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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Differentiated history, as always
I would not normally have picked up a book about various colonial conflicts but, as a fan of the author, I bought it and - like his work on terrorism - found it more interesting than I expected. What makes the work engaging is how these numerous conflicts are put in the context of a world in transition from one where the old European empires held sway to one where America...
Published 16 months ago by great game

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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lacks a theme
I bought this book, well because it just seemed so interesting. And some of the actions described are ones that most people are unfamiliar with these days. Teh author has a quirky perspective on a lot of issues and makes reading his accounts enjoyable. Somewhat like Max Boot. However Michael has an irritating habit of making snap judgements about historical figures...
Published 17 months ago by Miran Ali


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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Differentiated history, as always, 10 July 2013
I would not normally have picked up a book about various colonial conflicts but, as a fan of the author, I bought it and - like his work on terrorism - found it more interesting than I expected. What makes the work engaging is how these numerous conflicts are put in the context of a world in transition from one where the old European empires held sway to one where America would have to pick up the slack. The great irony at the heart of the book is that America itself welcomed the liquidation of the old colonial powers initially (how could it not given its own history) but found itself by the late 1960s bogged down in a conflict in Vietnam that it had inherited from those European powers (and while America may have branded itself differently the game it was playing globally was eerily similar to that of the European powers of the nineteenth century).

So the work has broad sweep and is put in the context of trends in global history. At the same time it goes nitty-gritty and engages with the characters that participated and shaped events. The book does not look to put all these conflicts in one bucket but rather identifies how people shaped events and some conflicts turned out better than others.

Nuanced and entertaining, I do hope Michael Burleigh publishes again soon. Given that Burleigh's career-defining topic has been political religion, perhaps he could have a look at the monetary policies of the twentieth century and where they have led us....
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lacks a theme, 5 Jun 2013
By 
Miran Ali "I don't like anonymous reviewers" (Dhaka, Bangladesh) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Small Wars, Far Away Places: The Genesis of the Modern World 1945-65 (Kindle Edition)
I bought this book, well because it just seemed so interesting. And some of the actions described are ones that most people are unfamiliar with these days. Teh author has a quirky perspective on a lot of issues and makes reading his accounts enjoyable. Somewhat like Max Boot. However Michael has an irritating habit of making snap judgements about historical figures without qualifying his statements. While I found the vignettes of the individual conflicts a great read, the book ends abruptly and seemed to lack any overall theme.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Highly Readable, 28 Aug 2014
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Nico (Australia) - See all my reviews
I found this a very readable book. I would agree with other reviewers when they point out that there is nothing particularly new in terms of historical content. However what Burleigh does express well is that individuals create history as much as groups,. In this regard his illumination of the leading and key personalities of the era was insightful. He also has a quirky sense of humour and wit that infuses the book, no better illustrated than in the epilogue.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Skim review of a crucial period in history, 4 Aug 2013
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This book appears to have been hastily written and tries to cover too much with a degree of depth that careers widely from minute details about someone's life to skipping through the background of major conflicts (such as the background to Vietnam). From an historical perspective, Burleigh derails too often and slips into making personal caustic comments on players, which should never belong in a serious historical work - which, frankly, this is not. He draws few conclusions or trends that might be of relevance and the only summary he presents (on page 506, the last page) is laughable. There are some interesting points he makes but this feels very much like the work of someone who has trawled through existing secondary literature that exists in English (or more likely, has some interns do it for him) than being a serious historical work.
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential history, 15 May 2013
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This is yet another excellent work by Michael Burleigh, his own man - and proud of it. The biffing and other politics that went on after the war was quite extensive and horrible and had a big effect on the strategic development of our planet. Assuming Burleigh has been as diligent over his facts as in earlier books this is a great work. (I was slightly put off by his location of Churchill's death, actually Hyde Park Gate, London.) The extent of his scholarship is quite stunning. This is the kind of book which will be on my shelves long after the collectors for the summer fete and jumble sale have banged on the door.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quirky history., 22 May 2013
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K. Waran (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Small Wars, Far Away Places: The Genesis of the Modern World 1945-65 (Kindle Edition)
Not what I expected -- it has an American perspective and while some chapters are very illuminating others are overly preoccupied with the minutiae of US foreign policy.
I wouldn't have bought it had I realised.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, 1 July 2013
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This review is from: Small Wars, Far Away Places: The Genesis of the Modern World 1945-65 (Kindle Edition)
in depth background to all those little and not so little engagements - I was in one or two - explaining why we were there and why we followed orders !
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bit of a bore., 6 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Small Wars, Far Away Places: The Genesis of the Modern World 1945-65 (Kindle Edition)
Michael Burleigh seems to run on a bit some things he writes seem irrelivent not a bad account of midle and far east.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars thank you, 28 Jun 2013
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As I am a lover of history this book is great.. stories behind stories which i love..I can dip into it for stuff when in a history conversation!
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A History of the Formation of The Modern World, 9 May 2013
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A fascinating and well written account of seemingly inconsequential wars that changed the face of the modern world. The depth
of research is impressive. This book is a must for those interested in post war history.
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