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TOTAL WAR: CAUSES AND COURSES OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR [Paperback]

PETER CALVOCORESSI


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book 10 Aug 2012
By Mr. C. A. Lachman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a brilliant book considering the vast period of time and places that it covers. It is very well written and is easy to read. Most people who purchase this book will be people who are interested in the period and as such will inevitably have many other books on WW2 - as I do. The previous reviewer does not appear to like the political leanings of the authors however I did not notice this. Most of the book is about actual events not political ideas. I found it a great read and can thoroughly recommend it. If you happen to see anything that offends you then skip it and move on. I am sure that if you enjoy reading about this period of history that you will have biographies of all your favorite generals and you can compare notes. Not to read a book because you may disagree with some opinions of the author is nonsense. Read this book, it is great !
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars near total success 21 May 2013
By Richard I. Pervo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a remarkably objective example of historiography. The book was written for a U.K. audience and gives a bit more attention to the British Empire than to the U. S., but the authors' exhibit a brilliant and dispassionate capacity for concise narration and penetrating analysis of underlying issues. Rather than "socialist," the book is generally moderately conservative. The New Deal is "semi-socialist" and American capitalism unfettered won the war, in their view. Socialists do not write thus.
(As an example of how things change, the hostile reviewer calls MacArthur "mediocre." M. was for two decades a Republican icon; at the time of his dismissal it appeared that he had the country in his grasp--at least to those in Ohio, where one then lived. John Birchers listened to recordings of his speeches. No fan of M's pre-old age politics, i agree that he was the most brilliant of Allied generals, winning economical victories against often superior forces. M. did make major errors. Inchon and North Korea are two poles of his career.)
C & W go straight to the essentials; those seeking detailed analyses of campaigns will need to go elsewhere, but few have done a better job of explaining the why and not just the how of WWII, as well as its consequences. They also illuminate their pages with apposite quotes from Sophocles to Shakespeare to Tolstoy and beyond. (Perhaps only socialists could be so effete as to cite Thucydides, etc.) This is a reminder of how good unbiased history can be.
6 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pretentious and prejudiced and politicized 7 Dec 2010
By rwx - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I dislike the left-wing socialist interpretation of history that pervades the book. It's also pretentious, hostile to the USA, and sentimental over the "suffering" of Japan, Germany, and Nazi collaborators. Also, the book, perhaps because it is written by Britons, glorifies such a mediocre general as Montgomery. For good measure, it also unreasonably glorifies a self-dramatizing average American general: McArthur.
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