The Winds of War

The Winds of War

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Herman Wouk’s sweeping epic of World War II, which begins with The Winds of War and continues in War and Remembrance, stands as the crowning achievement of one of America’s most celebrated storytellers. Like no other books about the war, Wouk’s spellbinding narrative captures the tide of global events — and all the drama, romance, heroism, and tragedy of World War II — as it immerses us in the lives of a single American family drawn into the very center of the war’s maelstrom.

“The Winds of War gives more vivid pictures of the principal leaders of the war than military and political history could. Fiction is better than history at showing ‘how it really was’ where matters of human character are concerned.” — Political Science Quarterly

“First-rate storytelling.” — New York Times

“With the whole world as its setting, The Winds of War tells the intimate story of an American family — a Navy family — caught up in the vortex of world conflict. . . . World history comes to life at a personal, eyewitness level.” — Philadelphia Inquirer

“Wouk is a matchless storyteller with a gift for characterization, an ear for convincing dialogue, and a masterful grasp of what was at stake in World War II.” — San Francisco Chronicle

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781491518281
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Publication date: 05/06/2014
Series: Winds of War Series , #1
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Herman Wouk’s acclaimed novels include the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Caine Mutiny; Marjorie Morningstar; Don’t Stop the Carnival; Youngblood Hawke; The Winds of War; War and Remembrance; Inside, Outside; The Hope; and The Glory.

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The Winds of War 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 115 reviews.
jlv1634 More than 1 year ago
What a remarkable story. I read both the Winds of War and War and Remembrance. It was just fascinating. I didn't want it to end. You get lost in the story of the Henry family as they traverse all the events of WWII. There is romantic tension, adventure, thrills and more. The vivid descriptions of the concentration camps and what happened there made my hair stand up and saddened me very much. There was also a tremendous amount of factual information of real events that happened in WWII. So in that sense it was very educational. It was reminiscent of Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth and World without End in the way that it grabbed you and sucked you in to the story. I highly recommend both of these novels.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mr. Baker, the ''history fan who was bilked,'' must have been reading a different book. While ''The Winds of War'' certainly has its fair share of romantic plotlines, to claim that's all there is, and to refer to the analytical history sections as ''a few instances'' is to do this modern classic an enormous disservice. Herman Wouk has written the American equivalent of Tolstoy's epic ''War and Peace.'' Using the Henry and Jastrow families as a means to introduce his readers to broad subjects -- like the geopolitical situation on the eve of World War II, the battle tactics of the armies, and the cruelty of Nazi treatment of the Jews, which eventually morphed into the horrors of the Holocaust -- is positively ingenious. The segments of the book 'written' by the fictional German general Armin von Roon are perhaps Wouk's most incredible achievement in the novel, as he seamlessly slips into the voice of the opposing side. A definite must-read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read both books over 50 times, I have actually worn out two sets of paperbacks and bought a third in addition to having it downloaded onto my e-book reader. Wouk not only provides an excellent account of the history but details which characters were real and which were part of his fiction. My high school aged daughter read this (a few years ago) and learned more facts and truth about WWII the she had in 4 years of 'history'. My Dad (a WW II vet) read it and really enjoyed it. I bought the entire TV miniseries on DVDs for both Winds of War and War and Rememberence.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Don't ya just love novels that put fictional characters (people that seem as real as your next door neighbors) into the middle of great events you've read about in history books? I do, cause that's the closest the rest of us get to knowing what it'd be like if it really happened to us. This book and War And Rememberance do that.
Guest More than 1 year ago
truly one of the greatest novels ever written. a story as rich in character and detail as it is in depth. it's blending of fictional characters with historical times, makes the reader believe they are there as well as understand that period in histoy. better than any history class.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Like most people who didn't experience the Great War firsthand, I was very curious about the heroism of those dark days. The Winds of War was a fantastic novel: it was quick-paced, offered insight into the minds of men like Hitler, Yamamoto, and Churchill and, shared the effects of the tragic times on a typical American family.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Herman Wouk makes me feel as if I am one of the family. He captures in my opinion the mindset of a military family. I love the reality of a family in love with each other and still falling prey to temptation. You must read this book, then read war and rememberance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not only absolutely fascinating but ingratiatingly good!  Truly one of my favorite books ever.  Herman Wouk's masterful storytelling takes you through the fictional families of the Henry's and the Jastrow's, set against the context of one of the most unimaginable and very real time in history, World War II.  It is a gripping tale, full of emotion, heroism, love, fear, betrayal, and fate.  It is also very educational for it is well researched and historically accurate.  I cannot wait to transition into the next book now, but this one  is an absolute classic and a triumph in American literature.  Beautifully written!  Loved every single page!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Truly a great book..This one book will help you understand the feeling of World War 2,better than any movie ever made,could ever do...Make sure after reading Winds of War you quickly follow it up by reading War and Rememberance,a book of the utmost tragedy that should be ready be read by anybody looking for the feel of America during the war years
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the greatest books I have ever read. It is a mastepiece.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a tremendous book!  ****However, buy the paperback, the ebook is full of errors and typos**** The ebook is actually difficult to read in many areas. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great historical fiction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent! Excellent! Excellent! I can't say enough good things about this book...a sweeping drama of the greatest generation during "their war"!
Anonymous 30 days ago
Its ok for a fictional book. Just a big romance. Like the movie "titanic or pearl harbor". The Germans rudely interrupt a love affair to start ww2. Hardly based on fact.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Joanne53 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Read this book in 1974 and again in1979....just getting around to entering it into my library...but I remember it as a great story and a good introduction to the history of WWII. It made me move from historical fiction to history.
clif_hiker on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a 5-star book that should read by anybody with an interest in WW II. The comments and complaints regarding sexism and poor female characters... well the book was published in 1971. Compare it to some of the other fiction being published at the time... Ian Fleming, John MacDonald, Robert Heinlein. Wouk comes of pretty well in comparison to those authors, I think, especially as his subject is war. Despite this, Wouk still constructs some fascinating female characters... and not all of them are brilliant, easy to sympathize with, or even very smart. But then again, neither are the men.Aaron Jastrow is a fool, Byron Henry a petulant layabout for most of the book, Leslie Slote is a coward. It's a long story, a bit melodramatic at times, will infuriate you, and bring tears to your eyes. Which was what Wouk set out to accomplish.
FionaRobynIngram on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
First published in 1971, The Winds of War is aptly described on the cover as `another splendid epic' as well as being compared to Margaret Mitchell's `Gone With The Wind.' Although such fulsome praise has often been used to describe various tomes, this book deserves such high praise. It is actually the prologue to Wouk's War and Remembrance, and (my tattered old edition) is a 960-pager at that! If you are looking for something that seems to have died out recently, namely, a good old-fashioned read or a solid story, then this is it. Despite being written over forty years ago, there is no sense of being dated, albeit some of the expressions might come across as quaint. The story concerns two families, one Jewish and European, the Jastrows, and the other American and WASP, namely the Henrys. Looming behind the tapestry of lives and loves interlinking is the horrific menace of World War 2. The author is truly a gifted writer in that tackling a subject as monumental as a world war and trying to humanise both friends and foes is daunting. However, this book is superbly written and keeps the reader glued to the pages. Each character brings a unique angle to this novel, even those historical personalities usually relegated to the pages of history books. The stubbornness of elderly academic Aaron Jastrow, who remains in Italy despite the imminent threat of Fascism and Mussolini's pact with Hitler, drags his niece, the strong-willed and beautiful Natalie Jastrow, right into the fray. Pug Henry, a middle-aged US Naval officer, is dismayed to find his youngest son Byron not only gets involved with Natalie, but marries her. When war breaks out she is stranded in war-torn Europe with her cantankerous uncle and a new-born babe. Pug has his own problems with a beautiful but bored and dissatisfied wife (Rhoda) who feels her husband has not achieved the career she had in mind for him. On an observer mission to Europe, Pug himself finds himself attracted to a girl old enough to be his daughter.These human conflicts are somehow always uppermost in a story that never succumbs to the weightier issues of war and destruction. I enjoyed the way in which the author deftly creates an intimate viewpoint of the three pivotal characters of the war: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Hitler himself by having Pug Henry at different stages of the novel actually meet and interact with these men. Another interesting angle is Pug's analysis of General Armin van Roon's (fictional) account of the war and the motives and machinations behind Hitler's various invasions and instances of both brilliance and bungling ineptitude. The author also provides a perceptive analysis of the psyche of the nations dragged into the war, and this is a great help in understanding how and why so many people entered into and supported their leaders in what could only be the greatest folly of the century. The book cannot, of course, adequately describe the unspeakable horror of the bombings, the dreadful atrocities perpetrated in the death camps, and many more occasions of wholesale slaughter, but the author does an excellent job of describing these events without sinking into a mire of sentimentality or a ghoulish litany. The book ends as Pearl Harbour is bombed, thus bringing the USA into a war that FD had successfully avoided in an effort to appease the war-shy American public. The bombing of Pearl Harbour, a momentous blunder on the part of Japan propelled the American giant into the war with a unanimous vote (bar one). This is a truly satisfying experience for the readers who want to sink their literary teeth into something solid!
russelllindsey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was once told that this book, along with "Sophie's Choice," would teach me most of what I would need to know about the WW II era. Well, reading both books is a great start. I don't think that enough can be said for that era in history.
miyurose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This started out a little slow, but by the time the war started, the character backgrounds were done and the story started moving. I learned a lot about the war in this book. I think Americans tend to not care much about WWII before we got into it, but it was rather interesting to see all the diplomatic stuff that was going on. There were also sections that were basically descriptions of military plans from the point of view of a German officer. That was rather interesting as well.The thing that really caught me by surprise was how the characters reacted to Pearl Harbor. Maybe it's because they're a military family, but it was all taken in stride ... just another attack. There wasn't even any mention of all the lives lost, and there was barely a mention of Roosevelt's infamous speech.I'm wondering if there's a sequel, because the book ends with several story lines very much up in the air.
loralu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wouk creatively combines fiction and nonfiction into a breathtaking story of the love, relationships, struggles, and challenges of a US Navy family during WWII. By combining the fictional story of the family and the nonfiction of a German Admiral's diary, as well as other factual events from the war, the reader becomes captivated and transported back in time.
tlryan1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love this book. I first read it in high school when I had zero interest in WWII. This book piqued my interest in the war and what it must have been like to live through that era. Since then I have read everything I can about it.
pfax on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Good read, though sometimes it borders on melodrama.
TerriBooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite books ever, I decided to make this a part of my ebook library. So it, of course, deserved a new reading. While it is unrealistic to think that a single naval officer would have actually been so serendipitously involved in the major historic events leading up to the US involvement in WW2, it makes a nice way to tie the story together, and it doesn't seem improbable as you read -- a sign of a great story-teller. This novel reaches across Europe, Asia, and the U.S. as the members of the Henry family find themselves in world rapidly heading into war. The pace, the characters and the ins-and-outs of the plot all make this a book that's hard to put down, despite its length.
Unkletom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An epic novel along the lines of James Michener. Wouk packs a lot of information and a stimulating plot into it's 1100 pages. My only complaint is that the characters seem a little two-dimensional.