World War II: A New History / Edition 1

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This is a magisterial new global history of World War II. Beginning in 1937 with the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War, Evan Mawdsley shows how the origins of World War II lay in a conflict between the old international order and the new, and then traces the globalisation of the conflict as it swept through Asia, Europe and the Middle East. His primary focus is on the war's military and strategic history, though he also examines the political, economic, ideological and cultural factors which influenced the course of events. The war's consequences are examined too, in terms not only of the defeat of the Axis but also of the break-up of colonial empires and the beginning of the Cold War. Accessibly written and well-illustrated with maps and photographs, this compelling new account also includes short studies of the key figures, events and battles that shaped the war.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"To write a concise book about the biggest war in history is no small task, but Evan Mawdsley has done it with masterful skill and insight... What makes this a must-buy for anyone interested in the subject is the beautifully produced maps, illustrations and 57 short boxes on topics ranging from "General Ludendorff and total war" to "The Katyn massacre". This is a superb read for students and general readers alike, but also an authoritative work of reference." -Joe Maiolo, BBC History Magazine

"It is a rare textbook that is both cutting and new: the book proves that we need to place the start of the Second World War in East Asia in 1937, rather than Europe in 1939 or Russia and Pearl Harbour in 1941. It changes how we write history." - Times Higher Education, What Are You Reading? section

"...Professor Mawdsley is to be much congratulated on writing such a clear and perceptive account, and one that provides much food for thought." -Charles Messenger, The Journal of Military History

"Fresh, insightful judgements and well-judged overall balance make this a masterful book. Its effectiveness is enhanced by the use of side panels that convey important factual information about the tools of war... without interrupting the flow of the narrative. In every respect - conception, design, construction and delivery - this is a book that really works". -War in History, John Gooch

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521608435
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/31/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 498
  • Sales rank: 307,113
  • Product dimensions: 6.84 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

Evan Mawdsley is Professor of International History in the Department of History, University of Glasgow. His previous publications include The Russian Civil War (1983/2008), The Soviet Elite from Lenin to Gorbachev: The Central Committee and its Members, 1917–1991 (with Stephen White, 2000), The Stalin Years: The Soviet Union, 1929–1953 (2003) and Thunder in the East: The Nazi-Soviet War, 1941–1945 (2005).
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 The world in 1937 10

2 Japan and China, 1937-1940 52

3 Hitler's border wars, 1938-1939 74

4 Germany re-fights World War I, 1939-1940 104

5 Wars of ideology, 1941-1942 134

6 The Red Army versus the Wehrmacht, 1941-1944 164

7 Japan's lunge for empire, 1941-1942 188

8 Defending the perimeter: Japan, 1942-1944 214

9 The 'world ocean' and Allied victory, 1939-1945 248

10 The European periphery, 1940-1944 284

11 Wearing down Germany, 1942-1944 320

12 Victory in Europe, 1944-1945 364

13 End and beginning in Asia, 1945 406

14 Conclusion 438

Further reading 452

Notes 470

Index 476

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  • Posted April 23, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Useful study of World War Two

    Evan Mawdsley, Professor of International History at Glasgow University, has produced a fine study of the grand strategy of World War II. He starts his account in 1937, when Japan attacked China. He analyses the economies, politics and strategies of all the major combatant powers.

    He points out, "In 1939 - as in 1914 - the British Empire was the largest political entity on the planet. It had a population of some 530 million and an area of 13 million square miles."

    He pays special attention to the Soviet Union's huge contribution to the victory over Nazism, facing and defeating 80 per cent of Hitler's divisions. He refutes many myths about the Soviet war effort.

    For example, he writes, "It is unfair, however, to charge Stalin and his government with not preparing the USSR for war." He observes that the weather was not the basic reason for the Moscow turnaround: Soviet reserves and resistance were the critical factors. And he notes, "Stalin also pulled off an industrial miracle, creating an industrial base from which Russia could prepare in the pre-war year, and re-equip after the disasters of 1941."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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