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The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War Paperback – May 29, 2012
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“Gripping. . . . splendid history. A brilliantly clear and accessible account of the war in all its theaters. Roberts’s prose is unerringly precise and strikingly vivid. It is hard to imagine a better-told military history of World War II.” (Timothy Snyder, The New York Times Book Review)
“Elegantly balances fact, thought and fresh, clear prose. . . . Roberts has set a high bar for future historians of mankind’s greatest bloodbath; Roberts splendidly weaves a human tragedy into a story of war’s remorseless statistics.” (The Wall Street Journal)
“With his new book on the Second World War, British historian Andrew Roberts has not only written the single best history of that conflict but has also claimed his place as one of our top historians.” (Michael Korda, The Daily Beast)
“A magnificent book;It manages to be distinctive but not eccentric, comprehensive in scope but not cramped by detail, giving due weight both to the extraordinary personalities and to the blind economic and physical forces involved.” (The Economist)
“Roberts’s narrative gifts are such that it is almost impossible to read his retelling of these nightmares without some feeling of encountering the new. No history book can ever truly be definitive, but this comes close. Roberts never loses sight of the human side of this epic.” (National Review)
“Roberts is a great historian because of a rare triune mastery: of the movement of history, in both its broad sweep and particular revelatory detail; a felicitous prose style and gift for narrative; and a commanding moral vision.” (Roger Kimball, The Daily)
“Andrew Roberts achieves a marvel of concision in producing a splendidly written, comprehensive new history of the greatest conflict in history, The Storm of War—particularly good in its insights into Axis strategy.” (Sir Ian Kershaw, The Guardian, Books of the Year)
“In what might be his best book yet, Roberts gives us the war as seen from the other side of the hill. He has the knack of making complex military operations comprehensible and salting the grand strategic sweep with vignettes of how it felt to be a soldier.” (Nigel Jones, The Sunday Telegraph)
“Roberts is a first-rate historian. He has a sharp eye for a good subject and a knack of getting to its heart. The second world war, which cost more than 50 million lives, has a perennial fascination that Roberts conveys through an admirably lucid narrative.” (Piers Brendon, The Sunday Times)
“In one irresistibly readable book, Roberts has done what I thought was impossible--given us the whole bloody second world war from the brass buttons of the generals down to the mud-filled trenches and stretching across the globe.” (Tina Brown, Newsweek)
From the Back Cover
Andrew Roberts's acclaimed new history has been hailed as the finest single-volume account of this epic conflict. From the western front to North Africa, from the Baltic to the Far East, he tells the story of the war—the grand strategy and the individual experience, the brutality and the heroism—as never before.
Meticulously researched and masterfully written, The Storm of War illuminates the war's principal actors, revealing how their decisions shaped the course of the conflict. Along the way, Roberts presents tales of the many lesser-known individuals whose experiences form a panoply of the courage and self-sacrifice, as well as the depravity and cruelty, of the Second World War.
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Top customer reviews
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The book is really very good. The narrative move rapidly. It is indeed interesting that paragraphs of history are the subject of multitudes of volumes, but then again this is less than a 1000 pages, so this is a good jumping point for more detailed treatment. However, the pleasure is reading through events which I thought I knew and still having Roberts reveal all manner of facts and figures I hadn't previously known.
A pleasure (about a horrific topic).
The book focus is mostly on the European continent with significant Russian front analysis, which I feel was appropriate and informative. The efforts of the US are fairly comprehensive and contrasted well. The Pacific gets far less attention, and is not central.
The author spends a lot of time on Hitler and comparing organizational structures of the Allies and the Axis powers which are very interesting and well done. Could almost be a separate book. Some of his conclusions are pressed a bit redundantly by the end.
I did think that the book could have used another proof read as I often tripped over sentence structure. The frequent use of commas and dashes in long sentences required re-reads to track the subject. Once you get used to the authors style it's easier. It's non- fiction so don't expect elegant style.
It's big and I got through it in less than two weeks so I definitely found it gripping.
Roberts mixes his vast historical knowledge of the war as well as his keen analytical mind into this book. He not only provides a very accessible description of all aspects of the war, but also provides insightful analysis of the issues of the day such as the various strategic decisions that were made by both sides during the war.
One bit of warning is Roberts doesn't pull any punches when it comes to describing the great evil that was entered into by various people and groups during this conflict. Some of the descriptions of man's inhumanity to man that occurred incident to all of this do not make for pleasant reading, but it's necessary to understand the full price that mankind pays when it engages in brutal global conflicts like this.
I removed one star from the review not because of the content, but because of some pretty egregious formatting issues in the Kindle version of this book. There were numerous times during the course of the book where sentences were chopped off as if something went wrong during the editing or formatting process. It was frequent enough and caused enough of a distraction that I felt it merited the removal of a star from an otherwise excellent book.