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The Last 100 Days: The Tumultuous and Controversial Story of the Final Days of World War II in Europe (Modern Library War) Paperback – May 27, 2003


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The Last 100 Days: The Tumultuous and Controversial Story of the Final Days of World War II in Europe (Modern Library War) + The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936-1945 (Modern Library War) + Adolf Hitler: The Definitive Biography
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Product Details

  • Series: Modern Library War
  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library (May 27, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081296859X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812968590
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #261,380 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Fascinating . . . The narrative shifts from scene to intimate scene of every conference room . . . from liberated camp to Hitler’s underground bunker, to GIs storming the railroad bridge across the Rhine. . . . Toland has woven the tapestry of history.” —Chicago Tribune

“A hundred stories fill out these hundred days—portraits, battle plans, ironies, feats of espionage, mass brutalities, insanity, diplomats, generals, soldiers, snipers, the cool and the fanatic. Hitler’s horoscope, what General Eisenhower was reading on the morning of surrender, Quisling’s final auto ride, orders,
counterorders, impatient statesmen, conflicting strategies, the stench of fire and death, telegrams to Moscow, plunging armies, straggling refugees. . . . In fascinating and exhaustively researched detail—it is all here!” —The New York Times

“Brilliant . . . The reader is in suspense throughout. . . . Each scene is played out close-up and point-blank, as if one were there, listening to the dialogue, counting the stakes, feeling the emotions of the principals.” —The New York Times Book Review

From the Back Cover

“Fascinating . . . The narrative shifts from scene to intimate scene of every conference room . . . from liberated camp to Hitler’s underground bunker, to GIs storming the railroad bridge across the Rhine. . . . Toland has woven the tapestry of history.” —Chicago Tribune

“A hundred stories fill out these hundred days—portraits, battle plans, ironies, feats of espionage, mass brutalities, insanity, diplomats, generals, soldiers, snipers, the cool and the fanatic. Hitler’s horoscope, what General Eisenhower was reading on the morning of surrender, Quisling’s final auto ride, orders,
counterorders, impatient statesmen, conflicting strategies, the stench of fire and death, telegrams to Moscow, plunging armies, straggling refugees. . . . In fascinating and exhaustively researched detail—it is all here!” —The New York Times

“Brilliant . . . The reader is in suspense throughout. . . . Each scene is played out close-up and point-blank, as if one were there, listening to the dialogue, counting the stakes, feeling the emotions of the principals.” —The New York Times Book Review

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Toland's narrative is tight, informative, and exciting to read.
Barron Laycock
I highly recommend this book to both beginners and seasoned buffs alike.
Mannie Liscum
Mr. Toland blends all of them in an overwhelming and coherent picture.
Maximiliano F Yofre

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 67 people found the following review helpful By huckledude on November 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
I read this book when it first came out in paperback in the 1960s, when I was a middle school student. It made a profound impact on me at the time. I recently saw it in basically the same Bantam mass market paperback edition I'd bought in the '60s (though without the photos and map contained in the '60s version, even though the price had increased five-fold in the interim). I re-read it again primarily out of curiosity, simply to see what I thought of it forty years later.
Despite having read many dozens of books on WWII in the intervening years, I was wowed by Toland's account all over again. Toland was a master storyteller, not an academic or military historian as such, and had a novelist's understanding of the illuminating detail, the minor tragedy emblematic of the whole, and the reader's fascination with the character of people acting under the most extreme duress imaginable.
Toland weaves together numerous narrative threads of the highest diplomacy (FDR, Churchill, and Stalin at Yalta), the lowest farce (the goings on of Hitler and his bizarre entourage in Hitler's underground bunker), and endless violent encounters -- between enemy forces, and between military forces and the huge masses of civilians fleeing the fighting or trapped in cities under ferocious bombardment.
While the book is populated with the brave and noble, at high levels and low, it is also frequented by monsters, knaves, cowards, innocent victims, and thugs on all sides (though the Germans, of course, were peerless in the scope and cruelty of their barbarities). This is not the place to go if you are looking for "the good war.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Mannie Liscum on February 28, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
John Toland is a master. I have read three of his books on WWII and each is a masterpiece in its own right. "The Last 100 Days" is a perfect example. I couldn't put this book down. I have little time to read for fun but when I get my hands on a book like this my time flies!!! "The Last 100 Days" cover exactly that, from a multitude of perspectives: Soldiers: German, Russian, English, and American; leaders; and civilians. It's a story that could have only been told this way by someone with Toland's talents. His words always seem to come alive and "100 Days" is not different from other works of his I have read ("Battle" and "Adolf Hitler"). Despite the fact that I am pretty versed with WWII and the end of the ETO,fall of Berlin, etc., I was on the edge of my seat reading this book. It wasn't so much from new content but just in the way Toland tells the story. I highly recommend this book to both beginners and seasoned buffs alike. Its wonderful reading!!!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Barron Laycock HALL OF FAME on July 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
Amid the literal landslide of books written to date on the single subject of the final fateful overthrow of the Third Reich by Allied forces advancing both from the east and west simultaneously, this early effort by famed author John Toland is easily the single best nugget in all that ore, a single volume effort that is a literal treasure trove of both anecdotal eye-witness testimony and exhaustive historical research. As in most of his terrific book, Toland threads an integrating narrative that plies us with a battery of both useful and entertaining information, with amusing nuggets of historical facts such as the fact that a visiting Winston Churchill halted the caravan in which he was being escorted for security reasons to very publicly urinate on the bridge, quipping that Hitler could "take that".
Indeed, in January of 1945, the Allied forces were poised to smash through the remnants of the Wehrmacht even as Hitler, convinced he could still win the war by dividing the two Allied armies and soliciting the western Allied phalanx to join him in an unholy war against the godless Bolsheviks. It is no exaggeration that it is unlikely that any other three-month period in modern history had the monumental impact of these three months as the evil empire of the Nazi regime was smashed into smithereens. Indeed, the ninety-day period saw historical events ranging from the conference at Yalta to the controversial and merciless bombing of Dresden, from the crucial crossing of the final bridge over the Rhine at Remagen to the brutal extermination of the German army at the hands of the Russians. And all of these, and many more, are described, discussed, and placed in historical context by an author who is a master of the trade of writing substantial popular works of history.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Randy Keehn VINE VOICE on May 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
I read "The Last 100 Days" shortly after it came out when I was still in my mid-teens. I was fascinated with the many stories that were strewn together within the events that were the final days of the Third Reich. It was a real page-turner for me and I enjoyed the mutliple perspectives; Russian, German, Western Allied. Over the years I have read other books that dealt in part with this subject. However, I always looked back on "The Last 100 Days" as the real authority on the subject. Much of what happened over the next 50 years had its' beginnings in these last 100 days and John Toland does an excellent job of explaining that. Anyone interested in either WWII or the Cold War should read this book.
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