The Story of the Second World War

Overview

Henry Steele Commager’s The Story of the Second World War, compiled in the war’s immediate aftermath, became an instant classic. Commager has presented a broad spectrum of contemporary writing about the war by such figures as Winston Churchill, John Steinbeck, Walter Lippman, John Hersey, and William Shirer. The book also contains stirring narratives by the soldiers and civilians who experienced the war on the frontlines or who endured it behind the lines. Readers will enjoy these remarkable firsthand accounts ...

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The Story of the Second World War

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Overview

Henry Steele Commager’s The Story of the Second World War, compiled in the war’s immediate aftermath, became an instant classic. Commager has presented a broad spectrum of contemporary writing about the war by such figures as Winston Churchill, John Steinbeck, Walter Lippman, John Hersey, and William Shirer. The book also contains stirring narratives by the soldiers and civilians who experienced the war on the frontlines or who endured it behind the lines. Readers will enjoy these remarkable firsthand accounts from all of the major theaters of the war and Commager’s expert commentary, which puts the war in perspective.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Originally published in 1945, the new edition commemorates the 50th anniversary of the war. Basically a collection of vivid news reports and analyses by observers and participants on all major fronts (and a few minor ones), the chronologically arranged pieces are tied together by Commager's succinct exposition of the grand strategy. Most of the writers are American (Ernie Pyle, John Gunther, Eric Severeid, John Hersey, Martha Gellhorn and John Steinbeck among them), but there are also excellent contributions by British and Soviet correspondents and military officers. Most (yet far from all) entries concern battles. Typical non-operational pieces include President Roosevelt's call for national prayer and General Eisenhower's speech to the D-Day troops. The most unconventional entry: Pyotr Pavlenko describes how old Cossacks were brought out of retirement to teach Red Army soldiers to use the broadsword. This is a highly readable collection, noteworthy for its terrific sense of immediacy. Commager is the author of The Blue and the Gray and many other well-regarded historical works. (Nov.)
From Barnes & Noble
In 1945, with the smoke of battle not quite cleared from the eyes of the world, historian Henry Steele Commager set out to compile an "anecdotal" record of World War II, drawn from the personal observations of an amazing array of participants and bystanders. Noting that an objective history of the war would evolve only with the passage of time, Steele humbly described his work as "...a series of stories, episodes, vignettes, descriptions, analyses, and historic statements...all bound together with a very general...uncritical running narrative." In fact, the passing years have produced several extraordinary histories, but Commager's book remains one of the most moving, vibrant readings of that bloody conflict. Unique for their visceral immediacy and varied points of view, here are accounts from Winston Churchill, FDR, Charles de Gaulle, Ernie Pyle, The Times (London), Virginia Cowles, and dozens of others--gripping accounts that put you in the thick of the heroics, defeats, and atrocities of a horrible war.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781574887419
  • Publisher: Potomac Books, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/31/2004
  • Series: History of War
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

The dean of American historians, Henry Steele Commager (1902-98) was a professor of history at Columbia University and Amherst College. His dozens of other works include The American Mind, The Empire of Reason, and The Growth of the America Public (with Samuel Eliot Morrison).

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 How War Came 1
2 Juggernaut Over Europe 11
3 Britain Stands Alone 53
4 War in the Mediterranean 89
5 From the Vistula to the Volga 129
6 The Rising Sun 173
7 Occupied Europe Fights Back 219
8 Reaping the Whirlwind 239
9 One Up and Two to Go 254
10 From the Volga to the Oder 281
11 From D-Day to VE-Day 312
12 The Setting Sun 365
13 Victory 420
Acknowledgments and References 439
Index of Authors 447
Index of Books and Articles 449
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