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The Road to War Hardcover – Jul 1990


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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Random House Inc (T); Mti edition (July 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394582608
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394582603
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 17.1 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 994,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"The best short work on the origins of the second world war. It is a masterpiece of compression" (Literary Review)

"Stimulating and enjoyable... essential reading" (Guardian)

"Well-written, authoritative" (Norman Stone Sunday Times)

"The authors combine passion with understanding to make sound historical sense" (The Economist)

"It is mesmerising to read about a world careering to hell" (Independent) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

A revised and updated edition of a classic history book exploring the beginnings of World War II in concise, accessible and enjoyable prose. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Overseas Reviewer on 8 July 2004
Format: Paperback
I purchased this after reading "Interrogations" by the same author - 'Road to War' is even better. Chapter by chapter it deals with the years running up to the outbreak of war from the perspective of the major combatant nations. What makes it stand out, in my opinion, is the fact that it is careful to place the outlook and decisions taken by countries in the context of what was known and believed at the time, i.e. without hindsight.
I found the chapter about Japan particularly interesting as although many people are familiar with European politics of the period, I previously knew very little of pre-war Japanese foreign policy and objectives.
I hope that "The Dictators" is as good.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 Feb. 2001
Format: Paperback
This book, written by one of today's most reputed historians of WW2, focuses on the years immediately preceding the war. Each chapter is devoted to one of the future belligerants and describes how they perceived the approaching crisis, what their objectives were, and what choices they faced. This approach is very successful in showing how each nation saw the situation at that time, as opposed as we see it today.
Although all sections are stimulating, a few are especially worth mentioning. The section on Germany makes it clear that a "readjustment" of Germany's post-WW1 eastern frontiers was inevitable and that indeed western powers themselves recognized it as inevitable. The section on Poland is very interesting and iconoclastic, balancing today's popular image of Poland as a helpless victim (which indeed she became AFTER its defeat in 1939) with a well-documented picture of an arrogant, racist state that western European states in the 30s generally despised. The chapter on England highlights the key importance that the English attributed to the Empire, and shows how Great Britain tried to defend this anachronistic creation against the revisionist powers, even in the face of its own economic decline.
The book is valuable both for its convincing general arguments and for its analysis of specific issues. At the general level, the picture of the 30s that emerges is that of a world constrained by a geopolitical straitjacked that was growing increasingly inadequate. The author argues that Britain and France, who were (and clearly perceived themselved to be) the biggest beneficiaries of the status quo, tried as long as possible to defend it against appeasing the revisionist powers while preparing for the worst with rearmament.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Colin Browning on 1 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been an avid reader of WW2 books for some time now and am also interested in the interwar years. This book has filled many of the gaps in my knowledge.
It is broken down into country chapters which makes it easy to follow. It is clearly argued, logical and consistent in its approach. It can be read rather than studied.
For those looking to understand the situation within the major players prior the WW2, this is an excellent place to start.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An excellent account of the run up to WW2, given by virtue of looking at the origins of the conflict as seen through the eyes of the nations themselves. I particularly found the analysis of Hitler and Germany quite logical; as presented here, there would seem to have been a method in Hitler's madness. Overall, an intriguing read and well worth getting.
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