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.
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 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.
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.
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!
I liked the comprehensive way this book broke down the huge story, spanning many individual conflicts and ideologies, into understandable and easily digestible segments.
I think the realisation that the leaders of the Allied cause I had been taught to revere as a child were in many ways as deeply flawed as the Japanese, Russians and the Germans, together with the realisation of just how much sheer luck was involved in the allies winning the war.
The reader was excellent. His delivery of some of the more horrific facts was sombre and responsible.
I think the passages dealing with the suffering of the ordinary people caught up in a war they could not do anything to influence or stop. You could not listen to the sections on the suffering of the jews, Roma and Slavs and the ordinary Russians without being deeply moved.
It is a sober and clearly stated explanation of the causes, execution and consequences of the second world war. It is not easy to listen to in parts, particularly the section on the liberation of the concentration camps, but it is important to understand the past to avoid repeating the same mistakes again. It has also shown me that some of the long held beliefs surrounding the war and its causes are wrong but are still influencing thinking today.
engaging, fresh, detailed
A remarkable mix of new information and a perspective which does credit to the author. These volume makes the definitive story of the last world war compelling and accessible without dumbing down or leaving out detail. This really should be considered the new de facto standard reference for WWII
What can I say, a voice that infuses the text with credibility and authority whilst remaining eloquent and injecting just the right amount of character without turning it into a ham acting audition. As someone else said, get the book for the facts and keep listening for the voice!
This book gives an excellent insight into the effect of the war on people and places not highlighted previously. The only drawback to this audiobook is the difficulty of following the different campaigns in maps.
A decent military history book, very well done considering the breadth of the topic. Decidedly focuses on military aspects of the war but includes some interesting sources, especially soldier letters, to add personality to the mid century war machines
"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.
"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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