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The Second World Wars

How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won
Narrated by: Bob Souer
Length: 23 hrs and 28 mins
Categories: History, 20th Century
5 out of 5 stars (19 ratings)

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Summary

A definitive account of World War II by America's preeminent military historian.  

World War II was the most lethal conflict in human history. Never before had a war been fought on so many diverse landscapes and in so many different ways, from rocket attacks in London to jungle fighting in Burma to armor strikes in Libya.  

The Second World Wars examines how combat unfolded in the air, at sea, and on land to show how distinct conflicts among disparate combatants coalesced into one interconnected global war. Drawing on 3,000 years of military history, Victor Davis Hanson argues that despite its novel industrial barbarity, neither the war's origins nor its geography were unusual. Nor was its ultimate outcome surprising. The Axis powers were well prepared to win limited border conflicts, but once they blundered into global war, they had no hope of victory.  

An authoritative new history of astonishing breadth, The Second World Wars, offers a stunning reinterpretation of history's deadliest conflict.

©2017 Victor Davis Hanson (P)2018 Tantor

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A methodological breakdown of the conflict

A well narrated breakdown of WW2, dividing the conflicts into theatres (air, sea, land) and geographies (East/West Europe, N Africa, Pacific) with a strategic lens, using empirical data and contemporary commentary on topics such as the effectiveness of weapons from machine guns to airplanes, logistical support, technological innovation, leadership, and ideologies to make judgements on how the war proceeded and concluded as it did. Victor Davis Hanson also attempts to answer questions on what was inevitable and what wasn’t as well as philosophical questions what exactly was won and lost. At no point did a I find listening to this book dry, as can be found with other non-fiction topics.

2 people found this helpful

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Comprehensive and analytic

This book combines global breadth and depth of historical comparisons into an analytic perspective that keeps both the human and the material dimensions of the War continuously in view. I now feel the need to read it as well as to listen. My only critism of the reading is that brief pauses between paragraphs would have made for easier listening. Otherwise, excellent.

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  • stephen
  • 11-01-19

Outstanding.

Loved it. Learned a lot. The book was finished in no time. Couldn't stop once I started it

12 people found this helpful

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  • LARRY DINKIN
  • 07-02-19

The story behind the story of WW 2

I have read over 35 books on WW 2 and the "Second World Wars" is one the most fascinating. It tells the story behind the story of WW 2. The book also introduces new facts by a well-informed author. Could not stop listening.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Dr Sockmonkee
  • 05-02-19

Amazing amount of information

I loved this book. I had never considered the different theaters of war or the participants in the way presented. I learned much more than I knew beforehand.

8 people found this helpful

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  • DOUGLAS RIFE
  • 11-02-19

The full scope of the world-wide conflict

I have listened to all of the book and am starting it a second time. It is the best of the WW2 overviews. Victor Davis Hanson is not only recognized as a "war history" expert - he is our era's best commentator and historian of war and its affect on the world and politics. The approach he takes interweaves the multiple theaters, the various elements (land, sea, air, strategy, tactics, logistics, technology, and industry) while maintaining a linkage of all factors even while emphasizing one aspect. I am now investing the time to listen through again - there is so much to be mined from this mother-lode of data.

The narration is excellent.

I'll be looking for more of Victor Davis Hanson's work on audible products.

15 people found this helpful

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  • M. E. Blackman
  • 15-03-19

Very well written, not as well spoken.

No complaints whatsoever regarding VDH’s writing or the way this book was put together. It’s a great overview of the various aspects of the war. (If you’re looking for details of particular battles or campaigns, this isn’t it.) I was a bit disappointed with the narrator’s errors with some of the pronunciation, and especially with pauses in the middle of sentences which interrupted the flow of the story.

5 people found this helpful

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  • George
  • 26-01-19

excellent book

Absolutely stonning book if you are loving details. Strategies, planning and politics during the world war II ....all those you thought you know before reading it. Well, the book will teach you a lot more.

5 people found this helpful

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  • REX LANYI
  • 18-05-19

A Reluctant 4.5 Stars

I "only" gave it 4.5 Stars because although the book was very well researched and written, I felt that the Asian War was not included proportionately. It seemed like the war in the Pacific and Asia received about one-third of the author's time, with China barely being mentioned. Something much closer to half of the book would have been appropriate. However, the book was excellent in all other respects.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Timothy L
  • 01-02-19

great commentary on World War II

a different View and understanding of World War II that you've never heard before from an excellent scholar on war Victor Davis Hanson.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Steve Hillman MD
  • 05-05-19

The whole story of WWII

As a lifetime student of WWII I found myself surprised at the vast amount of detail I had missed in the past.
This is the most complete work on the subject I’ve encountered.
A must reafy

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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-04-19

Enlightens as no other book has done

Victor Davis Hansen enlightens us about the Second World War as no other book has done. And, his apt scholarly comparisons and contrasts with former wars and battles — including in antiquity — lend delightful depth to his analyses of this brutal war. The Second World Wars is insightfully conceived, thoroughly researched, lucidly written, and a must-read!

2 people found this helpful