Was very disappointed that the approximately 600 photos which were a major part of the book were omitted. I feel like I was only given "part" of the story. I would not of course have purchased this Kindle edition had I known. I feel as though I was definitely cheated even though the price was small. It was sort of like being offered a bat without the ball.
I was a little disappointed that the Kindle version of this book was text only. No pictures and no maps. It was very readable. I was prompted to find a used hard-copy version for the maps and pictures.
A Kindle “bargain” on Memorial Day. I would have been happy had I paid the full price. There have been so many books about the second world war, and many by author Stephen Ambrose. Most would argue that Ambrose has written many of the most well received and well known. This book does its due diligence in that it doesn’t really focus on one, or a few, certain aspects of the particular conflict, it’s simply a somewhat condensed volume detailing just about everything related to the tragedy.
Due to the vast subject material here, this book could have been several volumes, since it deals with the entire war, but Ambrose and co-author C.L. Sulzberger give the reader just enough information to provide the uninformed enough details to understanding the who’s, when’s, where’s and why’s.
You could make the argument that this is a “Cliffs Notes” type book, but it’s not necessarily a brief read, although there are many other books that are definitely much more long and expanded. This would be a good book for a high school student that might be curious. For someone such as myself who has read a large number of accounts already, there was much in this book that I already knew. Such a compact piece really can’t afford to go into too many deep revelations. What I found somewhat refreshing is the treatment of the war outside of the battle and the combat zone. That might seem a bit of an oxymoron, but there are, for example, a couple of chapters talking about what life was like “back home”. In America, for instance, there was definitely a sense of patriotism and pride, but also fear and trepidation. Apart from the attack on Pearl Harbor (and Hawaii wasn’t a U.S. state back then, remember) there is virtually no conflict on the continent. So in a sense, the Americans had it “good”. That seems a bit bold, and the authors ensure that it was no picnic, especially since everyone living in the United States, it seemed, was related to someone overseas, so the fear never dissipated. Yet compared to places such as London, Berlin, Shanghai and Sicily, those in the U.S.A. at least never had to worry about their houses being bombed, their possessions being looted, or the women being savaged. So it was nice to see a book about the war and how it affected those that weren’t literally fighting in it.
This was a relatively quick read, and it should also be pointed out that the Kindle version does not include the illustrations - which tended to leave many purchasers feeling a bit gypped. I suppose pictures would enhance (when do they not?), but I didn’t think they were necessary. I’ve never been disappointed by Stephen Ambrose, and this book is par for the course. Start your older kids with this one for a good overall primer.
An interesting and compelling read, with a broad view of World War II. While I have read many books about specific aspects and battles of WW II, this is the first book that provides a comprehensive view of the war. The authors explore the politics, the motivations for war and explain how and why decisions were made.The book provides insight into drivers that set WWII in motion, pre war politics of all the combatants, the allied agreements and issues between Churchill, Stalin and FDR. There is more information about all regions involved. America's pre war involvement in the aid to Europe and how American industry turned the tide, The book also delves more deeply regarding the war in the Pacific: Beyond the 'Island hopping' philosophy and the magnificent USMC, too include the war in China, Burma, the dangers to Australia and India that were thwarted, The rational for Japanese suicide attacks and much more. A very readable high level look at this history changing conflagration.
I did enjoy the book. There was nothing new for me, but of course this ground is as well-plowed as it is fertile so that is hardly worth noting at all. Where politics are introduced, the author clearly makes great effort to remain above it rather than choosing a side. (Except of course where not choosing a side would be foolish, if not evil.) I was really disappointed that the battles of Midway and (even more so) Leyte Gulf were not more explained as the near-miracle victories they were. But in fairness, many such battles were remarkable enough in scope, effect, or outcome to warrant their own books.
There is little individual input on the battles. Here again this is appropriate, and where individuals' comments are used, the quotes and the situations are well selected.
In summary, well worth reading and one of the better WWII histories I have read. Highly recommended.
The book itself was well done. I have the original in hardcopy. My problem with the electronic version is the complete absence of any photo, map or illustration as found in the original. If you are not familiar with WWII you could be lost .
Many of us were just kids during World War II. I remember my uncle being there and coming home after we won. But at 6 I didn't understand everything that happened. I've been on a path of reading the history of our era. This one is gripping. It has the details of each battle as well as the politics of the countries involved. How the world survived is a real miracle. The overwhelming number of casualties and supplies are mind boggling. You finish with the feeling that it couldn't happen again, and yet current events are echoes of the past. Everyone should read this all over the world and then consider if it is worth all the destruction that comes with war.