This is the most powerful and compelling book on WWII on a personal level that I have ever read / listen too second only to Diary of Anne Frank. The author Max Hastings does a tremendous job of interweaving the overall events of WWII and the lives of the people it touched. Both German and Japanese theaters are discussed. It is chilling how the author reads letters and diaries of people caught up in the events of day just to conclude that the character dies a couple days later. True stories of parents doing all they can to save their children tears emotionally at your heart.
The reader must understand that this book is about the human spirit, both good and evil, and is not another historical thesis on the war.
I had no problems listening to the narrator. He did a wonderful job
Buy this audiobook and a box of tissues
Let me start off by saying im a republician and my views are right of center. I knew going into this book that the author was left of center without being etreme so I prepared myself for the inevidable differences of opinion. Alan Dershowitz certainly interjects his opinion throughout the lectures. Nowhere is this more evident then in the section about Bush v. Gore. Mr. Dershowitz deals exclusively with the 5 - 4 decision to halt the recount but doesnt go into the courts rationale for it. Additionally no mention is made of the 7 - 2 decision in the same opinion which clearly ruled that there was a violation of the equal protection clause.
Also, Mr. Dershowitz lists the retrial of Klaus von Bulow as one of the great trials ( Mr. Dershowitz was the appeals lawer for Bulow ) I would have thought the Jack Ruby trial or the Al Capone trial more significant.
Alan Dershowitz is one of the greatest lawyers / educators alive. His lecture series is highly entertaining as well as informative. Buy this audiobook
This is the first lecture series from the Great Courses that I have listened to. In the past I have totally enjoyed the Modern Scholar catalog. I have listened to quite a few of Professor Thomas Madden's work and have come to totally enjoy his courses.
First off let me say that Professor Childers does an excellent job presenting this lecture series to us. He speaks clearly and distinctly. His knowledge of WW2 is extensive and he feels comfortable talking to us.
Despite this, this series does have its flaws.
First off, this is a lecture about WW2 and not about Nazi Germany. As such, hardly any mention is made about the years 1919 - 1939. It is as if this period holds no importance. Many of the top Nazis aren't even mentioned. The Battle Of Dunkirk is discussed and we are only 40 minutes into a 15 hour lecture. This IMO opinion is a major flaw. Way too much history is ignored.
I was about to put this series down and move on when we hit the chapter of The Battle of Tarawa ( November 1943 Pacific Theater ) when all of a sudden, the lecture series comes alive with a BANG !! This is by far one of the best lectures in this course. In
fact, most of the Pacific campaign is vividly presented. It is from this point that the series takes off.
The discussion about the final bomber raid over Germany on April 21, 1945 is gut wrenching. Bravo Professor for including this.
Another defect of this presentation is the canned applause and chamber music that signals the start of another lecture. It got to be totally annoying.
This book is worth the credit and the time to listen to it and is mildly recommended. Personally I came away from this series wishing more time had been spent on the early years
College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.
leveled at this brilliant narrative concerning unnecessary length and lack of structure. As to the first, I wanted more, not less! I found the book remarkably compelling. As to the second, a stirring and intriguing story should not read like a sixth grade history book, but rather something like a novel. El-Hai accomplishes this wonderfully well here, weaving in and out of plot-lines, developing characters richly and fully along the way. This historical narrative is not nearly so much about Goering--or Kelley--as it is about those incredible accidental meetings of personalities and circumstances at the most telling times in history and how much of what becomes cultural consciousness is developed in dark rooms under conditions and by people of which most remain forever unaware. El-Hai's book is a mystery and suspense tale, told as though Poe or Hawthorne had penned an historical drama. It comes highly recommended from these quarters, especially for anyone who prefers a literary turn put to what would otherwise be dry classroom facts.