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Publisher's Summary

This is a day-by-day account of the 80-day struggle in 1940 between Hitler, poised on the edge of absolute victory, and Churchill, threatened by imminent invasion and defeat.
©1992 John Lukacs (P)1992 Books on Tape

Critic Reviews

"A wonderful story wonderfully told." (George F. Will)
"A master of narrative history." (Kirkus Reviews)
"It is salutary to be reminded in this powerful study how close Hitler came to winning in 1940....An impressive study...[written] with elegance and panache." (The New York Times)

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • TM
  • Laffayette, IN
  • 09-07-08


Other books handle the host of details surrounding these events, so John Lukacs decided to focus only on the two key personalities driving them, their differences, similarities, and the fine points within their characters that lead them to make the decisions that would decide the state of world's affairs in those days. It is these fine insights provided by Lukacs that makes this book a rewarding experience. Having both read the text and listened to this audio version, I can highly recommend this book to those that are interested in a thorough, intelligent analysis of these two indomitable mindsets.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Neil
  • Pelham, Thailand
  • 10-06-11


What would have made The Duel better?

After listening to William Shirer's Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, this is so disappointing. Rambling and even the reader (who does such a good job with Rise and Fall) seems hesitant at times.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Andrew
  • Milford, ON, Canada
  • 06-24-08

Extremely interesting

A fascinating analysis of the opening chapters of WW2, with Churchill and Hitler facing off.

Analysis maybe too scholarly a term. Very approachable for the both the enthusiast of the period and the novice.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Sidney
  • Oceanside, CA, United States
  • 12-31-08

The most aggravating history lecture ever

Funny, my wife asked me what a pedant was the other day. I let her listen to this book and she understood completely. The author feels free to recite quotes in German and French without translation. Who is he trying to impress? He puts down people who "actually think that a picture is worth a thousand words." Why does he need to put readers down, not that any readers really believe that. His insights are undefended (and I think often wrong). I was eager to learn the facts of this period in history, so I listened on. But I desperately wanted to quit several times, and I had to ignore his analysis in order to continue. Recently I have listened to "Einstein" and to "Franklin and Winston." These books were warm and intelligent. "The Duel" was neither.

6 of 11 people found this review helpful