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on February 6, 2016
I loved the book. Hastings covered the whole war with quotes and stories from the people who fought and suffered through it. I highly recommend this book as it brings to the reader the reality of the horror of World War II.
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on December 25, 2015
The book contains a rather comprehensive history of the WWII, yet allocation of space/text for topics is strange: for example, more pages cover aspects of women labor than the Eastern Front events in 1942.
Also, the author does not differentiate between nationalities of the USSR, using a one collective descriptor 'Russian', yet he correctly uses British, not English, when referring to the population of the UK.
The book is good to discovered some little known aspects such as Bengal Famine or read about the political situation in Western countries; it is shallow at best while covering the Eastern Front events.
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on December 4, 2015
Excellent history of WWII. Uses a lot of actual eyewitness quotes, which brings the history alive. Also a bit revisionist compared with many histories (in a good way - toward a more balanced view of the relative contributions of the Red Army vs western allies).
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on December 3, 2015
Very comprehesive. Personal narratives add a lot. Somewhat sluggish at times.
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on December 2, 2015
Great history from a new angle that increases your own sense of experiencing the war, the people, the misery and victory. Well done and well worth the purchase and time to read.
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on November 22, 2015
This is the best book I have read on WW2. It places the event squarely in the political and economic reality of the times. No glorification of individuals, political or military, and captures the real experiences of civilians, lower rank soldiers, navy and airmen as they experienced the war. This book says it as it was without embellishments or excuses. Anyone who thought the British Empire still had a role to play or deserved to play a role in wold affairs post 1945 will be left under no illusions having read this book that it's time was already well past. It puts the losses of the West properly into context compared with the appalling losses, suffering and hardship of Russia. The ineptitude of the allied leadership, politically and militarily for much of the war is staggering. It also seems that we have not learned the simple truth that war does not solve problems. One wonders how the recent invasion of Iraq could have been ordered by the leaders of any civilized society. Brilliantly researched and wonderfully related it should be essential reading for the leadership of the major governments of the world.
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on November 12, 2015
Fabulously written book. Easy to read and informative. Perfect for WW-II buffs
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on November 1, 2015
Contrary to most histories of the Second World War, which deal with the strategies and battles from a military and political standpoint, Mr. Hastings chronology mixes military and political reporting with a gigantic dose of detailed personal suffering and individually detailed histories through personal interviews, diaries and letters to loved ones, on all sides, that truly brings home the horror of war. Not to be read by the squeamish, the details of torn limbs, shattered bodies and pain, this is a history unlike any other that must be read to convince one of the futility and stupidity of war.
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on November 1, 2015
Well documented and very informative
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on October 29, 2015
Best by Max Hastings
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