creates the 10 critical decisions taken between May 1940, when Britain chose not to surrender, and December 1941, when Hitler decided to destroy Europe's Jews, showing how these choices would recast the entire course of history.
Ian Kershaw (b. 1943) was Professor of Modern History at the University of Sheffield from 1989 to 2008 and is one of the world's leading authorities on Hitler. His books include The "Hitler Myth"; his two-volume biography Hitler 1889-1936: Hubris and Hitler 1936-1945: Nemesis; and Fateful Choices: Ten Decisions That Changed the World, 1940-1941. He was knighted in 2002.
©2008 Ian Kershaw (P)2015 Audible, Ltd
"Powerfully argued...important...this book actually alters our perspective of the Second World War." (Andrew Roberts)
"A splendidly lucid and impeccably argued exposition of the greatest political decisions of the Second World War." (Max Hastings)
"A compelling re-examination of the conflict...Kershaw displays here those same qualities of scholarly rigour, careful argument and sound judgement that he brought to bear so successfully in his life of Hitler." (Richard Overy)
Incredibly detailed, sometimes to a fault. Arguable choice of the 10 decisions that Changed the World, with a big US emphasis. Still, overall, excellent material.
But, what I really want to stress is the fantastic job done by the narrator, Barnaby Edwards. I have listened to dozens of history books, most over the 15 hour mark, and enjoyed most of them, but rarely has the narrator made such a mark on me.
Barnaby Edwards reading is fast, but unfaltering. One does not feel rushed, but one feels that the reading speed is almost at the level of silent reading, with no loss to intelligibility. I would guess that, read by anyone else, the 25 hours of the book would have stretched by 1 or 2 hours.
Last, but certainly not least, Barnaby Edwards' pronunciation of the foreign names of a language I know (French, Italian and German) is excellent, neigh faultless. So many good books are massacred by readers who cannot pronounced foreign names that this deserves a special mention.
PS: I am not related to Barnaby Edwards in any manner.
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