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Blood, Tears and Folly: An Objective Look at World War II
     

Blood, Tears and Folly: An Objective Look at World War II

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by Len Deighton
 

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Drawing on the author’s deep understanding of military life and the strengths and frailties of politicians and generals, this is a myth-puncturing analysis of the advent of the Second World War.‘Blood, Tears and Folly’ offers a sweeping and compelling historical analysis of six theatres of war: the Battle of the Atlantic, Hitler’s

Overview

Drawing on the author’s deep understanding of military life and the strengths and frailties of politicians and generals, this is a myth-puncturing analysis of the advent of the Second World War.‘Blood, Tears and Folly’ offers a sweeping and compelling historical analysis of six theatres of war: the Battle of the Atlantic, Hitler’s conquest of western Europe, the war in the Mediterranean, the battle for the skies, Operation Barbarossa and the German assault on Russia, and the entry of Japan into a truly global war.This is the period during which the Allied powers were brought to the very brink of defeat. Deighton offers an unflinching account of the political machinations, the strategy and tactics, the weapons and the men on both sides who created a world of terror and millions of dead, of the Holocaust, and of nuclear devastation.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
‘A splendid read … He has a novelist’s eye for the sort of facts that bring a narrative to life’ Evening Standard‘Every page of Deighton’s work glows with the excitement of discovery … What wonderful stuff it is!’ Guardian‘The skill with which he unmasks his villains, the brilliance with which he can sketch a scene and the sharpness of his characterisation are all unrivalled’ Independent
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The author of City of Gold here takes a pragmatic look at the early years of WW II, ``that complex and frightening time in which evil was in the ascendant, goodness diffident, and the British--impetuous, foolish and brave beyond measure--the world's only hope.'' His absorbing narrative concentrates on six major phases of the 1939-1941 period: the Battle of the Atlantic (U-boats versus convoys); Hitler's blitzkrieg victories in Western Europe and the Dunkirk evacuation; the tank battles between the British and the Germans in the Western Desert; the struggle between the Luftwaffe and the Royal Air Force for command of the air; the German invasion of Russia; and the complex combination of events and hardening attitudes that led to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Deighton pays close attention to Winston Churchill's thorny relations with his generals, and is especially critical of the British failure to prepare for an attack in Malaya, since the peninsula's rubber and tin made it an obvious target. Americans are largely absent from the narrative, but Deighton comments on U.S. isolationism and adds a stirring tribute to Air Corps General Henry Arnold for his foresight in organizing a pilot-training network before Pearl Harbor. Illustrations. $20,000 ad/promo. (Nov.)
Library Journal
``One good reason for looking again at the Second World War is to remind ourselves how badly the world's leaders performed and how bravely they were supported by their suffering populations.'' Deighton, best known as the author of spy novels, takes the reader into the early years of World War II, particularly the time when England stood alone. Chapters are organized topically (Atlantic, Blitzkrieg, Mediterranean), with extensive descriptions of prewar events to explain how or why the adversaries fought in a particular place. The British clashes with Axis and Axis sympathizers in places as diverse as East Africa and the Middle East will be unfamiliar to many Americans. Deighton ends his book with the opening of the Pacific war, leaving hope there will be a sequel. Deighton's opinions are explained reasonably, and his writing is both easily understood and thoroughly researched. Recommended for all libraries with an interest in World War II. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/93.-- John F. Camenga, Tampa-Hillsborough P.L., Fla.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780007531172
Publisher:
HarperCollins UK
Publication date:
12/16/2014
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
672
Sales rank:
844,348
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 2.20(d)

Meet the Author

Born in London, Len Deighton served in the RAF before graduating from the Royal College of Art (which recently elected him a Senior Fellow). While in New York City working as a magazine illustrator he began writing his first novel, ‘The Ipcress File’, which was published in 1962. He is now the author of more than thirty books of fiction and non-fiction. At present living in Europe, he has, over the years, lived with his family in ten different countries from Austria to Portugal.

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Blood, Tears and Folly; An Objective Look at World War II 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Deighton's outing has many interesting ideas and facts as to why certain methods of fighting occurred, weapon development, strategy etc. One probably should have at least a rudimentary background into the WWII to fully enjoy this book. This definately isn't a primer. On the other hand one need not be a scholar in this area to enjoy the book. My biggest decision now is whether or not to add this volume to my permanent library.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Deighton has performed a minor miracle in this volume. He manages to go in depth on several key aspects of the war, and evaluates the critical blunders made by each side during these times. Perheps more importantly, he really goes out of his way to debunk a lot of long standing myths about the conduct of the war. For American readers, this book is a great chance to view the war from a truly British perspective, and it is written in a very Anglo-cetric style. A very good read, it is better thought of as a compendium of six parts than a single unified volume.