Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now Shop now
Customer Review

50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If only history was taught like this in school..., 3 May 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Italy's Sorrow: A Year of War 1944-45 (Hardcover)
James Holland's generosity of spirit and indefatiguable labour has created one of the best general histories I've read recently--and there's a lot of stiff competition about. As well as using written sources, Holland personally interviewed survivors from all sides of the conflict; Germans, Poles, Canadians, Britons, Americans, Italian partisans and fascists. These accounts give a vivid picture of the heroism and brutality of war, and instil a sense of sympathy for (almost) all of the participants. Their stories are skillfully blended into the larger narrative, which explains what happened, and why the major players (Alexander, Mark Clark, Kesselring, Churchill, Roosevelt, Mussolini, etc) made crucial decisions. Holland is immenently fair-minded; the controversy surrounding Clark's dash for Rome (in defiance of Alexander's orders) is explained from all sides of the question.

Comparing this book with the banal materials presented in England's National Curriculum, one could almost be forgiven for thinking that our educators don't want our children to understand the past. If books like these--which don't require a vast amount of background knowledge--were used in our high schools, pupils would be queuing up to study history. For all that this is accessible to the non-specialist, there's nothing superficial about it. Certainly one of its most attractive features is the sympathy Holland shows to his cast of characters--a welcome relief from the sneering debunking that has been fashionable ever since Lytton Strachey first picked up his pen.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]


Review Details