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No Simple Victory: World War II in Europe, 1939-1945 Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 6, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Davies aims to provide a broad and balanced view of the war, stepping beyond a simple narrative history of the battles. The book is organized under five main themes, focusing in turn on:
* the military campaigns
* the politics, before, during and after the war
* the experiences of the soldiers
* the experiences of civilians
* the media portrayals of the war
Davies emphasizes that WWII wasn't a simple fight between Good and Evil. There were three players: the Western democracies, the Axis powers, and the Soviets. Davies characterizes both the Nazis and the Soviets as "gangster" powers and Hitler and Stalin as dueling monsters. In an accident of history, the Western democracies became the allies of Stalin, but Davies argues forcefully that this does not mean we should overlook his crimes.
Davies emphasizes the horrific scale of Stalin's repressions before WWII.Read more ›
One of the reasons for Norman Davies' book is to bring to our attention things that have been misrepresented, unknown, omitted, etc in our learning about World War. Whether it was a history class, a Hollywood production, or a television show, we have been getting somewhat biased and incomplete picture of the war in Europe and on the Eastern front in particular. It is interesting that the author of that one review tries to `correct' certain points back to the unknown and stereotypical view of the war in Europe. The role of the Bolsheviks expansionism in the early 1920s is minimized and the Soviet devastating policies in the Ukraine are denied. What is strong and valuable about Norman Davies' book is that he doesn't try to balance evils of Stalin's policies by the enormous sacrifice of the Red Army in gaining victory (or vice versa). The point is to understand the complexity of the situation. Yes, the Soviet war effort and casualties were incomparable with anything else (except the Germans, of course), but also that there is no reason to deny that a large part of the casualties were self-inflicted by idiotic policies and by political terror. And yes, there was a famine in Ukraine, the Soviet part of Ukraine, and it was caused by the Soviet policies.Read more ›
More a historiography than a history, No Simple Victory lays out the key problems in WWII scholarship and provides a broad outline of what future historians should be looking at when enough time has passed that all of the issues can be considered more objectively than is currently possible. Davies is not so much concerned with laying out all the exact details of any particular episode or aspect of the war as he is with identifying the areas of research that are crying out for a larger amount of attention. In this respect, reviewers who quibble with some of the details are missing the entire point of the book. Whole books have been written about episodes that take up just one sentence in this book. The goal of this book is to pose the questions, not necessarily to answer them.
Davies wrote this book as an extension of an article entitled "Ten Forms of Selectivity" in which he identified the following sources of the shortcomings in the current scholarship on WWII : political propaganda, personal prejudices, parochial perspectives, stereotypes, statistics, special interest groups, the procedures of professional historians, Victors' History, History of the Defeated, and moral selectivity.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A terrible terrible book. The author clearly has an agenda, and bends the facts to fit that agenda, no matter how ridiculous. Read morePublished 3 months ago by James M Talarico
“No Simple Victory” is a critical examination of World War II in Europe by Norman Davies, an export on Polish and Eastern European involvement in that war. Read morePublished 4 months ago by James Gallen
Norman Davies has correctly proven that the Eastern Theater was the most decisive
theater of operations in WWII. Read more
Davies is a British history professor whose area of specialty is Polish and Eastern European history. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Michael J. Mangan
Its good to see history through different lenses than we normally use. This book shows us the war from the eyes of the countries that suffered the most, even when they caused much... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
Well structured book. Provides coverage on wide range of topics leading to war, defining the war and resulting from the WW2. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Szymon Walus
This book is not a narrative of WW2 from 1939 to 1945. It is more social and political history in the context of WW2. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Jackal