The Penguin History of the Second World War Paperback – 2 Sep 1999
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"Combines elegance of style with mastery of the subject....It retains its preeminent position." --Lawrence Freedman, Sunday Times (London) "A key work." --Financial Times
From the Author
Widely acclaimed as the best one-volume history of the war:
This volume, previously published by Viking in a hardcover edition and by Penguin in paperback as Total War: The Causes and Courses of the Second World War, has now been accorded the highest seal of recommendation available to its publishers who have relaunched it as their flagship Penguin History of the Second World War. The new edition, which like its 1995 reprint unobtrusively improves upon the extraordinarily well-received 2nd edition published in 1989, is a far cry from the 1st edition published as long ago as 1972 (which in its day was widely regarded as the finest single-volume history of the Second World War). The changes to the half of the volume devoted to the war against Germany and Italy are subtle but significant. The changes to the second half of the volume which concerns the war against Japan are far more sweeping and amount to a radical re-interpretation of the war and its context. Fortunately, the critical acclaim which accompanied the appearance of the 1989 and 1995 editions has proven that the transformation was entirely successful, and both the authors and the publishers look forward to its continued success as it meets the needs of a wide readership in the Twenty-First Century.
Here's what professional historians have said about the book: * "It combines elegance of style with mastery of the subject.... [I]t retains its pre-eminent position.... This massive investigation into the causes & courses of the Second World War has been extensively revised... an impressive level of detail." The Sunday Times
* "Few written records deserve, like Gibbons Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, to rank for generations to come as the authoritative work on decisive events in world history. This is fairly certain the category in which Total War belongs." H.M. Consuls List
* "Of the large number of general histories published in the past two decades, Total War... has been the best single-volume account of the conflict since it first appeared in 1972. The new edition enhances its reputation.... Not the least of this splendid volume's merits is its comprehensive and moving account of the terrible costs of the war in material destruction and suffering." Brian Bond & Michael Dockrill, British Book News
* "If you want a really sound history of the conflict from origins to denouement, then be grateful.... Its fluency and clarity are even more unusual than the separate treatment of western and eastern theatres, which gives a satisfying feeling of getting two hefty books for the price of one." Dat Van Der Vat, The Guardian
* "For the student, eager to understand better what led to the war, how it was fought and ended, and what happened afterward, Total War can be well recommended." Alan Brown, Morning Star
* "Still longer, and still finer, Total War promises to be much the best of all the books that salute a great wars anniversaries." The Economist
* Total War "is especially strong on Asia and the Pacific.... The result is a riveting and challenging analysis which is sure to stand the test of time." Hatchards Guide to the Best Books on World War Two
* "The new revised edition of Total War remains such a crucial account. The book has been brought up to date in the light of the latest research." The contribution made "an impressive young historian, John Pritchard" is especially noteworthy: "Few of the original chapters by the late Guy Wint remain untouched. Pritchard has added a whole new dimension to our understanding of the Japanese internal situation and the international environment in which its leaders operated." Moreover, "Drawing upon his extensive knowledge of the Japanese war trial records and his own work in the archives, Pritchard takes a highly original view of British policy towards Japan in 1939 and a strong revisionist line on 1941.... This remains a key work." Zara Steiner, Financial Times
* "A book that merits exhaustive study, and will almost certainly become a collectors item... [Total War] will surely become the definitive textbook on total war." The Sunday Independent
* "Its original insights and excellent writing make it outstanding.... a model of compressed clarity.... Indeed, taking almost any subject from the Russo-Finnish War to the V bombs, one finds a similarly clear, concise discussion.... Pritchard shares with the late Louis Allen that ability, rare in British writers, to convey a feel for Japanese motivation and thinking." E.D. Doyle, The Irish Times
* "If only one book were to be chosen on World War II history, this would be tops in line for the nomination: it is exhaustive yet personal; technical in its research, yet involving in its presentation. The new, expanded edition offers insights beyond the original publication and should be considered a standard reference work for any history collection." Diane Donovan, The Midwest Book Review
* "more sophisticated, and has been much strengthened by use of doucmentary material not previously available" Robert Key, The Observer
* "Excellent." Dr. David Reynolds, The Independent Observer
* "Immense tome... to which students or writers of military history can refer" Field Marshal Lord Carver, The Times Literary Supplement
* "The wartime term "blockbuster is one which could well fit this particular volume, running as it does to no less than 1,315 pages... The second revised edition illustrates how much fresh documentary material and expansive memoir publication coupled with the passage of time can enrich judgments and qualify evaluations.... This volume, at first intimidating, is enlivened by a fluent narrative style and illuminating, pointed pen portraits of ... the commanding personalities of wartime leadership.... Books will proliferate, but for those who wish to grasp what "total war" meant... this is an innocuous but penetrating blockbuster, well worth the price. Even more important, it is a book well worth pondering at length." John Erickson, The ScotsmanSupplement
* "A book that merits exhaustive study, and will almost certainly become a collectors item... It will surely become the definitive textbook on total war." The Sunday IndependentSee all Product Description
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
I've only read the first part so far - the European theatre - but I feel already I've learnt a lot more about the how and why of it all, and now have a jumping-off point for reading around particular events or campaigns. I'm taking a breather for a couple of weeks now before I start the 700 odd pages on the Pacific campaign.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have just finished reading this superb one-volume history of WWII. It is excellently written, thoroughly researched, balanced, analytical and complete. Read morePublished on 5 July 2011 by Arjun Sen
This volume is really two distinct books in a single cover, the first devoted to the War in Europe, the second to that of the Pacific. Read morePublished on 25 Jun. 2010 by John Ferngrove