The Storm of War
A New History of the Second World War
By Andrew Roberts
(Harper, Hardcover, 9780061228599, 768pp.)
Publication Date: June 2011
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From "Britain's finest military historian" (The Economist) comes a magisterial new history of World War II and the flawed axis strategy that led to their defeat.
The Second World War lasted for 2,174 days, cost $1.5 trillion, and claimed the lives of more than 50 million people. What were the factors that affected the war's outcome? Why did the Axis lose? And could they, with a different strategy, have won? Andrew Roberts's acclaimed new history has been hailed as the finest single-volume account of this epic con?ict. From the western front to North Africa, from the Baltic to the Far East, he tells the story of the warthe grand strategy and the individual experience, the cruelty and the heroismas never before.
In researching this magnificently vivid history, Roberts walked many of the key battlefields and wartime sites in Russia, France, Italy, Germany, and the Far East, and drew on a number of never-before-published documents, such as a letter from Hitler's director of military operations explaining the reasoning behind the FÜhrer's order to halt the Panzers outside Dunkirka delay that enabled British forces to evacuate. Roberts illuminates the principal actors on both sides and analyzes how they reached critical decisions. He also presents the tales of many little-known individuals whose experiences form a panoply of the extraordinary courage and self-sacrifice, as well as the terrible depravity and cruelty, of the Second World War.
Meticulously researched and masterfully written, The Storm of War gives a dramatic account of this momentous event and shows in remarkable detail why the war took the course it did.
Andrew Roberts is the author of Masters and Commanders and A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900. His other books include Napoleon and Wellington, Eminent Churchillians, and Salisbury, which won the Wolfson History Prize. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he holds a PhD in history from Cambridge University and writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and The Daily Beast. He lives in New York City.
“Gripping. . . . splendid history. A brilliantly clear and accessible account of the war in all its theaters. Roberts’s prose is unerringly precise and strikingly vivid. It is hard to imagine a better-told military history of World War II.”
-Timothy Snyder, The New York Times Book Review
“Elegantly balances fact, thought and fresh, clear prose. . . . Roberts has set a high bar for future historians of mankind’s greatest bloodbath; Roberts splendidly weaves a human tragedy into a story of war’s remorseless statistics.”
-The Wall Street Journal
“With his new book on the Second World War, British historian Andrew Roberts has not only written the single best history of that conflict but has also claimed his place as one of our top historians.”
-Michael Korda, The Daily Beast
“A magnificent book;It manages to be distinctive but not eccentric, comprehensive in scope but not cramped by detail, giving due weight both to the extraordinary personalities and to the blind economic and physical forces involved.”
“Roberts’s narrative gifts are such that it is almost impossible to read his retelling of these nightmares without some feeling of encountering the new. No history book can ever truly be definitive, but this comes close. Roberts never loses sight of the human side of this epic.”
“Roberts is a great historian because of a rare triune mastery: of the movement of history, in both its broad sweep and particular revelatory detail; a felicitous prose style and gift for narrative; and a commanding moral vision.”
-Roger Kimball, The Daily
“Andrew Roberts achieves a marvel of concision in producing a splendidly written, comprehensive new history of the greatest conflict in history, The Storm of War—particularly good in its insights into Axis strategy.”
-Sir Ian Kershaw, The Guardian, Books of the Year
“In what might be his best book yet, Roberts gives us the war as seen from the other side of the hill. He has the knack of making complex military operations comprehensible and salting the grand strategic sweep with vignettes of how it felt to be a soldier.”
-Nigel Jones, The Sunday Telegraph
“Roberts is a first-rate historian. He has a sharp eye for a good subject and a knack of getting to its heart. The second world war, which cost more than 50 million lives, has a perennial fascination that Roberts conveys through an admirably lucid narrative.”
-Piers Brendon, The Sunday Times
“In one irresistibly readable book, Roberts has done what I thought was impossible--given us the whole bloody second world war from the brass buttons of the generals down to the mud-filled trenches and stretching across the globe.”
-Tina Brown, Newsweek
“The best full history of World War II yet written.”
-Simon Sebag Montefiore, The Wall Street Journal