22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Brilliant analysis, poor writing, 11 April 2005
This is a brilliant analysis and a must read for anybody interested in the history of Europe in the 20th century. Too bad that the writing leaves to be desired, with poorly structured chapters and, at times, unnecessarily convoluted syntax.
I found it irritating and reader-unfriendly to read, say, 'Hitler and Stalin had three points in common', without enunciating what they were, but launching into the first point with lots of (interesting) asides, going on for -- sometimes -- pages, keeping you wondering what the second point might be, and then springing that upon the reader, who has to figure out that this is indeed the second point referred to many paragraphs ago, and still no sign of what the third point might be.
Also, too often, I read a sentence and didn't understand what it meant. So, I reread it, trying to figure out where the subject, the verb, and the object were, and mentally inserting missing commas and semi-colons. Sometimes that helped and sometimes I had to try again. Mostly that worked but sometimes I just gave up and moved on.
As I said: brilliant content but a good editor could improve its readability -- and get rid of 200 pages in the process.