This is a great big fat sprawling unruly kind of history - one wonders whether the sub-title "an objective look at WWII" was intended tongue-in-cheek - idiosyncratic, occasionally undisciplined, often contentious, but never boring. In fact only the early stages of the war are covered, as well as the various elements leading up to it; one would have hoped for a sequel treating the rest of the conflict, alas, no.
One could certainly understand a reader's initial frustration if he expected a straightforward, conventional narrative of events, presented matter-of-factly in suitable scholarly prose, but if one indulges the author his quirks and permits him to give vent to his considerable spleen, one will find much that is useful here, and a memorable journey through some familiar and not-so-familiar (usually U-boat infested) waters. In some respects the book resembles a tapestry: intricate, colourful, and definitely hand-woven.
A few corrections and cautions:
p44: "On July 24, 1939, with war only a week away..." At first glance one would suppose this should have read August 24, a week before the German invasion of Poland, but the meeting of Polish, British, and French cryptographers being related here did in fact occur on July 24.
p137: A map of the Maginot Line fortifications labels the Alsace region as "Alsace-Loraine." It is perhaps insufficiently understood outside France, that Lorraine is a distinct geographic region and political district to the west-northwest of Alsace, despite the conflation of the two in the Anglo-American mind, merely because they have often shared the same historical fate of conquest and reconquest.
German paratroop commander Kurt Student is frequently, though not invariably, referred to as Karl Student. Thankfully, we are not introduced to Ernst Rommel or Herbert von Goring.
p506: "Japanese warships inflicted a naval victory upon the Chinese." Ah, the agony of victory...
On p529, the author attempts to isolate Dean Acheson as the singular cause of the futility of US-Japanese negotiations in the months leading up to Pearl Harbor, as if the Japanese military faction, long since bent on attack, could have been dissuaded with economic concessions.
Worse, the author takes the unconscionably simplistic view that "despite all the Nazi talk of living space in the east, the German armies invaded the Soviet Union because Hitler and his SS men wanted to murder the Jews and the Bolsheviks." This sweeping disregard for economic, geo-political, and military-strategic factors can scarcely be excused, and it likewise ignores the incremental and often inconsistent manner in which Nazi policy evolved from expulsion to ghettoisation to genocide.
There are other points of controversy, to be sure, some of which do rather more successfully challenge the received canon of historical wisdom. And there is a great deal of information besides. Withal, to be recommended.