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The Road to War

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  84 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Without resort to hindsight, this study looks at why the world's greatest powers were at war 60 years ago. It aims to recapture the concerns, anxieties and prejudices of the statesmen of the 30s and the people they led.
Paperback, Revised, 464 pages
Published July 1st 2000 by Penguin Books
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Ken McKinley
Jan 25, 2015 Ken McKinley rated it liked it
The Road to War is an in-depth analysis of the major players of WWII (Great Britain, Germany, United States, Japan, France, Russia, and Italy) during the period from the end of WWI up to Germany's invasion of Poland in 1939. It examines the mood and political thinking of each countries leaders and citizens and how that shaped the path to war. By allowing us to feel the pulse of the times, we're able to understand how complex a situation it really was for the nations leaders. Once again, it ...more
Dec 23, 2010 Ilya rated it really liked it
Shelves: world-war-ii
After World War I, an independent Poland was created. The new nation needed access to the sea in order to carry out international trade; however, the Polish-majority section of the Baltic coast did not have any ports. Therefore, the victors of World War I detached the German-majority port city of Danzig from Germany, and made it a protectorate of the League of Nation, administered by a Swiss historian. Citizens of Danzig wanted to rejoin Germany, as the Poles did not trust the special status of ...more
May 13, 2015 Allen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
This is the best book you will ever read on the "resumption" of the "Thirty Years' War" in 1939. The book devotes one chapter to each of the main nations involved in the order in which they entered the war. By examining the social, economic and political conditions in each, one understands their actions or lack thereof. Introduction (Poland, Danzig and the Polish Corridor) followed by chapters on Germany, Great Britain, France, Italy, Russia, Japan, and United States.

After the Armistice of Nove
Jill Hutchinson
In October, 1939, these were Hitler's words, regarding France and Great Britain.
"Why do they fight, they have nothing to gain? They have no definite objectives. We want nothing from Great Britain or France. I have not a single aspiration in the west. I want England to retain her Empire and her command of the seas unimpaired. But I must have the continent. A new age is dawning in Europe. England's control over the mainland of Europe has had its day. It is over now".

Hitler had believed the the All
Sep 15, 2013 Martin rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, non-comics
Note: This is a review for the 3rd edition


Of course most people have heard of World War I and World War II. But what happened in the 20 years between them? How did WWII really come about? I'd just finished reading Margaret MacMillan's Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World, a book about the peace conference of 1919 in - you guessed it - Paris, France. It was during this conference that the victor countries of World War I decided what to do about Germany and the collapsed Austro-Hungar
Kenneth Barber
Sep 18, 2016 Kenneth Barber rated it really liked it
As the title states this book traces the events between the world wars that led to WWII. The author has a chapter dedicated to the main countries involved in the road to war. These countries are Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Japan, USSR, and the United States. Each country is discussed according to social problems, effects of the depression, foreign policy goals and reactions to the Versailles Treaty. Each country is examined in detail as to how all these issues effected their actions on the ...more
Feb 19, 2016 Dave rated it really liked it
"The Road to War" is an excellent review of what led the world's major powers back into conflict just 20 years after ending what had been called the "war to end all wars." Richard Overy does a solid job of presenting each nation (Germany, Great Britain, France, Italy, the Soviet Union, Japan and the United States) individually, showcasing each country's hopes and fears as the Second World War drew closer. He takes the reader back to the uncertain years of the 1920s and 1930s, and shows how a ...more
This book was written as a companion to a BBC documentary series of the same name and with the intent to challenge the traditional historical view of British and French appeasement as the great shame leading to the onset of World War II. The author refers to the scholarship of A.J.P. Taylor as being the only major work that challenges these scholarly and popular assumptions about the cause of WWII and states his desire to similarly pose a different view of accepted history.

Primary documents of t
Mar 02, 2011 Aives rated it it was ok
Absolutely historically inacurate, starting with the third sentence in the book. The author may be a credible source, however his books lack any credibility at all in terms of historical accuracy. He also frequently sides with German idealisms in the book, saying that WW2 was not the German's fault. Completely a waste of time and effort. The wording is pretty good, however. That is the only reason why it gets a 2.
Oct 22, 2012 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
CompThe authors carefully examine the actual situation facing the nations invloved in the outbreak of WWII, without considering what happened later, since the decision makers in the run-up to war did not have knowledge of the future. Many of the actions that we now consider foolish seemed to be rational at the time. I read the original 1989 edition, but the reader may wish to look at the revised edition, which was published after Soviet and East German archives were made available.
Peter Hammer
Jan 03, 2010 Peter Hammer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Explores each major country's actions and priorities during in the decades leading up to the outbreak of World war 2. We all know what happened next, but here you each chapter is written as if you don't know. Impressive.
Russell rated it it was amazing
Feb 28, 2014
Hannah Smith
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Gordon Miller
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Richard James Overy is a British historian who has published extensively on the history of World War II and the Third Reich.
More about Richard Overy...

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