Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “History of the Second World War, the Penguin” as Want to Read:
History of the Second World War, the Penguin
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

History of the Second World War, the Penguin

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  47 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Originally published under the title Total War, this acclaimed analysis of the causes and courses of World War II has stood the tests of time and criticism. The first part deals with the war in the West, and the second covers the war in the Pacific Theatre. The three highly regarded authors of this classic resource create a fluid narrative that provides vivid portraits of...more
Paperback, 1344 pages
Published March 1st 2001 by Penguin Books (first published January 1st 1972)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about History of the Second World War, the Penguin, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about History of the Second World War, the Penguin

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 91)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Every world citizen should read this book. It will tell you the whole story of WWII in reasonable detail, and also indirectly tell you how to help the world avoid war! That last point is the important one!
The division into two parts, each with different authors, covering the European/Atlantic and Far Eastern/Pacific wars works well I think. It allows for different perspectives within the one volume and for a high level of expertise to be maintained over a very wide field - too wide for a single author.

I'm about half way through the Japanese section at the moment and its helpful to see how separate the origins and development of the Pacific war were. In retrospect it seems to be only the equal inv...more
While clearly well researched, the book suffers from its organization into discrete topics. While this is probably very useful for someone who wishes to find out more about a specific topic like, say, the Resistance to Nazi occupation, and can just read the chapter devoted to that topic, it makes it hard to read the book as a book as there is no coherent timeline. Each chapter starts at its own beginning and ends with the conclusion of the war or that particular topic so that with every new chap...more
Mark Singer
If you have to read only one comprehensive history of the Second World War, this is it! The book is divided into two separate parts; the first is on the war in Europe and the second on the war in Asia.
I enjoyed the full book, especially the second half as it put the Pacific War into perspective as a continuation of the Japan-China conflict which started in the late 19th century. Let's put it this way: there are 300 pages on the Sino-Japanese conflict before the attack on Pearl Harbor!
Khairul H.
Chronicles WWII in one massive tome and not just the European side of the war which is what most WWII books cover but the the Pacific theater as well. Is this book a suitable start for someone who wants to learn about the war? Probably not. Because it had to cover the entirety of the war, the book doesn't go too much into details. This is more suitable for someone who already knows the general history of the conflict but needs a refresher course.
Originally published under the title 'Total War', this book is a 1000 page plus, thoroughly exhaustive account of WWII. While going into great detail, it reads more like a text book than a non-fiction text and lacks the 'human' element. Personally, I prefer the works of writers such as Stephen E. Ambrose and Antony Beevor, who write more from the soldiers perspective. Recommended for diehards only.
Perry Gershon
Perry Gershon marked it as to-read
Sep 11, 2014
Massimiliano marked it as to-read
Aug 29, 2014
NIRAJ AGARWALLA marked it as to-read
Aug 17, 2014
Brian Chemel
Brian Chemel marked it as to-read
Jul 25, 2014
Jesse Luke
Jesse Luke marked it as to-read
May 04, 2014
Ivor marked it as to-read
Mar 14, 2014
Mike Joseph
Mike Joseph marked it as to-read
Mar 08, 2014
Christopher marked it as to-read
Feb 20, 2014
Mathias marked it as to-read
Feb 07, 2014
victoria.p marked it as to-read
Feb 07, 2014
Nick Falce
Nick Falce is currently reading it
Jan 23, 2014
David A
David A marked it as to-read
Dec 10, 2013
Luke added it
Dec 07, 2013
Ahmed Rashwan
Ahmed Rashwan is currently reading it
Jun 10, 2014
Kram marked it as to-read
Sep 26, 2013
Stef marked it as to-read
Aug 20, 2013
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
World Politics Since 1945 Total War 2VOL World Politics, 1945 - 2000 Top Secret Ultra Total War: Causes and Courses of the Second World War

Share This Book