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Publisher: Time-Life Books, Inc.; Retail (Not Ex Libris) edition (1978)
Over 30 years ago, my father received the first volume of this series ("Prelude to War") as a trial offer and i thoroughly enjoyed it ... my budding interest in "all things World War II" had started by then and we received subsequent volumes every other month. Only problem was that my father didn't know how interested I was in the books and cancelled the subscription after 3 volumes. Although I knew there were additional volumes (and purchased a few that I saw in bookstores as I grew older), it wasn't until after I graduated from college that I began calling booksellers on my quest to find all the remaining volumes(this was before the internet). Fortunately, I was able to complete the 39 volume set at modest cost (the books were out-of-print by then).
What makes this collection valuable is the way the books are organized, both as a set and each individual volume. ALL facets of World War II are covered. While some volumes exclusively cover obvious topics such as the Battle of Britain and D-Day; other volumes are dedicated entirely to lesser-known topics like: "Prisoners of War", "War in the Outposts" (battles in remote areas), "Battles for Scandinavia", "The Secret War" (spies/espionage) and several volumes focusing on the home fronts of Italy, Germany, Japan and the US.
Each volume is broken down into several chapters. Each chapter leads with a mini table-of-contents with several text lines pulled from various part of the chapter. I found these little teasers to be very effective in compelling me to read the book rather than just look at the pictures. But, I must admit, it is the multitude of pictures and the quality of the pictures (several in color) that really sold me on this collection ... they are simply captivating.Read more ›
I purchased these books from Time Life Books when they were sending out one book every other month. I would complete the reading of one book before the next one would arrive. I asked Time Life to send them all at once, which they wouldn't do. But I did receive each the 39 books and read every one. At this point I haven't quite had the books for 40 years, but they are still in good shape. My son got interested in WWII and has read many of the books too. When I purchased them, WWII had ended just over 30 years ago,and so seemed to me to be a monumental historical recent event. I wanted to learn as much as I could about the war. The books are very informative and interesting. If you have an interest in WWII and can obtain the complete set in good condition I think you will be pleased. We moved in June 2013 and the books have been packed away in boxes now for some five months. I just got them out and placed in a new bookcase which I why I happened to write a review so many years after purchase. I went online to see if the 39 books I have represented the total or if I may have some more books still boxed. All present and accounted for.
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