- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: OUP Oxford; 3Rev Ed edition (27 Sept. 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0192802070
- ISBN-13: 978-0192802071
- Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 2.8 x 13 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 593,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
The Second World War: A Short History (Struggle for Survival) Paperback – 27 Sep 2001
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More About the Author
Review from previous edition Based on a matchless knowledge of the documents, he provides an authoritative treatment of military, diplomatic, and economic aspects, written with great force and insight. As a one-volume survey, it is unlikely to be surpassed... a magnificent achievement, a tour de force. (Kenneth O. Morgan, New Statesman and Society)
a miracle of compression compared with the rest of the horde of general histories. (Guardian)
Parker alights unerringly on the salient campaigns and issues, and considers them with consistent style and insight. (Times Educational Supplement)
The most balanced view of the causes and courses of the Second World War. (Field Marshal Lord Carver, Times Literary Supplement)
written in clear and elegant English ... a masterful account of the Second World War in all its different spheres. It is scrupulously fair, illuminated by an engaging sense of humour ... and gives an entirely balanced view of the varying contributions of the different powers engaged. (Richard Cobb, The Spectator)
Faced with volume after volume of books about the Second World War, R.A.C. Parker's Short History comes as a breath of fresh air ... it is refreshing to read such a modest-sized yet absorbing history of the years between 1939 and 1945 and what happened before and afer. A Short History is both concise and absorbing - an "introduction" to anyone wanting to know more about the war and an example of how a taut history book can be captivating. (Madeleine Burton, Herts Adverstiser (St Albans Edition))
About the Author
R.A.C. Parker is a Fellow of Queen's College, Oxford.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Parker's narrative is informed by his matchless grasp of the relevant documents and official records as well as a unique feel for the way in which the various aspects of the conflict interweave and interact to create and sustain a worldwide conflagration. In his stirring and entertaining treatment, one finds a treasure trove of details, and at the same time also gains a better understanding of the way in which the economic, diplomatic, and military factors combine during the drift toward war in the late 1930s. In this sense the book is written with great verve and obvious historical impact.
Viewed in this way, the book can be considered a quite compact and yet still comprehensive overview of the war itself, how it began, its slow and horrific progress, and how it was both won by the Allies and lost by the Axis powers. Indeed, one comes away from the reading experience with a much improved and enhanced appreciation for the far-reaching impact the war had on humanity at large, since the war affected everyone, combatants, noncombatants, and onlookers alike. As Parker argues quite persuasively, the Second World War changed the course of the 20th century forever.
The author faithfully traces how the key events of the war progress, showing how the strategies of each of the participants as well as their indigenous populations and economies affect the course of the conflict. In looking at major battles and campaigns, Parker provides a wealth of insight that is disproportionately detailed compared to the length of the book, and provides the reader with a wonderfully informative, insightful, and entertaining reading experience. He discusses specific aspects of the war such as mobile warfare, the Holocaust, forced migration, and the use of the atomic bomb in a way that helps the reader to understand the importance of each and gives specific reasons as to how and why they occurred. This is a book that is easy to recommend to anyone wanting a relatively concise and yet immensely rewarding reading experience. Enjoy!
The entire global sweep of this greatest of all wars is covered comprehensively here, from its historical and economic roots to its world-changing consequences. The narrative is graceful and remarkably readable, with such essential matters as balance-of-forces and production figures woven in skillfully and painlessly, rendering unnecessary the footnotes which clutter other works of this scale. The author's analyses of issues of Allied leadership are models of fair-minded judgement and balanced perspective, and his evaluations of generalship virtually unassailable, to the probable discomfort of partisans of all stripes.
Parker's work is exemplary history, and a rare pleasure to read as well. Highly recommended.
(The numerical rating above is an ineradicable default setting within this page. This reviewer does not employ numerical ratings.)
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