This was, as I understand it, meant to be something of a supplement to the same author's A World At Arms (which I recommend highly), but is actually a surprising contrast to its larger cousin.
Somewhat more speculative than A World at Arms, this book discusses what we know, or the author surmises, about the war aims and postwar hopes of eight major World War II leaders - Adolf Hitler of Germany, Benito Mussolini of Italy, Tojo Hideki of Japan, Chaing Kai-Shek of China, Josef Stalin of the Soviet Union, Winston Churchill of the UK, Charles de Gaulle of the Free French, and Franklin D Roosevelt of the USA. Eight chapters, one on each of these men, are followed by a ninth on the actual postwar world, and how little it resembled the visions of any of them, even the victors.
In addition to being much shorter by page count than A World at Arms, this book is in a larger typeface, making for a much quicker read than you might expect. It doesn't hurt that the often dense prose style of Weinberg's past work has here given way to a somewhat simpler and more readable one. But one gets the impression that these contrasts originate, at least in part, in the author just having a lot less to say here. While I learned something from nearly every page of A World at Arms, here Weinberg spends a great deal of time stating the obvious (Hitler would have been disappointed with the way Germany has gone since his death - you don't say!), and what in-depth analysis he does do is largely (though by no means entirely) repeated from A World at Arms.
The broad strokes of Weinberg's conclusions are nothing terribly new, even if some of the details are original to this book. In the short term, Stalin did the best of all the leaders discussed here; an antiquated colonialism coloured much of both Churchill and de Gaulle's thinking; the war was, unfortunately for Chiang, the best thing that ever happened to the Chinese Communist Party; and so on. Nothing that any serious student of the war doesn't already know. However, it is still well worth reading the book to see how Weinberg refines and adds nuance to these conclusions, and to read his refutations of some of the contrasting views that have on occasion been defended. And this book also has a strong human element that was sometimes lacking from its predecessor; in a book about some of the most cherished hopes of eight very specific individuals, one can't help but paint a picture of who they were as people, a luxury the sheer breadth of A World at Arms seldom allowed him.
This book will be an enjoyable read for anyone with an interest in the Second World War, even if it is only occasionally, rather than consistently, a thought-provoking one. But then again, perhaps it is a compliment to the characteristic clarity of Weinberg's analysis - or to the newfound clarity of his writing - that this book leaves one wanting more.