The author was so Anglo-centric that it sounded like Britain won the war with some help from the Russians. Oh, the Americans pitched in a little, too. There were many statistics given on the number of planes, the amount of materiel used, the number killed, etc., but it is hard to take any meaning from them when listening to an audiobook. My mind tended to wander during the recitation of the number of each type of ship involved or how many tons of bombs were dropped during a particular battle.
The book was very heavily weighted toward the war in Europe; I would estimate he spent less than 20% of the book on the entire war in the Pacific.
George Guidall-I could listen to him read the phone book!
I learned a lot about the European part of the war.
I really dislike when narrators try to use different accents for the various people being quoted. The narrator did a passable impression of Churchill, but the American accents were typically broad, the German accents were laughable, and Hitler came across sounding rather twee. I prefer for narrators to simply change the tone of their voice to show that they are quoting someone; it is much less distracting.
I know, general histories of the whole of WWII are usually just too shallow to be enjoyable. Drink deep at history's fountain or not all.
But still like a moth to fire, I always read them, and as a result know where an author is going or when they repeat common myths, or make minor mistakes, like here, mixing up the Heer and the Wehrmacht. Still, I liked Robert's book as he focuses more on areas that typically receive little coverage---CBI theater, fighting near Antwerp, etc.
Nothing new, just different focus and good way to waste hours of a dreary commute!
Increasing my ops tempo by allowing storytellers to whisper in my ear(buds).
This one volume summary of the vast global struggle that was WWII requires some familiarity with the great conflict. Roberts does has a few fresh things to say but in order to get to them he must rush past other elements of the war. This is unavoidable, I suppose with this subject. He is at his best when analyzing the causes for some of the key events. I especially appreciated his conclusion of the causes for Allied victory and Axis defeat.
Christian Rodska reads this expertly. He even throws in a few impressions of major characters. His depiction of Churchill is spot on.
If you want a complete history of WW ll this is it. I liked it and enjoyed the book very much. I would recommend this book to anyone.
Maybe. There are better reviews of the subject.
Rodska's voices are interesting
I don't see that happening
It was good, but there are better books on the subject.
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.]