The War of the World

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Astonishing in its scope and erudition, this is the magnum opus that Niall Ferguson's numerous acclaimed works have been leading up to. In it, he grapples with perhaps the most challenging questions of modern history: Why was the twentieth century history's bloodiest by far? Why did unprecedented material progress go hand in hand with total war and genocide? His quest for new answers takes him from the walls of Nanjing to the bloody beaches of Normandy, from the economics of ethnic cleansing to the politics of imperial decline and fall. The result, as brilliantly written as it is vital, is a great historian's masterwork.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A heartbreaking, serious and thoughtful survey of human evil that is utterly fascinating and dramatic . . . superb narrative history."
-The New York Times Book Review

"Ferguson's best book, by far, since The Pity of War . . . from bond markets to the face of battle, he has returned to the themes of his earlier book and to his strengths."
-Paul Kennedy, The New York Review of Books

"Wielding at once the encyclopedic knowledge of an accomplished scholar and the engaging prose of a master storyteller, Ferguson commendably brings fresh insights to a history by now familiar. . . . A tour de force."
-San Francisco Chronicle

"Even those who have read widely in 20th-century history will find fresh, surprising details."
-The Boston Globe

"A fascinating read, thanks to Ferguson's gifts as a writer of clear, energetic narrative history."
-The Washington Post

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143112396
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/30/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 880
  • Sales rank: 344,025
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.45 (h) x 1.55 (d)

Meet the Author

Niall Ferguson is Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, a Senior Research Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford University, and a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. The bestselling author of Paper and Iron, The House of Rothschild, The Pity of War, The Cash Nexus, Empire, and Colossus, he also writes regularly for newspapers and magazines all over the world. Since 2003 he has written and presented three highly successful television documentary series for British television: Empire, American Colossus, and, most recently, The War of the World.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 9 of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The depths of human depravity are staggering

    I have now read four of Mr. Ferguson's works, the others being Empire, Colossus, and The Ascent of Money, and this one is by far his best work (although, Empire was great too). No other book on WWII has done what this one has done: explained WHY WWII happened and WHY it was so violent. All other books explain HOW WWII transpired, but this one cuts right to the meat of the matter. The results and conclusions are devastating to anyone with a firm belief in humanity's central goodness. Mr. Ferguson shows how every nation involved in the war was also involved in some sort of crime that goes against the idealistic rules of war. Not even America is spared from being tagged with war crimes, as the carpet and fire bombings of civilian culminating in the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki show. This book gives further proof that war, even a necessary war like WWII, is still a blight upon mankind. Any person opposed to war purely on moral and idealistic grounds would do well to read this book and use its analysis and conclusions as a part of their argument. In short, this is a necessary book to be read by anyone interested not just in WWII, but in 20th century history and conflict and in discovering the true depths of human depravity, which are, to judge from Mr. Ferguson's work, staggering. Not only that, but certain parallels to today's world should make everyone concerned about the potentials of a "Second War of the World."

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    An Excellent Book

    Ferguson's approach to writing about the horrors of World War II is predominantly statistical. He provides very detailed data relating to virtually every aspect of waging war, i.e. actual tons of war material, numbers of planes, shells, ships, and guns used in various battles. <BR/>At times the reading can be tedious as he painstakingly scours over the names of every geographic city, village, and urban center involved in a battle.However, he opens up drawers that reveal the horror of war not known by most people. <BR/>Most importantly, he attempts to enlighten his readers on the actual decisions that were made, and that many of these decisions put our famed leaders in a bad light. He is a bit hard on the American contribution to the war, and often notes that they tend to take credit for work that was actually accomplished by the British and French. Indeed, at times he almost seems anti-American. <BR/>However, he makes no statements without strict documentation and delivers a clear picture of what actually happened. <BR/>I would think that this book should be on the syllabus for any history course that examines the political and national policies that shaped the 20th century.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2013

    War of the Wirlds

    Soon to read this book hope its good

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2013


    Everyone says its great well so do i

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2010

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    Posted February 27, 2009

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    Posted August 22, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2010

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 9 of 10 Customer Reviews

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