The Second World War

The Second World War

4.3 6
by John Keegan, Taylor A. J. P.
     
 

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Part Two Of Two Parts

WW II was the greatest disaster in the history of civilization, and today it is receiving renewed attention, more than 50 years later.

John Keegan has chosen to treat the war periodically and thematically. He presents it as a competition in problem solving, and arranges each theatre of war according to the "strategic dilemma" it presents. He

Overview

Part Two Of Two Parts

WW II was the greatest disaster in the history of civilization, and today it is receiving renewed attention, more than 50 years later.

John Keegan has chosen to treat the war periodically and thematically. He presents it as a competition in problem solving, and arranges each theatre of war according to the "strategic dilemma" it presents. He analyzes five crucial battles: Crete (airborne), Midway (carriers), Falaise (tanks), Berlin (city warfare) and Okinawa (amphibious).

His accounts alternate from the concerns of the leaders for the implementation of their battle plans to the more immediate concerns of men in the line, how to bear up under the strain, danger and fear.

"Truly magnificent in the scope of its coverage and the quality of its exposition. Another dazzling effort from the best military historian of our generation." --Tom Clancy

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This account of WW II, though controversial, is rich in fresh perception, interpretation and opinion. In addition to penning a fast-paced campaign chronicle, Keegan makes a convincing case for the prime motivations of Allied and Axis leaders, pinpoints the practical results of Allied summit conferences and defines the war's geopolitical dimensions.
Library Journal
In contrast to Martin Gilbert's broader The Second World War ( reviewed in this issue, p.101), Keegan's work is more a battle campaign. His strength as a military historian ( The Face of Battle, The Price of Admiralty ) is in his ability to synthesize the order of battle without getting bogged down in minutae. The mighty German-Russian struggles are well covered, as is the war in the Pacific. While Robert Leckie's Delivered from Evil: The Saga of World War II ( LJ 9/1/87) is nearly twice as long as Keegan's book, integrates biographical material into the narrative, and is less analytical than Keegan's, Keegan's is extremely well written; the reader can almost visualize the movement of an army without looking at the maps. On another level, however, Keegan tends to be simplistic (e.g., in his discussion of the causes of World War II, in his view that the war would have come even without Hitler) and skim over many topics. Nevertheless, academic and larger public libraries will find this in demand. Recommended. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/89.-- Robert Jordan, Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City
Booknews
Keegan examines each theater of the war, focusing on five crucial battles (the airborne battle of Crete, the carrier battle of Midway, the tank battle of Falaise, the city battle of Berlin, and the amphibious battle of Okinawa) as well as the strategic dilemmas faced by the leaders and the consequences of their decisions on the fighting men and the course of the war as a whole. First published in Great Britain (Hutchinson) and Canada (Key Porter) in 1989. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780670823598
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
01/11/1990
Edition description:
1st American ed
Pages:
608
Product dimensions:
20.00(w) x 20.00(h) x 20.00(d)

Meet the Author

John Keegan, one of the most distinguished contemporary military historians, was for many years Senior Lecturer at Sandhurst, the British Royal Military Academy, and Defense Editor of the London Daily Telegraph. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Keegan is the author of numerous books including The Face of Battle, The Mask of Command, The Price of Admiralty, Six Armies in Normandy, and The Second World War (all available from Penguin). if (SYM == "BIO") { document.writeln("

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Second World War 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great book if you want to get a one-volume run-down of the major events of the Second World War. Keegan does a great job of moving throughout the wars many fronts and working very hard to give each area of the war its due. Given the constraints of space he doesn't go too far in depth in any area and you shouldn't expect him to. Getting all that happened in WW2 into one book can only happen if the goal is just the basics. I strongly recommend this to anyone (like myself) who wants to kick off their WW2 education with a narrative of the major points and will follow-up with more in depth books on those major events.
ARISTO More than 1 year ago
best overview
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the best living historians! A much more comprehensive and balanced account of the conflict that the 'popular' history of stepehen ambrose who seems to lift from other writers and gives a slanted perspective.
Guest More than 1 year ago
His eminence, earned by other works notwithstanding, in this book Keegan has mixed up Chuikov (Commander, Soviet 62nd Army, the defenders of Stalingrad) with Zhukov (STAVKA representative to Operation Uranus at Stalingrad). This is a bit like mixing up 'Stonewall' Jackson with Robert E. Lee, or Alexander with Montgomery. Painful.