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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Especially Compelling Read!, 11 Sep 2010
By 
Andrew McCann (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
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'The World At War' television series, which was produced in the 1970s is remembered by all who saw it as the definitive documentary about World War 2. Its prime focus was on eye-witness interviews with people involved at all levels and from different viewpoints supported by filmed war footage. Many hundreds of hours of interviews were recorded, but only a small percentage ever reached the screen.

For thirty years or so, no-one was allowed to publish the full transcripts, until Richard Holmes was granted access to them for this book. Consequently, he has successfully arranged the interviews into coherent chapters linked together by his superb narrative style.

The range of interviews, which allow readers to empathize with those involved, would provide a perfect reason for purchasing this book. In addition, it provides a greater understanding about how important decisions were made at an international level, in relation to the personalities and circumstances of those involved.

However the fact that no-one was allowed to publish the full transcripts previously makes 'The World at War' an especially compelling read and I found myself thinking about what might have proved sensitive information in the nineteen seventies and why there was a need to prevent publication until now......Well worth the read!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 29 Jan 2008
By 
DavyA (Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The World at War: The Landmark Oral History from the Previously Unpublished Archives (Hardcover)
A marvellous collection of interviews from the archives of the frankly superb "The World At War" television series.
The interviewees range from the civilian to the military & the victors to the defeated but all had their lives indelibly marked by the Second World War.
This is a hefty volume of thirty five chapters covering not only the major campaigns & battles such as Barbarossa, the Battle Of Britain & North Africa but also recounts the witness testimonies of those affected by the Holocaust & also examines Japanese Militarism, Winston Churchill & a large number of other topics which were so well covered in the television programme.
This is an excellent collection of the testimonies of those who saw it all happen - a superb oral history.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The World at War, told by those who were there, 21 Dec 2010
By 
John Middleton (Brisbane, QLD, AUST) - See all my reviews
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The World at War is a lot more than the book of a 1970's TV series. Back then, The World at War was groundbreaking TV, epic in every sense. This book is a collection of much of the raw material that did not see the light of day back then, plus the best of the TV series, all assembled and introduced by Richard Holmes. It is a significant work on WWII, and as much a significant work on the Cold War in Europe.

The book is a series of recollections in oral interview by statesmen, politicans, admirals, generals, soldiers of all ranks, and civilians. Due to the Cold War, there is very little from the Soviet side, and accordingly little coverage of the Eastern front at all. This is very much the World at War, from the Western point of view. There are former Nazis, a ex-British PM, the Japanese Lord Privy Seal, and a few "Western" officials who were spies for Sovet Russia. The result is generally high level, with the occasional swoop in to a particular battle or event. It is superb in conveying the "feel" of the second world war without becoming bogged down in detail.

The section on the Holocaust is of course chilling.

The book does not end on V-J Day, but considers - or rather features interviews considering - the end of WWII in Europe, Poland, and the Iron Curtain. This is as valuable a short study on the Cold War as you can find in an accessable text, and Holmes considers that really the Cold War was a continuation of sorts of WWII, and that the roots of that conflict can be traced back to 1848 or even earlier.

Provocative and thoughtful, heartening and saddening, this is a truly excellent work of history - and the knowledge that those original TV Archives may now be opened to other researchers offers hope that perhaps some lessons of history may not be forgotten.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The late Professor Richard Holmes was a excellent author and anyone wanting to learn and understand about ..., 14 Aug 2014
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This review is from: The World at War: The Landmark Oral History from the Previously Unpublished Archives (Hardcover)
The late Professor Richard Holmes was a excellent author and anyone wanting to learn and understand about the military should read his books. Especially the books on the First World War, Tommie, On the Western Front and War Walks. He writes clearly and his books are easy to read and enjoy. Sadly missed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Such a great read!, 3 Feb 2014
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Don (Dorset, UK) - See all my reviews
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If you read, and enjoyed the original TV series, you'll love this! Taken from transcripts and videos of interviews, many that didn't make it into the TV series, then woven together by the late great Richard Holmes. You must by buy it!
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