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1945: The War That Never Ended Paperback – November 15, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 792 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (November 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300119887
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300119886
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,349,081 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* The cessation of hostilities in 1945 did not correspond with peace, a bitter paradox Dallas scrutinizes in this exacting history. Although the origin of the cold war may seem controversial, according to Dallas, its cause was simple: Stalin's determination to cash in his 1939 pact with Hitler--with or without Hitler himself. The Soviet dictator's success--it permanently set international boundaries and fueled the imposition of Communist regimes for decades--hinged, in hindsight, on August 1944, according to Dallas. For some euphoric few days, it seemed the war might end: Paris was in insurrection against the retreating Germans and so was Warsaw. However, Eisenhower decided against a rush on Berlin across the northern German plain; simultaneously, Stalin halted his armies to let the Nazis destroy the Polish anti-Communists. The ensuing protraction of the war into the following year, besides consuming millions more lives, permitted all manner of maneuvering over the shape of the postwar world. Telescoping his narrative from conference table to street rubble, Dallas embraces detail yet sustains remarkable dramatic focus. Superbly sensitive to the ground-level tragedy and the high-level politics of 1944-45, the readably fluent Dallas proves integral to understanding both what is known and unknown about the cataclysmic conclusion of World War II. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“[This book] reads like a conversation with a sympathetic guide who has a sure eye for paradox, the unexpected detail and the almost forgotten . . . . Dallas convincingly demonstrates that where we are can be understood only by reference to where we were.”—Daily Telegraph
(Alan Judd Daily Telegraph)

“This book should be read by every American. . .thoroughness of . . .research from diverse secondary sources. . .distinguish the work.”—Virginia Quarterly Review


(Virginia Quarterly Review) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Well-written, easy to read.
Ira M. Siegel
Gregor Dallas has some very unkind things to say about Eisenhower, but he backs them up.
S. M. H. Klauber
For some reason, the style of writing just does not meld with my brain.
Lee

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Robert C.A. Goff, MCSD, MCSE, MCDBA on January 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Perhaps for those who have yet to turn gray, this treatment of WWII is merely excellent and compelling history. But for those, like me, who grew up through the late 1940s and 1950s, Dallas' well researched recounting of the events surrounding that war goes a long way in explaining the war's bizarre aftermath.

Let me begin by confessing that during the early 1980s, while I was stationed for three years in Germany with the USAF, I had no idea that a peace treaty ending WWII had yet to be agreed upon. My understanding of WWII rested on having read Churchill's eight volume history, which peevishly ends when he is turned out of office. Granted, Gregor Dallas has the advantage of a half-century of retrospection, but he is also not encumbered by the live political sensitivities with which Churchill tempered his writing.

This book sheds light on the following issue that had always puzzled me:

Why the British Empire faded

Why the French government tends to be so contrary with the US

Why Europeans in general are so cautious in dealing with the US

Why the Nuremberg Trials happened

Why the Western Allies tolerated so much bad behavior from the USSR

Why Warsaw was obliterated

Why the USSR so rapidly shifted from ally to opponent

Why the USSR and the US confronted each other in the Middle East

Why the Korean Conflict happened

Why the US ended up fighting on behalf of colonial France in Indo-china

The list is much longer. Does Dallas offer the final word on these issues? Of course not. But he raises many points of fact that tend to be minimized by American histories of the conflict.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By S. M. H. Klauber on July 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A very readable, well-written work, this author both knows his subject area and is not afraid of expressing STRONG opinions. The author makes points, or at least states positions, that will make you think. Opinions about Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Montgomery, Truman, etc., are well thought out and quite provocative. I particularly enjoyed some of the author's thoughts about the Holocaust & Holocaust studies. Gregor Dallas has some very unkind things to say about Eisenhower, but he backs them up. Also, the author sets out some matters which I had forgotten about, such as Patton's anti-semetism. I also enjoyed that Dallas is a British writer not afraid to use his "foreign" point of view when discussing the United States. Its the difference between a British band that sings its songs in flawless English, as opposed to with a natural English accent. The book also has a glossary of individuals & entities at the end of the book which gives concise and interesting "definitions". This book has interested me enough in some of the areas it touched upon to influence me to have just ordered a book on the Soviet General Vlasov, and on the Venona de-crypts. Its a 4 1/2 star book, and I recommend reading it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Spruce Goose on January 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
I originally purchased this book in the belief that it would deal with the conclusion of the European segment of WW2 and how peace "broke out" even if the war never ended, at least not until 1990. What I did get was a great book giving a series of well stated arguments on why 8th May 1945 came the way it did and its impact on the Europe that evolved from that moment. The compare and contrast between two major European capital cities, Paris and Warsaw gave a clear record as to how the 3 major powers would treat not only those they liberated but those they conquered as well.
Dallas puts forward the case that Stalin was wedded to the Soviet/Nazi non-aggression pact of 1939 dividing up Poland and the changes in the contiguous southerly territorial boundaries which arose from this agreement and how it wasn't until the latter part of 1943 when Stalin realised he could achieve the same ends without Nazi participation. And he did. After re-stating this 5 or 6 times in the rest of the book, this once well received case becomes a little bit of "got it the first time, what else have you got?"
The build up to the concluding months of the war reads very well. Potsdam is covered, Nuremberg is there, the triumphal visit of Berlin by Truman and Churchill too. For me, how the DP's (displaced persons), POW's, slaves, infrastructure, returns to some form of surrealistic normalcy deserved more coverage. Maybe that is a different book. If so his last chapter on evolving western Europe similarly should be in a different book as well.
I do take issue with a couple of points: Primarily his dismissing of The Truman Doctrine of containment of the communist threat.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Frank J. Konopka VINE VOICE on June 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book taugh me some things about the conduct of WW II that I had not known, and for that I found it extremely interesting. The author,however, does a lot of second-guessing about many of the decisions made during the war, particularly by the American politicians and General Eisenhower in particular. Churchill and Montgomery are given credit for having the right ideas at the right time, unlike FDR and Ike. I agree with the author about the way Roosevelt treated Churchill in relation to Stalin, for that has been featured in many books. Of course, the American decision not to attempt to reach Berlin before the Russians is also not new. Hindsight is always 20-20, and this book engages in a lot of that type of statement. Overall, however, I found it a very useful book on many aspects of the end of the war, particularly as it related to Poland and the countries of Eastern Europe.
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