A magisterial, single volume history of the greatest conflict the world has ever known, by our foremost military historian.
The Second World War began in August 1939 on the edge of Manchuria and ended there exactly six years later with the Soviet invasion of northern China. The war in Europe appeared completely divorced from the war in the Pacific and China, and yet events on opposite sides of the world had profound effects.
Using the most up to date scholarship and research, Beevor assembles the whole picture in a gripping narrative that extends from the North Atlantic to the South Pacific and from the snowbound steppe to the North African Desert.
Although filling the broadest canvas on a heroic scale, Beevor's The Second World War never loses sight of the fate of the ordinary soldiers and civilians whose lives were crushed by the titanic forces unleashed in this, the most terrible war in history.
Read by Sean Barrett.
©2012 Antony Beevor (P)2012 Orion Publishing Group
Beevor interweaves the stuff of war history - major campaigns, sea battles, the outcome of strategic decisions and the personalities involved, with the often gory detail of human suffering on a grand scale and post-event analysis which poses some interesting what-if scenarios. Humour occasionally lightens the mood - with the British General Staff and Il Duce's army bearing the brunt. Barrett's narration is excellent and he copes well with German, Russian and Japanese names and ranks. An often enlightening read which should be on the school curriculum, and read by all, lest we forget.
I have always wanted to read a book which gives a clear and accurate view of the second world for. This is that book. This never glamourises the War and it plays down the propaganda and the myths. In fact on reading this book i feel that no nation comes out with credit - just some were more guilty then others.
The book delves deep into the detail and it pulls no punches. this isn't a boys adventure tale. Its War and the worst of it.
Its so fascinating to see what strange and evil alliances the War bought together and I have never ever realised that some of the German allies were so close to the Uk. How the British had to fight the French after their surrender to Germany in some instances and how there was several nations who changed sides during the War - not just Italy.
The book delves into the reasons and the start of the War and Britain does not fare well. The brits were slow to start and let several nations down with their lack of support. France - then a super army never delivered and surprisingly fell to the Germany quickly and Italy panders to Germany without engaging in the War. America has to be cajoled into the War and it costs the Brits substantially to get them to join. Facts I never knew.
Its a big book an at times hard to follow - well at the start at least. But its well worth reading on. i just couldn't wait to get back into the book.
This book will be seen as THE BOOK ON THE SECOND WORLD WAR - I am sure of that.
Overall: very good
It took a while to get used to the voice and I ended up appreciating each pronounciation -- especially the German and Russian bits.
On to part two...
Having greatly enjoyed this author's previous work, which dealt in fine detail with some of the great set piece battles of the Second World War, I was intrigued to see how he would cope with the broad canvas of the entire war. The book (both part one and two) proved to be an excellent and gripping listen. One of the great strengths of Mr Beevor's previous books was the fine detail showing the individual's experience of history. I was pleased that despite that despite the vast sweep of the subject matter, he still finds room for this fine detail.
Well read by Sean Barrett.
I would say about equal but it is good to have both as the written book can be easier used as reference especially to remind th unbelievable numbers of poor soles who died for no purpose or reason
The reminder of history and the madness of War
The short story of the young Korean boy caught up in three wars
Nor really possible for me
Excellent and outstanding
This, together with its second volume, are exactly what you would expect from Anthony Beevor - a comprehensive, well researched and thorough account of a monumental event. Sean Barratt reads it beautifully, and it is well written, but I thought it is probably both too long and too short - it can drag in places (the build up to Operation Torch for instance) and too short to cover the whole WW2 in sufficient detail (the book acknowledges this.) Having said that, and having a better knowledge of the war since I first listened to this, I'll probably give it another go.
Amazing & chilling overview of the worst conflict in human history. May we never spill so much blood again. Should be complusory listening at secondary school!
you need reminding sometimes and this book did it for me . just how unbelievably cruel and evil people are. humanity is not the force for good that it should be. thank you Antony bevoor.
This book provided a brilliantly informative outline of the first half of the WW2. It had enough detail in it to give a good picture of what went on, where and with who. But wasn't so detailed that it became boring and lost the plot (Churchill's autobiography did this).
If you are looking to start learning about WW2 then this is the book for you. I would also recommend the 'Rise and fall of the 3rd Reich'. It will be equally suitable for someone who knows a fair bit but wants to fill in the gaps.
"Expected more from Antony Beevor"
Great run over the second world war. But nothing new for those who have studied it already. Best on the Western campaigns and less in-depth on the complex Japanese/Chinese conflict. Hoped that Antony Beevor with his detailed knowledge would have tried to maintain an analytical overview of the war. However, instead he leads us through battle to battle and campaign to campaign in his usual entertaining style with lots of specific stories to bring the scenes alive. Maybe I was expecting too much.
"Superb and enthralling - highly recommended."
Excellent Audible history - up there with the rude boys.
The narrator is excellent. This is a long listen, so the narration is especially important and Sean Barrett's clarity, diction and expression are first class.
The mix of grand strategic overview mixed with the words of soldiers and civilians make this brilliantly written history extremely engrossing. I'm eagerly looking forward to Part 2.
"This will become the seminal work on WWII"
Truly global in its scope, any serious study of the war will necessarily include a careful reading of this work.
"Stunning and comprehensive"
Stunning, elaborate and comprehensive.
It is definitely the best overall history of the Second World War I have read so far. It might be supplemented with a more analytical look at the war by reading Norman Davies "Europe at War 1939-1945. If one wants to explore the different campaigns further Beevor wrote great books on Berlin, D-Day and Stalingrad as well.
The Great Tragedy
"Difficult subject matter, great narration."
The narration by Sean Barrett is simply outstanding and sensitive to the subject matter at hand.
"Not that great narration."
Lacks the tautness of Stalingrad and Crete.
Not enough personal episodes.
Narration was bad. Not awful, but just bad.
Governator as Hitler, Tom Hanks as Churchill.
"Great Overview of WW2"
It over all of the war and you get a much better picture of how it all unfolded. It was does not pull any punches and gives you enough details without overwhelming you.
THIS IS WHAT WE HAVE COME TO EXPECT FROM BEEVOR. WRITTEN HISTORY AT ITS BEST,CONCISE, WRITTEN WITH AUTHORITY AND VERY ENTERTAINING, I HAVE READ ALL OF BEEVORS BOOKS AND HAVE NOT BEEN DISAPOINTED. THE NARRATOR WAS EXCELLENT. IN ALL, A GREAT BUY
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