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The Second World War | [Antony Beevor]

The Second World War

Over the past two decades, Antony Beevor has established himself as one of the world's premier historians of World War II. His multi-award winning books have included Stalingrad and The Fall of Berlin 1945. Now, in his newest and most ambitious book, he turns his focus to one of the bloodiest and most tragic events of the twentieth century, The Second World War. Thrillingly written and brilliantly researched, Beevor's provocative account is destined to become the definitive work on World War II.
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Publisher's Summary

Over the past two decades, Antony Beevor has established himself as one of the world's premier historians of World War II. His multi-award winning books have included Stalingrad and The Fall of Berlin 1945. Now, in his newest and most ambitious book, he turns his focus to one of the bloodiest and most tragic events of the 20th century, The Second World War.

In this searing narrative, which takes us from Hitler's invasion of Poland on September 1st, 1939 to V-J day on August 14th, 1945, and the war's aftermath, Beevor describes the conflict and its global reach - one that included every major power. The result is a dramatic and breathtaking single-volume history that provides a remarkably intimate account of the war that, more than any other, still commands attention and an audience.

Thrillingly written and brilliantly researched, Beevor's grand and provocative account is destined to become the definitive work on this complex, tragic, and endlessly fascinating period in world history. It confirms once more that he is a military historian of the first rank.

©2012 Antony Beevor (P)2012 Hachette Audio

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  •  
    todd a schlichter 07-19-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brilliant Overview"

    The best overview of the war I've read (probably read half a dozen or more over the years). Finds a perfect balance between flowing narrative, first hand accounts, historical evaluation, and enough just depth of the events and people conducting the war for context. Also probably the only overview that doesn't exclude or give short shrift to the China / Burma campaign. Extremely good tactical analysis of commanders and decisions as well. Should be the default intro text for study of the war! Narration is also spot on. Wish I could give it more than 5 stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M.A. NYS 07-14-15
    M.A. NYS 07-14-15
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    "Probably the best book about WWII"
    If you could sum up The Second World War in three words, what would they be?

    Comprehensive. More complex history than you may have thought, more relevant to todays world in which major powers + internal national rivalries muddy the bigger picture. A great book.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    How can there be a "favorite character" in a history? I'd say the people of Poland. If you want to know why listen/read the book.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    This is a long book. Much too much for one sitting. In fact good for a re-listen. There's a lot to absorb.


    Any additional comments?

    If you've read other books about or set in the context of WWII this book will give you background. Some things start making sense...unfortunately.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brad Humphrey 04-07-15

    Dare to Compare

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    "Incredibly eye opening! War is worse than hell!"

    I thought I knew about war. I also thought I knew World War II... My god but I didn't! This is a must read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kyle 01-15-15
    Kyle 01-15-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Think you know history, think again."
    Would you listen to The Second World War again? Why?

    One day yes, but not for awhile. This book is very long. I will listen again, but in a few years, as it might take that long to digest everything. Don't get me wrong though, it is completely worth every minute you spend with it.


    What other book might you compare The Second World War to and why?

    I can't say what book, but I got the same feeling of excitement and awe that I had after watching Band of Brothers on HBO.


    Have you listened to any of Sean Barrett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This was so beautifully and expertly delivered. I cannot imagine another person who could have done such an amazing and perfect job.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The book is full of many moments that will make you pause, shutter, and shake your head in the absolute madness that the two world wars were made of.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is full of information and is so in-depth you will be amazed. The author clearly has spent a vast portion of their life researching and vetting the information. I especially appreciate the authors ability to present both sides of a story and then provide a level headed analysis to try and remove much of the attempts both sides make to either exaggerate or cloud an issue.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rossputin Evanston, IL 01-12-15
    Rossputin Evanston, IL 01-12-15 Member Since 2001

    Mike A.

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    "Well Constructed, Sometimes Opinionated Narrative"

    For those who like history in a narrative form, this is definitely a book worth investing your time and money in.

    The book covers WWII at a macro level, but more often operates at the battle level moving from one encounter to the next to advance the narrative. Some may find this a relentless and unflinching way to unfold the story; I certainly did. There is a great deal of brutality and inhumanity laid out in the books pages.

    There is much emphasis on the Eastern Front. The lion’s share of the book I would say. But there is also a fair amount of attention paid to the Sino-Japanese War and how it became folded into the broader conflict of WWII.

    Beevor doesn't spare many of the revered leaders and generals of the war. His opinionated skewering leaves hardly anyone untouched, save Eisenhower. That’s fine by me; it’s only the man’s opinion, but some readers may bristle at his treatment of Roosevelt , Churchill and others.

    All in all, a great one volume treatment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony Taylor Fall River, NS 09-08-14
    Anthony Taylor Fall River, NS 09-08-14 Member Since 2015

    Love reading. Three kids keep me busy so listening to books has become necessity.

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    "Riveting and Disturbing"
    If you could sum up The Second World War in three words, what would they be?

    Definitive history of The Second World War.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Second World War?

    Very detailed and interesting but it some of the less known facts of just how low humans can sink that is the most memorable and disturbing.


    Have you listened to any of Sean Barrett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Great narration coveys the events of the Second World War with power.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The behaviour of troops to civilians of the countries they are fighting is touchy at times but more often than not very challenging listening.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are history fan, particularly of the Second World War, then this is the book for you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Casurella Marietta, GA 09-02-14
    Jeff Casurella Marietta, GA 09-02-14 Member Since 2003

    Jeff

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    "Excellent."

    An excellent history of WWII. Very comprehensive with fresh insights. Recommend. I especially enjoyed the analysis regarding what Stalin thought of Roosevelt & Truman.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    megan 05-30-14
    megan 05-30-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Really liked it"

    This was a pretty in-depth book about World War 2 it does seem to spend a lot of time on the atrocities of the sides involved more so then the battles that took place, But it is still very interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Val Caron, ON, Canada 01-25-14
    Andrew Val Caron, ON, Canada 01-25-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Comprehensive and unbiased!"
    What did you love best about The Second World War?

    Detailed descriptions of the impact of war.


    What does Sean Barrett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Sean Barrett is the perfect narrator for this material. His voice carries the emotion of the work. His character voices are wonderful.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The invasion of Berlin.


    Any additional comments?

    This audio book is a fantastic package.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erik WICHITA, KS, United States 07-27-13
    Erik WICHITA, KS, United States 07-27-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Interesting (if not slanted) take on WWII"
    Would you listen to The Second World War again? Why?

    Maybe, but probably not for a while. It is 39+ hrs long, so I had enough in-depth coverage of WWII for a little while (even though I'm a WWII buff!). I love Beevor's writing (notably Berlin and Stalingrad), but listening to this book, I noticed that Beevor focuses far too much on the French (even after they were defeated and contributed practically nothing to the rest of the War on either side) and to the imperialistic British. I was offended that Beevor only gave one or two sentences about *some horribly dreadful march from Bataan*, yet spent pages, if not chapters, talking about the boring and irrelevant British interest in maintaining their crumbling empire in the far east, and the squabbling and ineptitude of the British command there. I don't care about what the British commander looked like and when he took his tea when, at the same time, thousands were dying on the Bataan Death March. Really, I think Beevor bit off more than he could chew with this. He does have interesting side stories that I haven't ever heard anywhere else, but they tend to drag the storytelling down in some places talking about some ultimately insignificant event, and then speeds through other important events without hardly event getting into detail about them. Beevor, in his own words, in an Anglophile and has a slight Anti-American tone, and continually downplays America's significant contributions to the War. I got the impression that whenever Beevor talks about the Allies, Britain is portrayed as the most important, followed by France, followed by Russia, followed by America, which is way out of line in my opinion. When he talks about the German-Russian battles, the coverage is more balanced and fair. I was sad that I read/listened to this book - it tarnished my respect and admiration for Antony Beevor as an author. This book is okay for WWII history buffs, but I'd really recommend reading the much better and more fairly balanced Stalingrad or Berlin.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The interesting side stories that I hadn't heard anywhere else before. Also, this book covers far more of the Chinese-Japanese conflict than I have read in any other WWII history book.


    What does Sean Barrett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Good accents and good tone. It was very easy to listen to.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, but at 39 hours, that isn't possible.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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