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The Battle for History: Re-fighting World War II

3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  138 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Although 50 years have passed since the end of World War II, there has as yet been no definitive history of that conflict. Existing histories have raised as many questions as they answer: Did Roosevelt have foreknowledge of the attack on Pearl Harbour? Could the Allies have invaded France before 1944? Might bombing the Auschwitz railway have impeded the course of the Holoc ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published March 6th 1997 by Pimlico (first published May 6th 1995)
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Kris McCracken
Aug 09, 2013 Kris McCracken rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
The Battle for History: Re-fighting World War II, essentially an extended literature review on the subject by British military historian John Keegan. Give that well over half a century has passed since the end of World War II; it strikes many as surprising that historians are still struggling to define it. I’m not sure why people are all that surprised, given the infinite angles and interpretations that can be applied to the events of the period (especially when one considers the ways in which t ...more
Feb 14, 2012 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: second-world-war
Little more then an extended biographical essay which documents books which Keegan "has found an indispensable guide to the war's drama and tragedy." It is none the less an interesting collection. I'm sure everyone who reads it will find room for disagreement with the books listed. I disagree with Keegan's inclusion of Ambrose's Eisenhower biography, however that's based in recent revelations regarding Ambrose's plagiarism and the possibility that he did not conduct all the interviews with Ike t ...more
Eric Pecile
Sep 21, 2015 Eric Pecile rated it it was amazing
Very well put together historiography of the Second World War. Covers the history of scholarship very well outlining the different perspectives and revisions that have occurred in the field since the 1950s. It also highlights some of the unanswered historical questions that the field has yet to address making Keegan's scholarly overview the perfect companion for anyone looking to delve into the history of WWII.
Apr 12, 2016 Seth rated it really liked it
An excellent but short book. Keegan's work here is more appropriate to be broken down into articles for a periodical publication. Nonetheless, I found it contributed to the historiography of WWII.
Some interesting information here on other books to read about World War Two. The controversially natures were mostly finished after chapter one.
Nov 02, 2010 Dr. rated it liked it
Shelves: world-war-2
If you have read alot of WW2 history or are wanting to know what is out there and worth reading this book can be a great reference point. Keegan as always has tons of great analysis of events included along the way and it makes for a quick read.

Unfortunately I had only read a few of the books that he discusses so I couldn't know whether I agreed with his reviews or not. I was taken back by his mostly negative view of Martin Gilbert's complete history of WW2 because overall I found it to be bett
An interesting survey of a few controversial issues surrounding WWII scholarship, plus a list of recommendations for further reading. Keegan's insight is always invaluable, and that is why this book is far too short. I do wish that he had made it at least ten times longer anc covered many more topics and controversied with more extensive commentary. In other words, a quick read that I wish weren't so quick.
What a fantastically obscure book! A 125 page survey of the historical literature on World War Two, according to John Keegan. Loved it :)
Tom Kurtz
May 10, 2015 Tom Kurtz rated it really liked it
Shelves: wwii, sc, keep
Very helpful bibliographic essay. Great way to build a reading list. Now somewhat outdated.
Apr 12, 2011 Vivian rated it it was ok
Misleading title. This book is a large, though useful looking, bibliography of WWII books.
Alex Robinson
Dec 15, 2011 Alex Robinson rated it liked it
Shelves: history
A curious book about the history of books about WWII, not the war itself.
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Sir John Desmond Patrick Keegan OBE was a British military historian, lecturer and journalist. He published many works on the nature of combat between the 14th and 21st centuries concerning land, air, maritime and intelligence warfare as well as the psychology of battle.

More about John Keegan...

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