‘“Nemesis is a triumph…provocative, insightful… impressive…Put all these elements together – the ambition, insight, sureness of touch – and you have a book of real quality’. Sunday Times
‘Solid scholarship, a supreme understanding of strategy, stirring evocations of battles and trenchant opinion…Hastings proves himself once again to be the master of his material.’ Sunday Times ‘Books of the Year’
‘Magisterial…it is truly cathartic to reach the end of the Second World War in Hastings's company.’ Times ‘Books of the Year’
‘Brilliantly organised, compassionate but unsparing in its judgements…a monumental achievement.’ George Steiner, Sunday Times ‘Books of the Year’
'Hastings has covered a vast canvas with superbly realised detail, and has provided an excellent companion to Armageddon'. Daily Telegraph
‘Absolutely excellent.’ John Simpson, Observer
‘Remarkably impressive.’ Guardian
'Hastings is…a master of the sort of detail that illuminates the human cost. It is the way he leaps so adeptly to and fro between the vast panorama and the tiny snapshot pictures that makes him such a readable historian.' Mail on Sunday
‘A delight to read…its originality lies…in the meticulousness of the author's research…an absorbing read…”Nemesis” is an engrossing book.’ Evening Standard
“Brilliantly though Hastings lays out the strategic context, his real talent lies in his account of the 'terrible human experience' that it involved…This is a book not only for military history buffs but for anyone who wants to understand what happened in half the world during one of the bloodiest periods of the blood-soaked 20th century.’ The Spectator
‘An outstandingly gripping and authoritative account of the battle for Japan, and a monument to human bravery and savagery.’ Daily Telegraph
‘This is an absorbing story woven from the grand designs of the policy–makers and strategists together with the letters, diaries and memoirs of those who fought at the sharp end, friend and foe alike. The balance is sustained with admirable skill…”Nemesis” is Max Hastings's best book…nformed, lively, thorough.’ Literary Review
Reviews for ‘Warriors’:
‘With this collection, Hastings is back on home territory, where he can bring his unique blend of skills as war reporter, and social as well as military historian to bear…This is one of the best and most diverting of his shorter pieces.’ Evening Standard‘
Spectacular…Hastings makes important points about the war in the East that have been all too rarely heard…excellent…compelling…searingly powerful.’ Sunday Telegraph
‘Highly readable…absorbing…excellent…admirably balanced…the author's attitude…refreshingly modern and sensitive.’ Guardian
‘A delight to read…absorbing…engrossing.’ Scotsman
‘Hastings lays out the campaigns with admirable clarity…this is magisterial history.’ First Post
More Reviews for ‘Warriors”:
‘All (of the stories) are corking…opinions are stated firmly and with big bold swings of the pendulum. His virtues are clarity and decisiveness – greatly to be admired when it comes to making clear, for the lay reader, roughly what is going on in the fiendishly complex and bloody engagements he describes.’ Spectator
From the Inside Flap
In 1944-45, the war against Japan embraced the most remarkable cast of statesmen and commanders the world has ever seen: Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin; Nimitz, MacArthur, Mountbatten, Slim, LeMay; Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong. The drama which ended in Japan's utter defeat was acted out across the vast stage of Asia. Battles by land, sea and air extended over millions of square miles: Imphal and Kohima, Leyte Gulf and Iwo Jima, Okinawa and the B-29 fire-bombing offensive against Japan's cities, the great Soviet assault on Manchuria.
Max Hastings has written Nemesis as a counterpart to Armageddon, his bestselling saga of the 1944-45 struggle for Germany. Once again, he matches the story of command decisions, rivalries and follies with the experiences of British, American, Russian, Chinese and Japanese soldiers, sailors and airmen, fighting some of the bloodiest campaigns of the war amid heat, disease, privation and against a merciless enemy. He has interviewed extensively in Asia to tell the story of China's war, which cost at least fifteen million lives yet is almost unknown in the West. Modern China's bitterness towards Japan is rooted in the horrors which Hirohito's armies inflicted on the Chinese people between 1931 and 1945.
With the aid of scores of eyewitness accounts, Hastings portrays the Russian onslaught of August 1945, in which Stalin launched 1.5 million men against the Japanese, to gain the territorial booty promised to him at Yalta. The book describes Slim's brilliant 1945 campaign in Burma, which Churchill never wanted to fight. The British and Indian armies achieved a sunset victory for the Empire - but one their commanders knew could contribute nothing to Japan's defeat.
Australia's soldiers earned much more glory in the early war years - yet almost vanished from the battlefield in 1944-45, because of their country's bitter internal dissensions, and MacArthur's refusal to concede them a real role in America's showdown with Japan. Hastings analyses the decision-making which precipitated the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and concludes that the dropping of the atomic bomb saved many lives.
Here are word-portraits of the ordeals of American sailors in the great sea battles which destroyed the Japanese Imperial Navy, alongside tales of communist Chinese guerrillas, Japanese fighter pilots, British soldiers sweating in the jungles of Burma, Tokyo families facing incineration by firestorm. Nemesis weaves together in brilliant fashion the complex strands of an epic which stretched across a continent and many nations, in three dimensions, embracing some of the most terrible human experiences of the twentieth century.