In a manner that will surprise few of his faithful readers, historian and writer John Keegan turns what one would expect to be a dry bibliographic survey of what this noted scholar believes to be the seminal and meaningfully works on the subject of World War Two into a fascinating and sometimes provocative survey into the subject of not only that most fateful of conflicts, but also of war itself. As has recently been proven through the edifying work of other authors such as Ian Kershaw with his brilliant two volume study of Adolph Hitler (see my reviews) as well as books by Michael Burleigh's "The Third Reich: A New History", Daniel Goldhagen's "Hitler's Willing Executioners", and Williamson Murray and Allan Millet's "A War To Be Won", the field of investigation is hardly complete.
Indeed, given the fact that the integration of all the relevant information concerning the war remains such a daunting task based on its size, complexity, and the fact that it is found in a...
Keegan's piece offers an holistic and broad view of WWII and it's consequences. The author seems to strive for impartiality, however it does not mention the cruelty of US and British soldiers during the war - differently than how the Russian and Axis armies were depicted. Great writing, although the non-linear approach can be challenging to readers that don't have an intermediate understanding of the WWII. This book is also a fantastic reference for literature about the WWII.
This book is an historiography and provides an excellent guide to other historians works even as it highlights interesting and less known aspect of World War Two. Keegans prose is smooth and eloquent. His comments about the works chosen are very helpful and throughout the book I felt I was in the hands of a reliable guide. Recommended starting point for anyone seeking to read about six years of tragedy which we call World War Two.
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