A pacy, compelling and penetrating account from Wolfson Prize-winning author Norman Stone, that shows World War Two in a fresh new light
The Second World War is the nightmare that sits at the heart of the modern era - a total refutation of any notion of human progress and a conflict which still haunts us seventy years on.
Norman Stone's gripping new book aims to tell the narrative of the war in as brief a compass as possible, making a sometimes familiar story utterly fresh and arresting. As with his highly acclaimed World War One: A Short History, there is a compelling sense of a terrible story unfolding, of a sceptical and humorous intelligence at work, and a wish to convey to an audience who may well have no memory of the conflict just how high the stakes were.
This is a beautifully written, clever and imaginative attempt to convey what can almost not be conveyed.
About the author:
Norman Stone is one of Britain's greatest historians. His major works include The Eastern Front, 1914-1917 (winner of the Wolfson Prize and published by Penguin), Europe Transformed and The Atlantic and Its Enemies (published by Penguin). He has taught at the universities of Cambridge, Oxford and Bilkent, where he is now Director of the Turkish-Russian Centre. He lives in Ankara.
'Professor Norman Stone has achieved the impossible; he has somehow written a comprehensive history of the Second World War in just under 200 pages, summarising the entire conflict while leaving out nothing of importance and bringing his lifetime of study of the subject to bear in a witty, incisive and immensely readable way ... Norman Stone has proved yet again that he is one of the most original, witty and powerful British historians writing today' Andrew Roberts, Standpoint
'The joy and strength of this compact history, besides its trenchancy and, in the publishers' words, the "sceptical and humorous intelligence at work", is its narrative clarity ... a book to clear the mind after the grand tour of the big volumes' Allan Mallinson, The Times
'Novices will receive a painless introduction, but educated readers should not pass up the highly opinionated prologue and epilogue and the author's trademark acerbic commentary throughout ... Readers of all stripes ... will find plenty to ponder' Kirkus Reviews