‘Michael Burleigh has long been one of our foremost writers on the importance of ethics in history, and in this deeply researched, closely argued and well-written analysis of the moral issues thrown up by the Second World War he has reached the zenith of his career.… Burleigh takes strong stances on almost every controversy of the war…This book is full of poignant nuggets of information…but easily its greatest strength lies in the wise, civilised but unshakeable moral certainty of its author.’ Andrew Roberts, Sunday Telegraph
‘Burleigh’s book is infinitely better than the usual tiresome trudge through the battlefields of North Africa or rose–tinted retrospective of the Battle of Britain. More than any book I have read on the war, it confronts us with the ethical questions millions of people faced in their daily lives… Perhaps the most impressive thing about Burleigh’s book is that, unlike so many historians, he has a refreshingly realistic, clear-eyed view of human nature.…One of the strengths of Burleigh’s analysis, however, is that while he is well aware of allied atrocities, he never loses sight of the basic moral difference between the warring parties.… Although Burleigh leaves us in no doubt that the Second World War was a just conflict, he simultaneously leaves us under no illusions about the horrors of modern warfare. This is a book in which heroism is inevitably flawed and tempered; in which the choice is always between two evils.…if we are to avoid repeating such horrors in our own lifetimes, then, as Burleigh’s outstanding book reminds us, some things should never be forgotten.’ Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times
‘powerful and timely…This is one of the most important books on the Second World War to be published in recent years’ Evening Standard
About the Author
Michael Burleigh is Distinguished Research Professor in Modern History at Cardiff University. He is the author of nine well-received books, including ‘Earthly Powers’, ‘Sacred Causes’ and ‘The Third Reich’, for which he was awarded the Samuel Johnson Prize in 2001.