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293 Reviews
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253 of 259 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does he ever write a bad book?
I must confess I have read all of Mr Hastings past offerings concerning the Second World War, finding him to be consistently informative about the conflict that never ends - in publisher's eyes at least. In many ways a Hastings book is like your favourite grey cardigan, you slip it on, finding its feel both reassuring and comfy i.e you know what you will get. It is the...
Published on 16 Oct 2011 by Bobby Smith

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71 of 79 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars All Hell Let Loose
Generally speaking, Hastings seems to be fairly sound on the broad issues. If I do have doubts, they arise from the treatment of individual incidents of which I already knew a little.

Take the notorious PQ17 convoy to the Soviet Union. Hastings refers to Captain Broome, the commander of the destroyer flotilla. Why doesn't he mention to the subsequent libel...
Published on 27 Dec 2011 by RobertEmlyn


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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazon pay your tax!!!, 4 Dec 2012
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Tom Higham - See all my reviews
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This is a great book. I'd buy it from Amazon but I have a serious problem with them because they don't pay the right tax in the UK. What I'm doing to protest is to write 10 reviews about tax. I want you to do this too. I'm not buying anything from Amazon until they agree to do the right thing and pay taxes in the UK just like I do. Spread the word and boycott Amazon until they pay their fair share on UK profits.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eminently readable, 22 Oct 2011
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I am old enough to have lived through WWII and this narrative brought back many memories, both of the general progress of the conflict and the underpinning personal aspects. A very good read.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Still impressed, but expected more, 1 Feb 2012
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A. Bogdanov (borkino faso) - See all my reviews
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I have read a lot on the subject, and in different languages. I have to say - Hastings seems to me the best author on the subject of WW2 so far. he doesn't hold back, throws punches where they are due. For some time he is the man, until "All hell..."
It is not a bad book by half, but there I spotted some bits of excessive glorification of one side and equally excessive demonization of other...
His story about Battle of Britain is certainly over the top - which is quite understandable. But when in comes to USSR - there is a strange mixture of politicized generalizations and really brutal truth.
I am really at a loss what to say about this book. One one hand it IS well written and very readable. On the other - there are shallow and frankly speaking Beevore'ske parts...
I guess there never will be a book about WW" satisfying all the readers. So - 3 out of 5.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning book!, 26 July 2013
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This review is from: All Hell Let Loose: The World at War 1939-1945 (Kindle Edition)
A 'must read' particularly for those who view Allied (& British in particular) political & military actions during World War 2 through rose tinted spectacles! The incompetence & treachery of the majority of the British military & political establishment, particularly before American intervention, beggars belief & this is tackled brilliantly by Mr Hastings.
A wonderful contribution to a subject that never seems to lose its' appeal, after some 70 years on.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars book, 26 Jun 2013
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I collect books and CDs of all kinds and all subjects. This is a new interest so wanted some appropriate items. Good price and excellent transaction. Would use again.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, 20 Mar 2013
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J. Matthews (UK) - See all my reviews
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Very well informed writing which immerses you the moment you open it. Hard to put down. One to be read over again.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars thanks, 9 Mar 2013
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we all loved this book.
Max Hastings is a most interesting person and it's good reading.
I would recommend this to anyone
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, 9 Mar 2013
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Well documented, well written, even when the matter is complex.
Much more exciting than any crime story, and this book deals with a lot of criminals.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 7 Mar 2013
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Excellent book. Having read several of his previous books I like Max Hastings style. This one covered a very broad subject.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A traditional overview, that could have been much more, 12 Feb 2013
By 
D. Schotman "D.E.B. Schotman" (Dublin, Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This rather orthodox book from one of the world's leading experts on WW2, is by far not as thought provoking as Beevor's counterpart. It is a rather conventional approach that follows down trodden paths, which was not meant to cultivate new ground, but rather to instruct and to offer a more complete overview on one volume. So, Japan is not discussed at all, until after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and not until then Hastings is flipping on and forth between the different war fronts. It is rather focusing on the military side and is giving way to less space to the human suffering of the war. There is some about Leningrad and chapters on the fate of the Jews, but the biggest chunks are all dealing with the fronts, the warfare, and people involved in this. From the soldiers that fought these battles, there are some truly harrowing diary excerpts that do give you an up close feeling of the harrowing brutality that particularly the Russian soldiers and German soldiers were facing once Operation Barbarossa was opened. All in all I thought Beevor's book was better as it gave a much better overview of the scope of the war, how large, what happened at the same time and so forth. Beevor, I think also accidentally was opening a door for the fact that perhaps this war (just as the previous WW) broke out about incidents that did not take place in Europe, but elsewhere in the world, which makes the war in itself merely a follow up, with which I am much more inclined to agree.This is also convincingly argued by D'Agostino in The Rise of Global Powers: International Politics in the Era of the World Wars (2011). Anyway for the ones in search of a good overview, I think Hastings is still a fantastic read. But the book should be read in relation to other authors and I think, it will be useful to read some other books of Hastings, as Armageddon (about the battle of Germany) and Nemesis (about the battle of Japan) to get a better view of the scope and the size of the conflict.
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