Buy Used
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Good | Details
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Expedited shipping available on this book. The book has been read but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact and the cover is intact. Some minor wear to the spine.
Trade in your item
Get a £0.39
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II Paperback – 28 Jul 1995

5 customer reviews

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
£23.96 £3.99

There is a newer edition of this item:

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Win a £5,000 Gift Card for your child's school by voting for their favourite book. Learn more.
  • Prepare for the summer with our pick of the best selection for children (ages 0 - 12) across

Win a £5,000 Gift Card and 30 Kindle E-readers for your child or pupil's school.
Vote for your child or pupil(s) favourite book(s) here to be in with a chance to win.

Product details

  • Paperback: 1198 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; New edition edition (28 July 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521558794
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521558792
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 6 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 590,991 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description


'Few historians could have taken on the daunting challenge of attempting a global history of the Second World War; but Gerhard Weinberg succeeds brilliantly. It is a masterly study which is unlikely to be surpassed.' Ian Kershaw, University of Sheffield

'Weinberg's book is a clearly-written account of events, with enormous … reliable encyclopaedic summaries of anything about which you need to know.' Norman Stone, The Times

'… a remarkable achievement … It certainly deserves to be placed alongside the war histories of John Keegan, Martin Gilbert and A. J. P. Taylor. As a sheer work of reference it outclasses even them.' Andrew Roberts, The Sunday Telegraph

'This is a tour de force; classical diplomatic history at its best. Weinberg's global view of the war pays dividends again and again … '. David Reynolds, New York Times

'This is an extraordinary book … an invaluable source for anyone needing in one place as many ideas as possible abut the Second World War … Moral and humane feelings underpin his copious scholarship at every point, giving admirable depth and dimension to this monumental intellectual performance.' The Washington Post

'… fully lives up to its subsidiary title and to the claims made by its publishers. This is a first class strategic history of the war.' The British Army Review

'… a coherent - in fact, hypnotic - narrative offered up in a single, handsome volume … surely the finest one-volume history we have of the most important event of the century.' American Heritage

'… a blockbuster of a survey, grounded, to a remarkable extent for so large a work, in primary sources and also in an evident mastery of the secondary literature. It is a joy to read: lively, vigorous, and...altogether a stylistic gem … [it] offers refreshingly forthright judgments on every major aspect of World War II strategy and policy.' Naval War College Review

Book Description

This major new work is a general history of World War II which takes a global perspective, covering all theatres of war and illuminating their interrelations. Unlike other books on the war, this one is based on the archives – often containing hitherto unknown material - and looks at the war as the global catastrophe it was.

Inside This Book

(Learn More)
First Sentence
When a German warship opened fire on the Polish garrison in the special area reserved for them within the Free City of Gdansk (Danzig)-and German troops and airplanes attacked Poland-a terrible conflict began that was quickly called "The Second World War." Read the first page
Explore More
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 5 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Dec. 1997
Format: Hardcover
Gerhard Weinberg's A World at Arms is a must possession for every World War 2 buff. Even as a reference work never read continuously its beautifully complete index will page you in on every significant event in a conflict that Weinberg sees and treats as a storm that enveloped every country in the world; even Uruguay and Mexico are indexed.
After I had begun the book, some confusion that arose from viewing a documentary about the battle of Leyte Gulf was promptly cleared up by reading Weinberg's account with the relevant maps. I have been waiting for this book for a long time and recommend it highly for those readers whose sophistication about these events demands references when they read that Douglas McArthur received a great deal of money from Filipino President Manuel Quezon when they departed for safety on 11 March 1942. This is not a book for those who want a quickly readable survey of American involvement in the conflict.
Details is what this book is about--stupendously documented details, mainly to do with shifting alliances within the Axis and Allied responses; there are, for example, eight indexed references to Sir John Dill, the man who more than any other was responsible for smoothing out the prickles in the Anglo-American alliance. Details, however, do not always make for easy reading. An academic historian whose expertise stems from his intimate knowledge of the relevant documentary archives, Weinberg writes academic prose. Few of his sentences would pass the Fleischman criteria for readibility. Even a reader used to this kind of prose will find that one sentence in ten requires re-reading. And sometimes we wish that the author had chosen a different way of putting his point.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John Ferngrove TOP 500 REVIEWER on 31 Oct. 2008
Format: Hardcover
I came to this book having read superficially about various aspects of WWII, which are staples to the British persepective, and which I have since come to see as semi-mythological. Battle of Britain, D-Day, El-Alemain, etc.

This book went on to provide me with the foundational big picture of the war, giving me the top-level of full political and strategic detail. Details of which I had no idea before, like the allegiances and fortunes of the various eastern European states, wider aspects of the colonial struggle in Africa, America's commitment to the struggle in China, the intricacies of the Pacific theatre and so on.

When I came to the end it included the realisation of what a relatively minor, if critical, role Britain had played and how provincially anglocentric my previous perceptions had been. I also came to appreciate that Britain's sufferings were relatively minor too.

I have watched the BBC's excellent The World At War - Complete TV Series (11 Disc Box Set) both before and after reading this book. I realised in the latter viewing to what extent my eyes had glazed over with relative incomprehension at the parts outside the standard British mythology, in my earlier viewing. Having read this book I was able to appreciate the extent to which the TV series was trying to educate us to the bigger picture. However the big picture provided by this book is to a much greater level of detail than that provided by the TV series.

I actually read this book twice, in farly rapid succession, to further nail down this foundation of my understanding. I would guess this would be about 10 years ago.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bert Ruiz on 13 Jun. 2004
Format: Paperback
"A World At Arms: A Global History of World War II," is a historical masterpiece. Hats off to Author Gerjard L. Weinberg for maintaining a high degree of objectivity and not waving any partisan flags. All serious students of World War II "must" study this comprehensive work. To this end, the preface, body, conclusion, notes, maps and index are outstanding.
This heavy-weight Cambridge Univeristy Press book (1,178 pages) belongs in every library. Moreover, the author must be commended for starting this book when his wife (who urged him to continue) was already fighting cancer. A battle she eventually lost. Weinberg brings a compelling focus to World War II that few historians can match (particularly with the German/Soviet Union confrontation)...I for one am grateful for his dedication.
I first read this book nearly ten years ago...and now realize just how great this man's vision extends. Weinberg is truly a remarkable historian. Highly recommended for those who want the truth about World War II.
Bert Ruiz
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Pj Williams VINE VOICE on 13 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback
brilliant book that you should have to hand for overview reading. brilliantly written and accessible. highly recommend but this is no small book as you would expect
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Jun. 1998
Format: Hardcover
A World at Arms is the best single-volume history of WWII I've read. The book's strengths are in analyzing the global strategy (or lack thereof) of the various participants and the interrelationship of various theaters. Weinberg does a great job of weaving developments on obscure fronts (Finland, Sub-Saharan Africa, India) and the behavior of neutrals (Sweden, Turkey, Portugal) into the general narrative. He is particularly good on Soviet-Japanese relations and his use of Japanese diplomatic sources commenting on the war in Europe is fascinating.
In general the tone is dispassionate, although there are occasional flashes of well-deserved scorn for the Axis and their apologists. Once Weinberg has made such a point, however, he often can't resist making it again and again. For example, he repeatedly derides the supposed "success" of Germany's aerial rearmament in the 1930s, by pointing out that Germany was eventually bombed to bits--a marginal argument and not one that needs to be repeated in each summary of developments in the air war.
The book sticks mostly to grand strategy and doesn't try to recreate the experience of the war, either on the battlefield or the home front. It also eschews biographical sketches of the major figures, perhaps assuming that they are already sufficiently familiar. Use of memorable quotations (such as Churchill's matchless oratory) would have lent more color and spark to the narrative.
My biggest quibble with the book is maps. The publisher has generally produced a very handsome volume, but the maps are tucked into the back rather than interspersed with the text. Moreover, they are few in number, difficult to read, and lacking in detail.
Nevertheless, the book is an excellent introduction to the subject as well as a valuable synthesis of recent research.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again