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A Short History of World War II 19th Printing Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
"A Short History of WWII" is in that same category as far as a complete, one volumn acount of this period of history. It is in depth, yet very readable. When I finished, my copy was tattered, dog,eared, high-lighted, and contained many of my personal observations in the columns.
I will return to it as I continue my study of WWII. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is that I would have liked to had more complete maps denoting troop movements. If you're reading my review, you must be considering buying this book. My recommendation is "Buy it, without a doubt. You will not be disappointed."
Overall, this is a masterful achievement. Is it flag-waving, as some would say? Perhaps--but remember, the author's writing from Nova Scotia, which gives him a Canadian-eye view that allows some detachment in his references to "the British" or "the Americans." (Given the fact he was writing in 1980, that might also explain why he takes a dim view of De Gaule, whose post-war association with French Canada stirred many resentments.)
Stokesbury clearly views this war as the crowning achievement of "The Greatest Generation," even if the book pre-dates that phrase. And maybe he's right. Highly recommended, especially to those wanting to put recent World War II movies into context.
The wide breadth and shallow depth of this book suited me quite well due to my embarrassingly poor grasp on the major events of WWII. Prior to this book, my piecemeal understanding of the subject was derived mainly from movies, documentaries, and more recently a few WWII memoirs. Stokesbury paints broadly with a wide brush and offers only modest levels of commentary on major events. Though Stokesbury, as any WWII author must do, was forced to jump from arena to arena and thus time frame to time frame, this book is organized chronologically by arena. I appreciated how the author often gave more attention to the catalysts that sparked individual conflicts than the conflicts themselves. In my judgment, this is critical for one's understanding of a major military conflict.
I did have a few minor disappointments. For those reading the kindle edition, the maps are both scarce and of such poor quality that they proves to be worthless. One must read this book in the company of a good atlas. I used a cheap one: Historical Atlas of World War II. Also, Stokesbury's prose was a little wooden and clunky at times but still quite readable. My most significant concern about this book was the glaring lack of citations. Though the author provides a 20 page annotated bibliography, he does not use notes.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book. Too bad the author passed away years ago. Full history of WW-II in one book, as complete as the story of WW-II could be told in one book!Published 1 month ago by Hercule
I never write reviews because I appreciate how hard people work on their products. However my college class had this text as our only course text for History of World War II. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Anonymous
This is a wonderful, readable history. I read it before going on a World War II tour through Europe. I was looking for something thorough but not overwhelming. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Eric Gross
extraordinarily good and brief. Read the WW1 Book too. Between the two of them now have very good 10000 foot level (ok, maybe 5000 foot) understanding of what took place during... Read morePublished 7 months ago by sikir
Good overview. The immensity of this war is too great for 1000 books to capture but this book gives me a good start. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Lydia S. Brandes