I have never read the print version but this book was full of facts, I think that books such as this are important for the younger generations to learn about how we all must cherished what others have earned for us.
This book is comparable to Band of Brothers and The Pacific, they are similar in style and tone, but this one lacks the closeness from the other two. Those of course are stories about bonds of brotherhood, where this book takes on a vast topic.
I think the audio narration makes the facts, stories, locations, and other facts easier to remember and understand. The narration keeps the book from becoming a textbook.
WWII War in Europe
This book is amazing. It has details that need to be known about what our elders have done for us and what they fought for. The sections on the concentration camps had some information that I have never heard before, and cast a whole new light on a part of history I thought I knew.
The history was organized in an interesting way and the detail was rich.
It would be difficult to imagine there could be a book that better described the amazing and horrific event known as WW II
My eyesight is not good enough to read long books, but I did check out this title and it's good in the print version also. It has at least 10 pages of black and white photographs, the type is a decent size, and it's altogether a nice book. The audio version adds the "actiing"--the reader gives us Churchill's accent, Stalin's accent, Hitler's accent, Patton's accent--he is very good at differentiating between British English and American English when anyone's words are quoted. There are many direct quotes taken from diaries, published memoirs, interviews, and these add excitement and realism to the plot line.
I haven't finished listening to it yet, but the most memorable part so far seems to be the author's thesis that Hitler's war was the first ever fought for ideological reasons over everything else, including economic reasons. Although Hitler wanted "Lebensraum" (living space) for an expanded Germany, he also made military decision that were militarily stupid because of his racial ideologies. For example, when he invaded Poland, he had to stop to kill as many Jews as possible by putting them in ghettos as well as mass executions, and he even arrested the farmers even though he needed food for his army. When he invaded Russia, he first took over the Baltics, Ukraine, and other parts of western Russia where separate nationalities had retained their culture, which hated Soviet Russia because of forced collectivization, mass murder, forced starvation, and many other atrocities committed by the Russians, and would have gladly collaborated with Hitler's armies to help him defeat Soviet Russia. But instead of pretending to be friendly with these newly invaded nationalities, he insisted that his troops remember their primary objective of mass extermination of the Western Russians to provide lebensraum. They were to kill as many people as possible, especially the Jews and Slavs, and to not form any army divisions out of foreigners who would have gladly fought with him if his forces had treated his newly occupied peoples as liberators instead of conquerors.
I don't think so. This one is very good.
No. It is four parts long, and since I'm always doing something else (gardening, exercising) while listening, I decided to listen to Part II again before proceeding to Part III, in case I missed anything.
Great book and a great performance. The dialogue and details make even the parts of the war I don't much care about, like Rommel's desert campaign, very interesting.
A full, compelling treatment of the entire war. A very well-told story that hung together, even over the 32 hours of reading.
I understand so much more about WWII now and appreciate the horrors of war and the courage of so many, from leaders to privates. The criticality of intelligence, the blindness of racial superiority, the pure hell of war.
The narrator was awesome as well and added much to the story.
I found that the book provided a wealth of new and updated information on a large number of facets of the Second World War and for this reason alone I would recommend it to anyone who has even the least interest in the subject. Tremendous amounts of information have become available of the last few decades as archives are released by the various governments involved in the conflict that all bring a fuller understanding of one of the signal events of the Twentieth Century.
I first read WWII accounts in the 1960's as a child of a veteran. In retrospect I see how biased these were by their very nearness in time to the topic and the personal involvement of the writers. I am glad I picked this up to re-educate myself.
Several other reviewers have mentioned omissions, or lack of depth in coverage of specific, and, I feel, well known operations, as well as a slightly "British" tone. No matter those lacks, the coverage of the lesser known parts of the war are the parts I most appreciated.
Where I do disagree quite strongly with many of the other reviewers is in the narrator's interpretation. I personally found his need to assume the "voice" of Churchill, Hitler, Eisenhower, and indeed almost every single person who is ever quoted regardless of how briefly, to be incredibly distracting and unnecessary. I was coming to this book as a history, not as a docu-drama production.
At the most ridiculous, I feel I need to point out that while Mr. Rodska can certainly capture the tone and impetuosity of Hitler speech, the simple fact of the matter is that Hitler was always speaking in German and the quotes in the book are merely translations. No matter how reasonable Mr. Rodska's impersonation, I found myself smirking as I was always taken back to an old 1950's Danny Kaye movie where he does his own ranting impersonation of Hitler, "There will alvays be ein Engeland, BUT de vill be drivink Volksvagens!". Of the many lesser persons Rodska "imitates", there is simply no way for him to have studied recordings of so many minor figures. I suspect that there is little reason to believe that he did more than a gratuitously stereotyped and generic nationalistic "voice"-over.
To me this has taken away considerable weight and seriousness from what is otherwise a fine book.
Certainly go ahead and purchase this offering, just be forewarned that you will find yourself rolling your eyes when yet another brief and minor quotation is "performed" for your listening pleasure.
[Please note that I only gave the "Story" category 3 stars since the Second World War is history. We all can be pretty sure from the first page how it all turns out in the end.]
When I read history I'd like some insight. This felt mostly like an endless litany of dates, names, battles and facts.
If you are looking for a book that will describe all of the details of World War II then this is probably perfect for you.
The narrator had an odd tone to his voice and was pretty flat. Though he may not have had much of a choice given the nature of the material.
I almost didn't buy this book. I have read dozens of WWII histories and this seemed like it would be just another. I was wrong. Insightful analysis and an intelligent explanation of the 1939-1947 time period made me a believer. I say 1947 because it is clear from this story that WWII could easily have spanned that time period, and beyond. It is fair to say that this book turned around my entire thinking about what WWII meant to the world at the time and the world we live in today. On the surface, much of this books dwells on parts of WWII few others have discussed (e.g. Burma, Italy, etc.). But on a deeper level, it is a 21st century retrospective on what it all meant to us, the living today.Rodska's delivery is riveting. Robert's analsysis is dead on, tack sharp, and downright scary.
Absolutely I did recommend it to my brother and my friends who are interested in this type of literature
I read the rise and fall of the Third Reich before I listen to this book and I figured it could not light a match to it but I was pleasantly surprised it was right up there but really what took it over the top was the narrator he was on the money with this Churchill impression .
His impressions and I felt like 10 people were reading this book to me if not 15
Yes there was a moment when the German people were getting burnt up by the bombs when their cities were being destroyed and they were feeling the hell that they were bringing down on the world for the past five years it was a beautiful thing to see them get a taste of their own medicine
Thank God books are still written like this to still remind us of the sacrifice of the brave men and women who stood up to the Nazi aggression so we are reminded in our small lives compared to their lives back in those days when they knew what heart ache was in pain and sufferings. And then a book like this is well-written to keep people interested in a story that has 1 million stories in it. I recommend this book to all let us never forget these people in the past who live these times so we may live our lives today with iPods and audible books I
With just three hours left I finally gave up when the discussion went on and on about the specifications of German and Russian tanks. Overcome by boredom, I just quit. This is a hard book to audio, given the reams of statistics. It's especially tough to audio while driving. I found myself using the back button a lot to get the numbers. I'll admit that it's pretty hard to cover all of WWII in one book, but this is very England-centric and barely mentions the war in the Pacific. Short chapters on Pearl Harbor and The Battle of Midway, but that's about it. The performance was good...particularly nice impressions of Churchill!