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Publisher's Summary

Love history? Know your stuff with History in an Hour.

The Siege of Leningrad was one of the longest sieges in history and it inflicted some of the worst civilian casualties of World War Two. When Hitler declared his intention to obliterate the key city of Leningrad on 22 September 1941, he could not have foreseen the grim determination of its citizens. Over the course of 900 days, the city resisted the Germans pounding at its gates. Its survival contributed to the defeat of Nazism. But the price was heavy – over 1 million died in Leningrad from German bombs and artillery, or from disease, the cold or starvation.

In its suffering Leningrad became a source of symbolic national pride, of good conquering evil. The story of the siege is one of heroic resistance and stoical survival but it also one of unimaginable suffering and extreme deprivation.

The Siege of Leningrad: History in an Hour is essential reading for all history lovers.

©2013 Rupert Colley (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"If the past is a foreign country, History in an Hour is like a high-class tour operator, offering delightfully enjoyable short breaks in the rich and diverse continent of our shared past" (Dominic Sandbrook)
"The practice of History is ever-evolving, and the History In An Hour idea brings it back up to date for the digital age" (Andrew Roberts, Bookseller)
"This is genius" (MacWorld.com)

What members say

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history of one of at terrible episode of WW2

What made the experience of listening to The Siege of Leningrad: History in an Hour the most enjoyable?

good historical perspective

Who was your favorite character and why?

not aplicable

What aspect of Jonathan Keeble’s performance would you have changed?

put the north front in the perspective of the whole barbarosa operation

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

hunger in the former capital

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  • Story
  • Alan Coady
  • 04-19-17

If you ever feel you had it rough...

Would you listen to The Siege of Leningrad: History in an Hour again? Why?

Yes, I would listen to this again. One reason is general: remembering details from audio books is more difficult that reading and so revisiting can be very helpful for remembering dates, names etc. The other is more specific: despite the harrowing events visited upon the citizens of Leningrad, reports of their stoicism are heart-warming. It makes you wonder how you'd bear up under similar conditions.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Siege of Leningrad: History in an Hour?

Reports of the often unceremonious disposal of the remains of loved ones and, more alarmingly reports of cannibalism due to hunger really stuck out. Without ever having suffered such hardship, one shouldn't rush to judgement.

Which character – as performed by Jonathan Keeble – was your favourite?

Being a history book, the word 'character' does not mean the same as in, say, novels. Dmitri Shostakovich, who wrote the Leningrad Symphony certainly stands out. Many others also stand out for less honourable features such as incompetence and cruelty.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

...in war, don't expect help to arrive any day soon...

Any additional comments?

I find Jonathan Keeble a very suitable narrator for such historical books as this. He brings a necessary gravitas to the project.

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  • Lukasz Nowak
  • 03-08-17

Terrifying...

No better story than a real-life story. Well written, well performed, very graphic and gripping. Good piece of history in a very short - perfect introductory for further study.

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  • Jake Blunt
  • 09-02-16

Colley leads the way into a nightmarish world

Keeble's powerful narration brings Colley's excellent writing to life in this riveting exploration of Soviet Russia's greatest test. The hardships are brutally described and the suffering fully explained, with the fervor and burning loyalty of the party conveyed in full colour to contrast with the irrefutable inhumanity of the siege. A riveting hour, well worth the investment.

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  • Myles
  • 11-14-13

Salutary and succinct

Would you consider the audio edition of The Siege of Leningrad: History in an Hour to be better than the print version?

I've not had the option of reading the print version. but the audio edition allowed me to relax and learn at the same time.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Well, I knew what would happen? It was history, after all.

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

Yes, I did listen to it in one sitting.