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

Len Deighton
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 May 1995
By 1942, the civilised world had been brought to the brink of ruin. It had taken the Axis powers less than three years to command the high seas in the North Atlantic and the South Pacific, to lay waste most of Europe and enslave millions in Asia, to drive deep into Stalin's Soviet empire and come within an ace of controlling the oilfields in the Middle East. At the height of their power the European dictators and the Japanese military autocracy ruled ruthlessly almost half the world. Standing alone, the British were bankrupt and the United States only driven from isolation by the humiliation at Pearl Harbour. Before the tide fully turned in 1943, millions had been put to death, the machinery of the holocaust was in place and nuclear devastation well on the way to become a reality. Yet, Deighton warns, fifty years on the lessons of the Second World War continue to reverberate unheeded. Racial hatred, ethnic cleansing, recession, trade wars and the widening gap between the world's rich and poor promise economic migration on a frightening scale. The dangers of today are seen all too clearly in this account of a recent time when humanity was consumed by violence and destruction.

Product details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Pimlico; New edition edition (4 May 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 071266226X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712662260
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.6 x 4.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 401,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Remarkable and absorbing . . . an absolute landmark as regards the history of the Second World War."-Jack Higgins

About the Author

Len Deighton is the author of over thirty bestsellers of carefully researched fiction and non-fiction. His history writing was encouraged by A. J. P. Taylor and his books are noted for the picture they provide of the German side of the fighting as well as that of the Allies. His books include Fighter: The True Story of the Battle of Britain and Blitzkrieg, both published by Pimlico.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, a really good read 27 April 2001
This is excellent. Led Deighton has written three other non-fiction books on the Second World War. Fighter, Blitzkrieg and, with Max Hastings, another book on the Battle of Britain. I thought that this was going to be a stitch together of the others but it's incredible in scope. It takes the first three years of the war, when, as he puts it "evil was in the ascendant, goodness diffident and the British - impetuous, foolish and brave beyond measure - the worlds only hope". His real gift comes from his story telling, his spy and war novels. Applied to history, the effect is profound. You only have to compare this to John Keegans work, The Second World War, which, although good, is the work of an academic, a lecturer at Sandhurst, not a story teller. My only criticism is that he doesn't go all the way through the war. I would like to have read his take on the Burma campaign, for instance, and Iwo Jima.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read 31 Oct 2000
By A Customer
A superb read. Deighton looks at the development of technology, political motivations of key individuals and governments and giving an eye opening background context to the key events and battles of the war. His ability to clearly develop a complex situation into a frighteninlg accurate account is second to none. Also highlights how close we came to defeat at varing times due to blunders, poor planning and political point scoring
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
I have never read any of len deighton's previous work but this book gives the reader a real empathy of world leading upto and including the second world war.The narrative has the same effect as reading a fiction novel and so makes it easy to follow, this is what i have enjoyed about reading the book. I would recomend this book for any person who wants to read a good unbiased factual account of this time period, even if history is not a subject they would normally choose books about.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly recommended 18 Feb 2001
My first purchase on WWII history - and what a start! Having set the scene on events leading to the outbreak of war, Deighton then leads you through the battle for the Atlantic, the Battle of Britain, North Africa, the Eastern Front, war in the Pacific and others, with an incisiveness and detail I found both amazing and alarming. Can't praise it enough - thoroughly recommended.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb introduction to World War II. 20 Mar 2002
As a newcomer to the leisure reading of military history I found Len Deighton's book extremely interesting, utterly digestable and, most important of all, very difficult to put down! Each chapter tells a story in its own right and ,for once, useful descriptions and details of much of the important materiel of war is included.
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