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The Winds of War Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 1992

4.7 out of 5 stars 483 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Herman Wouk (born May 27, 1915) is an bestselling American author, with a number of notable novels to his credit, including The Caine Mutiny, The Winds of War, and War and Remembrance. He was born in New York City, into a Jewish family that had immigrated from Russia, and received an A.B. from Columbia University. He was first a radio scriptwriter, and worked with Fred Allen, then in 1941 worked for the US government on radio spots selling war bonds. Wouk then joined the United States Navy and served in the Pacific Theater, an experience he later characterized as educational; "I learned about machinery, I learned how men behaved under pressure, and I learned about Americans." His first ship was the USS Zane, then he was second-in-command on the Southard. He started his writing career onboard, working on a novel during his off-duty hours. He married Betty Sarah Brown in 1945, with whom he had three sons, became a fulltime writer in 1946, and published his debut novel, Aurora Dawn in 1947. In 1952, The Caine Mutiny received the Pulitzer Prize. In 1998, he received the Guardian of Zion Award.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 1056 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (June 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316955167
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316955164
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 1.5 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (483 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,018,731 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Herman Wouk earned his living as a scriptwriter for Fred Allen before serving in World War II. His career as a novelist spans nearly six decades and has brought him resounding international acclaim. He lives in Palm Springs, California.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read many WWII-related novels and works of non-fiction over the years. Therefore, I'm somewhat surprised it took me this long to arrive at Herman Wouk. Winds of War is a sweeping, magnificent epic that captured me in a way few novels do.
Herman Wouk tells the story of a fictional USN family as the events leading up to America's entry into war cast them hither and yon. London, Berlin, Moscow, Pearl Harbor, New York City, Rome, Manila, and Washington DC all figure prominently as do the leaders of each Axis and Allied country.
Having read much about WWII, I especially enjoyed Wouk's flawless chronology and the detail with which it was adorned. Indeed, one could absorb a better understanding of the WWII event timeline from Winds of War than from many non-fictional accounts.
I do most of my reading at night before sleep. Winds of War had me looking forward to bedtime on my commute home from work. I loved this book. I loved it's character formation, it's pace, it's geographical range, and it's towering level of suspense. Every ingredient required for a memorable epic is present in an impeccable weave.
Winds of War rates 5 stars and more.
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Format: Library Binding
I'm a bit too young for World War II, but my dad--enlisting in the Navy at age 17--survived Pearl Harbor, a later kamikaze attack on his ship (the USS San Francisco) at the battle of Guadalcanal, and personal participation in the invasion of Guam (3rd wave, to set up a communications station). As a Navy brat, I played on abandoned pillboxes in the jungle outside of Subic Bay (Philippines) in the late 50s and picked up empty shell casings on a group family outing to Corregador.
That said, I consider _The Winds of War_ and _War and Remembrance_ to be the greatest novels written about World War II. The historical detail is dead on, the military, political, and social commentary is brilliant, and the story itself keeps you page-turning for a few thousand pages. It is a heart-wrenching book that helps one grasp--six decades later--what it was like to have the entire world plunged into war, with a close look at the horrors of the Holocaust.
Wouk actually served in the US Navy in the Pacific during WW II. He lived through the war and brings that whole era to life in a way that I doubt any current author could. And yet they are utterly relevant today. I frankly think they should be required reading in college or even high school. Read them. ..bruce..
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Format: Paperback
There are 4 components a writer needs to write: Style, Theme, Character Development, and Storytelling Ability. All writers have these traits in varying degrees, but no writer has ever been called truly GREAT without having an abundance of Storytelling Ability. This is paramount; if you can't hook the reader it doesn't matter how jazzy you write or how noble is your theme. You must be able to tell a good story. Our greatest, and most popular writers, have always understood this: Hemingway, Miller, Wolfe (both), Bellow, Stephen King. Great storytellers. Seated in the front row of this class is Herman Wouk, an enormously popular writer who, despite his Pulitzer Prize for "The Caine Mutiny", has never been considered great, in the sense that these others have.
That's a true shame. Wouk can tell a story---and I mean a WHOPPER, an EPIC in the true sense of the word---like nobody else from his generation. "The Winds of War" is part one of his absolute masterpiece, a tsunami tale of adventure, tragedy, romance, death, birth...you name it, it's in there. The story of the Henry family, headed by Victor "Pug" Henry, a Captain in the U.S. Navy, as it spreads across the globe during World War Two.
This is a virtuoso performance. Wouk knits the personal stories of the Henry clan together with factual history, using letters, quotes from speeches & books, anything he can think of to put you THERE, smack dab in the middle of the action. And you are there: you follow Pug to meetings with Roosevelt, Hitler, Churchill, Stalin, and on and on. Putting fictional characters in the room with real people is a huge risk, it almost never works, but Wouk pulls it off with charm to spare. You're in Warsaw when the Nazis invade, you're at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attack, you're in Rome when Mussolini declares war.
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2 Comments 113 of 120 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Let me start with saying that the book itself deserves 5 stars, easily. It's awesome, amazing, wonderful. Thank God I read it in print format first.

Now, on to the Kindle edition ...

I do think that if you decide to offer a book in a Kindle edition, someone really has to -- I don't know -- READ IT! Not just scan in the original and trust that your software is up to the task of rendering the original perfectly in the new medium. YOU HAVE TO CHECK YOUR WORK.

Why am I sure this didn't happen? The section heading in big bold print reading "Bearl Barbour" sort of gives it away.

Seriously, the Kindle edition is riddled with errors like this, and no, I'm not particularly looking for them. Someone needs to go back and fix this. Seriously. It's just jarringly bad. I love my Kindle, and I've never encountered anything like this shoddy editing job in any of my other Kindle books, not even the free ones. This one I paid for, and I'm very, very offended that it was transcribed into the new format without someone proofreading it to make sure that everything came out all right. It's discourteous to a great book, a great author, and to readers.
5 Comments 93 of 98 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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