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La Segunda Guerra Mundial

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  7,062 ratings  ·  554 reviews
La segunda guerra mundial constituye la culminación de toda una carrera dedicada a la investigación y la narración históricas. Armado con la erudición más actualizada, apoyándose en un descomunal trabajo de investigación en el que siguen prevaleciendo las cartas y los diarios de los combatientes, y desplegando sus asombrosos recursos narrativos -que le permiten casar los g ...more
Hardcover, 1, 1200 pages
Published September 17th 2012 by PASADO Y PRESENTE (first published June 5th 2012)
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Loring Wirbel
Mar 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Single-volume chronologies of WW2 seem to be all the rage of late, and this book must compete with such works as Max Hastings' "Inferno" and Gerhard Weinberg's "World at Arms." Unlike the two mentioned, which take a particular unique vertical slice, Beevor just tries to tell a decade-long story about two theaters of war, and do it competently. In that he succeeds, for the most part.

While the writing is not the breathtaking sort often reached for by the likes of Weinberg, it is readable and enjoy
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hard to give this anything other than 5 stars. Being an absolute novice on the subject, I found this book fascinating, horrifying, edifying, and generally mind-blowing. For anyone worried it will be too dry, it is roughly 25% politics and military strategy, and 75% excerpts from countless first-hand accounts by soldiers, civilians, leaders, and poets. For example:

"I saw a woman who's dress and hair had just caught fire, she was trying to run from the inferno but the tarmac had melted and her fee
Sep 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"This was the murder of everyday traditions that grandfathers passed to their grandchildren, this was the murder of memories, of a mournful song, folk poetry, of life, happy and bitter, this was the destruction of hearths and cemeteries, this was the death of a nation which had been living side by side with Ukrainians over hundreds of years."

- Vasily Grossman on the Holocaust in the Ukraine

Warning: This review contains facts of the Second World War that some readers may find disturbing. Reader d
Aug 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will open by writing that I know very little about the Second World War. Well, I KNEW very little about the Second World War. After reading this book I now know a lot more. I'm not sure I'm happier for the knowing.

I did not sit down and read this book through in one sitting. To be honest I've had it for several months and I read it chapter by chapter in between all of the other books I have read this summer. It was too much war for me to take all at once. That does not mean that it was a bad
Nancy Stringer
Every nation experienced and remembers the war in different ways. For the British, French and Poles, it began with the Nazi attack on Poland in September 1939. For Russians, notwithstanding their assaults on Poland, Finland and the Baltic States, the real war started in June 1941 with the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. For Americans, it began with the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. For Japan, however, Pearl Harbor was the continuation of an expansionist military adventure th ...more
E. G.
List of Illustrations
List of Maps

--The Second World War


(The full and extremely extensive notes and bibliography for this book are available in the hardback edition and also on the author's website at: The sources have been omitted from the paperback to make it a more manageable and readable size.)
Jason Fritz
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the acknowledgements to his latest history, The Second World War, Antony Beevor says that he wrote this comprehensive tome on one of the biggest events in human history because he wanted to fill in the gaps to his own knowledge of the topic. But, he says, “above all it is an attempt to understand how the whole complex jigsaw fits together, with the direct and indirect effects of actions and decisions taking place in very different theatres of war.” In this, Beevor succeeds where no other hist ...more
Jim Coughenour
For some crazy reason I bought both Beevor's book on World War II and Max Hasting's Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945 when they were published in the US a couple years ago. While I wouldn't call myself a WW2 buff, my steady interest dates back to the summer of 1976 when I picked up John Lukacs' The Last European War, September 1939/December 1941 in a Georgetown bookstore. Lukacs provides a rich diplomatic history, and the kind of drama underlying the many novels of Alan Furst. Beevor and Hast ...more
Michael Kotsarinis
Concise and with a gripping narrative, it is perfect for anyone wishing to have a complete account of the war. I sincerely believe that it will be considered a reference book on the subject. Totally recommended!
Alan Tomkins-Raney
Incredible. This masterpiece is the definitive history of World War Two. Beevor writes incredibly detailed accounts of all the battles and political maneuvering in lucid prose that never bogs down. He also includes many details that were suppressed by the victors, especially regarding the atrocities perpetrated by the Japanese military, which are generally not as familiar to most of us as the Nazis' atrocities, but were often even more shocking, if not quite as numerous in scope. The evil madnes ...more
Czarny Pies
May 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in WWII
Recommended to Czarny by: I am a great fan of Antony Beevor
Shelves: european-history
I approached Antony Beevor's World War II with considerable trepidation. Beevor is brilliant at dealing with individual battles or campaigns but had never before attempted synthesis history. His survey of World War II is a resounding success as Beevor demonstrates his strength in this area.

Contrary to tradition which selects the German invasion of Poland in September 1939 as the starting point of WWI, Beevor uses Stalin's decision the previous June to mount a large scale response to Japan's incu
Adam Nevill
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tremendous. Haven't been able to leave this alone over the last fortnight. Finished it last night.
Left me asking the question: how did civilisation survive such a conflict?
Brian Eshleman
Mostly army movement by army movement, blow by blow.

The author might object to being upbraided for putting too many trees in my forest, but I would have liked to have seen more scenes, tension-related examples of the trends he was describing. Failing that, or in addition to it, I would have liked to have gotten a peek into the minds of some of the war's figures.

What the author did do was to describe the mindset of the German people as they gradually edged toward the previously unthinkable and th
Nov 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for:
Shelves: world-war-ii, history
This is a subject where a single battle, a single country or a single person can take up more than one tomes of material. So, I imagine it's extremely hard to fit the whole war in a single book.

Yet Beevor has done it with surprising clarity, completeness and depth. I've read hundreds of books on WWII, and yet I found that there were actually new things to learn from this single-tome volume!

Beevor writes very nicely, with a fluid narrative that keeps the interest up with no let up. He manages to
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
It took me about 9 months to read this book by Antony Beevor. During this time period, I was consumed by the events that took place during 1939-1945 while the world and civilization plunged into uncertainty and fear. Everything that I had learned about the War previously seemed naive in comparison to what actually happened. I will not wax-poetic on exactly why that is, but I will say that I am very thankful I read this. I am left with an immense sense of appreciation at the heroism of the indivi ...more
Ming Wei
My favourite World War 2 book, I like how it covers the war in Aisa furing the 1930's before the outbreak of war in Europe. Really educational ...more
Darran Mclaughlin
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, british, war
I have had the urge to read a good general history of the Second World War for years and finally decided to go for this one as Antony Beevor is highly regarded. This is a good narrative history that provides an accessible general picture of the central historical moment of the last century.
There wasn't much that really struck me as a revelation or an original and revisionist perspective having picked up a lot this history through other reading or documentaries and films, but I suppose you have
Dec 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have always been fascinated with any and all things to do with World War II. From the rise of Hitler, to the bombing of Hiroshima, this is perhaps the richest time in the history of the world. Due to the staggering scale of this time period, most books, both fiction and nonfiction, choose to focus on specific events or characters. In this hugely ambitious work, Antony Beevor attempts to provide a narrative overview of the entire war.

In the book, Beevor effectively introduces the early onsets
Robert Sheard
Mar 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the definitive deep-dive into the history of World War II. Beevor, who fought in the war in Germany, has written an extraordinarily detailed and comprehensive account, extending from the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931 to the end of the war in 1945. As the Washington Post put it, "This is World War II as Tolstoy would have described it–the great and the small."

I don't normally quote from the text in reviews, but Beevor sums up perfectly why, some seven decades after the war, it st
Bevan Lewis
Nov 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Antony Beevor's general history of the Second World War is a momentous achievement. Weighing in at 880 pages it provides a comprehensive, well considered and well written account of a truly momentous set of events in world history. Writing a general history of one of the twentieth century’s ‘Total Wars’ is a formidable task. Although the timeframe for the First and Second World Wars are individually relatively narrow, the geographical breadth and sheer range of events make it difficult to constr ...more
A casual, armchair study of the second world war encompasses many books over many years, indeed, many decades -- it's a slow, layered, mental-edifice-building process -- and no two readers go about it in the same way. Everyone starts and proceeds from different points, and from different cultural backgrounds, with particular biases typically stemming from where one hails. Beevor mentions this latter point near the end of his expansive overview of The Second World War, and it's an important and p ...more
Aug 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the third of three really good comprehensive histories of the second world war to come out in the past two years (along with those by Andrew Roberts and Max Hastings). It is comprehensive and well written. What is most important, however, is how the book tells a coherent story. Any single volume history of the war must leave things out. You can tell this here, since Beevor has published multiple well received volumes on various battles of the war before this one - on such critical battle ...more
Jan 21, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This "definitive history" is both too quick and too slow. I suppose it is my fault for wanting the sweep of the Second World War in one book. He expects a certain background knowledge of military technology that I don't have. What would a glider look like in WWII? Is it really what I'm thinking? Apparently Messerschmitts come in different sizes, but it is left up to you to figure out that some are bombers, or fighters. You have to hope the General's name is ethnically identifiable (and it often ...more
Aniket Dwivedi
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It took me a whole year to finish this book and I'm glad I gave it time to understand and process everything properly. Despite having almost 950 pages, I was not intimidated by this book at all, maybe because Beevor makes the book so easily readable. It is horrifying, fascinating and eye-opening all in one. While many books on history tend to offer a hero and a villain, maybe to make it easier for the reader or due to the writer's own personal views, Beevor refrains from this completely by being ...more
Aug 02, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the third general history of WWII I've read, my first two being Delivered from Evil: The Saga of World War II by Robert Leckie and The Second World War by John Keegan.

Leckie's book was so exceptional that it's hard for any other book on the subject to live up to the standard it set. What makes Leckie's book so great is that it perfectly balances all the aspects of the war into a highly readable narrative.

Leckie devotes an entire chapter to painting a complete biographical portrait of ea
Paul Fulcher
Jan 14, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
A very readable and comprehensive history of the Second World War. Beevor's main focus - and success - is in showing how the various different conflicts across the globe did, in reality, influence each other despite the actually very small practical overlap (for example he finds only one very minor example where German forces assisted Japan).

However, I didn't find this as strong as the works, e.g. on Stalingrad and Berlin, that made Beevor's name. Those books distinguished themselves by focusing
Leo Robertson
Jul 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is great, and it's about the most compact complete story of The Second World War there's going to be, I reckon.

You get a really strong sense of how quickly it all happened, how panicky everyone was and how completely unprepared we must have felt, and how futile it was too. The narrative jumps between grand descriptions of entire battles and snapshots of the lives of individuals given by quotes or other details, but it all the time feels like a very natural progression, which is difficu
Philippe Malzieu
With Beevor, we are not in the history of long times. The presentation is chronological. A modern historian would have chosen a theme, here there is the beginning and the end. And it is very well. It is even reassuring.
We see the history parading us. There is a clinical precision.
There are two aspects which seems important to me. The first one is that it was a world war. We too much tend to think only in Europe and the Pacific. But there was China, the Philippines, Burma... All these bloody epi
Martin Chudik
Jun 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent overview of the entire conflict; the author keeps a good balance between getting bogged down in unnecessary detail and being too general. The descriptions of military operations are interspersed with fascinating vignettes, details and personal stories; the horror of the entire war comes clearly through. The author does not neglect the less-well-know theaters of war; he also frequently focuses on the many moral aspects of the war, such as the bombing of cities (as controversial then ...more
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The front cover of this book proclaims it to be “World War II as Tolstoy would have described it - the great and the small.” This is definitely that book. A comprehensive and thorough overview of ww2 that details the battles, power dynamics, politics, characters, and so much more. This is a complex, tragic, and fascinating time period in our history and this book provided a great overview. After reading this there is so much more I would like to learn. I would like to know more about the key peo ...more
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Antony James Beevor is a British historian who was educated at Winchester College and Sandhurst. He studied under the famous historian of World War II, John Keegan. Beevor is a former officer with the 11th Hussars who served in England and Germany for five years before resigning his commission. He has published several popular histories on the Second World War and the 20th century in general.

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“In Soviet eyes the definition of ‘fascist’ included anyone who did not follow the orders of the Communist Party.” 2 likes
“A quarter of them came from countries overrun by the Nazis as well as from the Dominions: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Rhodesia and South Africa. There were so many Canadians that they formed separate RCAF squadrons, and so later did men from other countries, such as the Poles and French.” 1 likes
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