The World at War: The Landmark Oral History from the Previously Unpublished Archives Hardcover – 4 Oct 2007
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"The World at War was one of the greatest television series of all time...it is tremendously exciting that the complete interviews are now published here for the first time" -- Laurence Rees
A unique oral history: the never-before-published interviews of the landmark TV series --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
For thirty years or so, no-one was allowed to publish the full transcripts, until Richard Holmes was granted access to them for this book. Consequently, he has successfully arranged the interviews into coherent chapters linked together by his superb narrative style.
The range of interviews, which allow readers to empathize with those involved, would provide a perfect reason for purchasing this book. In addition, it provides a greater understanding about how important decisions were made at an international level, in relation to the personalities and circumstances of those involved.
However the fact that no-one was allowed to publish the full transcripts previously makes 'The World at War' an especially compelling read and I found myself thinking about what might have proved sensitive information in the nineteen seventies and why there was a need to prevent publication until now......Well worth the read!
The interviewees range from the civilian to the military & the victors to the defeated but all had their lives indelibly marked by the Second World War.
This is a hefty volume of thirty five chapters covering not only the major campaigns & battles such as Barbarossa, the Battle Of Britain & North Africa but also recounts the witness testimonies of those affected by the Holocaust & also examines Japanese Militarism, Winston Churchill & a large number of other topics which were so well covered in the television programme.
This is an excellent collection of the testimonies of those who saw it all happen - a superb oral history.
The book is a series of recollections in oral interview by statesmen, politicans, admirals, generals, soldiers of all ranks, and civilians. Due to the Cold War, there is very little from the Soviet side, and accordingly little coverage of the Eastern front at all. This is very much the World at War, from the Western point of view. There are former Nazis, a ex-British PM, the Japanese Lord Privy Seal, and a few "Western" officials who were spies for Sovet Russia. The result is generally high level, with the occasional swoop in to a particular battle or event. It is superb in conveying the "feel" of the second world war without becoming bogged down in detail.
The section on the Holocaust is of course chilling.
The book does not end on V-J Day, but considers - or rather features interviews considering - the end of WWII in Europe, Poland, and the Iron Curtain. This is as valuable a short study on the Cold War as you can find in an accessable text, and Holmes considers that really the Cold War was a continuation of sorts of WWII, and that the roots of that conflict can be traced back to 1848 or even earlier.
Provocative and thoughtful, heartening and saddening, this is a truly excellent work of history - and the knowledge that those original TV Archives may now be opened to other researchers offers hope that perhaps some lessons of history may not be forgotten.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A fascinating and frightening documentation of the War. Read it!Published 15 months ago by Jennifer
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