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Witness to History: The Life of John Wheeler-Bennett Hardcover – August 28, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (August 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300179014
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300179019
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,504,712 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'More than just a "witness to history", Jack Wheeler-Bennett was himself a gifted historian, illuminating his work with personal knowledge of many of the protagonists. Intrepid adventurer, skillful journalist, intelligence agent, one of the best informed men on Germany, or USA, and wonderful company, he walked with ease with presidents, kings, queens (and even Kaiser Wilhelm II), charming all down to club porters with his unaffected warmth.  He was one of the outstanding, though unsung, certainly unrepeatable Britons of his age.'— Sir Alistair Horne
(Alistair Horne)

“Schofield delivers a complete chronicle of Wheeler-Bennett’s links to the international politics of his time.”—Booklist
(Booklist)

“[An] engaging chronicle.”—Brendan Simms, The Wall Street Journal
(Brendan Simms The Wall Street Journal)

“Well-researched and well-written.”—Andrew Roberts, The Weekly Standard

(Andrew Roberts The Weekly Standard)

About the Author

Victoria Schofield is an author and journalist specializing in military and Asian history. She is the author of Wavell: Soldier and Statesman, Afghan Frontier: Feuding and Fighting in Central Asia, and Kashmir in Conflict.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Innokenty Tolmachoff on October 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
John Wheeler-Bennett was an individual who could be typified as a great man. I met him in my graduate school days at the University of Virginia. He was blind or nearly so but still a delightful speaker. For anyone interested in the period leading up to World War II, this is a valuable text, although Wheeler-Bennett's own writings on Munich, Brest-Litovsk, Hindenberg and the General Staff are more profitable reads. That being said, I learned a lot about Wheeler-Bennett's personal life from Witness to History and on that basis alone would highly recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Christian Schlect VINE VOICE on October 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
John Wheeler-Bennett, a genial man, was born into wealth in England and made a career of international relations and the writing and teaching of history. His life spanned three quarters of the last century, spent mostly in England and the United States. The critical part of his work life was spent analyzing the politics of Germany and serving his country in World War II.

He was a nice man, devoted to the English monarchy, and met a lot of famous people.

But of all the books available to read, why read this one by Victoria Schofield? I can offer little reason to the common reader. Unless one is related to Wheeler-Bennett, one of his former students, or is extremely interested in the activities of the British in the United States during the early days of World War II, you can safely take a pass on this book.

Here the subject is a minor player in the great events of the 20th century. He wrote no earth-shattering book. And the pedestrian style of writing by this biographer does not inspire any separate interest in the reading of this life. (Here, for example, Ms. Schofield is prone to pad her text with ample extracts from John Wheeler-Bennett's own book dedications.)

Readers desiring a well-written book by an English historian serving during World War II should seek out "Hugh Trevor-Roper:The Wartime Journals."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By garwin on September 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Witness to History is an engrossing biography of the self-taught historian John Wheeler Wheeler-Bennett. Born in England in 1902 to a well-to-do family,he even in his early years had an intense interest in international affairs. He had a special interest in Germany and lived there while Hitler to his dismay rose to power. he also
spent much time in America where he met his future wife and at various times lectured at four different universities. Apparently a man of great charm,he made friends wherever he went and eventually had at least a passing acquaintance with every figure on the political scene of his day. He was truly the man who knew everyone.Written in a gracious style, this book is a joy to read.
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By Charles Belew on February 26, 2014
Format: Hardcover
We were very pleased with our purchase.
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