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The best book I have read on WW2
on 8 May 2010
I have a lot of books on WW2 - approaching one thousand as a conservative estimate. However, this is currently occupying number one place in my library - it is that good.
Burleigh manages to merge the readability of Niall Ferguson with the cool, calm analysis of Robert Kershaw or John Keegan in his prime. Although the subject matter has been covered before, Mr Burleigh adds the crucial moral debate to all aspects of the war - from the RAF bombing campaign, through to the Holocaust (not that the two should be linked morally together). What I found fascinating, in reading this military/political history, was that Burleigh's arguments come from a right of centre perspective; for instance, he rightly asks the question why the Soviets have not been blamed for bombing the railway lines to Auschwitz - given that they were far more easily reached via the Ilyushin Sturmoviks than the hordes of RAF Lancasters. A question completely ignored by the media in this country (and in Russia).
Frequently the author goes off on tangents, giving the book a fresh feel and adding the human dimension amid all the suffering so eloquently described. In short this is a book that anyone with an interest in history will enjoy. Mr Burleigh, I take my hat off to you for your work of genius.