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World War II: A Very Short Introduction

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  239 ratings  ·  32 reviews
The enormous loss of life and physical destruction caused by the First World War led people to hope that there would never be another such catastrophe. How then did it come to be that there was a Second World War causing twiceas much loss of life and more destruction than any other previous conflict?
In this Very Short Introduction, Gerhard L. Weinberg provides an introduc
...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published December 1st 2014 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published September 24th 2014)
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Maria Espadinha
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Greatest Conflict in History

How did the Second World War begin?
What changes did it bring about?
Which countries have suffered the most?
What was its impact on people's daily lives?
In addition to the 6 millions of Jews who perished in it, how many more victims did it generate?
..........

Basically, this book deals with the causes and consequences of the greatest conflict that history has ever known!
...more
Darwin8u
Feb 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: vsi, 2019, history, war, nonfiction
"They’re overfed, overpaid, overdressed... and over here."
- Anonymous, quoted in World War II: VSI

description

This is a solid, if bland, 30,000 ft summary of a large, massive, well-examined subject.

I didn't expect much beyond this. It would be difficult to do a 150 page VSI for the Battle of Stalingrad, the African Campaign, or the Battle of Okinawa. So, covering both the European and Pacific theatres, etc., creates a VSI that can't even begin to get beyond the superficial on anything. It is a book, howev
...more
Cav
Feb 10, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a decent short read that I enjoyed. World War II: A Very Short Introduction was a good brief account of the war that shaped the modern world. The book and the writing are understandably dense, given the wide breadth of the material covered.

Author Gerhard Ludwig Weinberg is a German-born American diplomatic and military historian noted for his studies in the history of Nazi Germany and World War II. Weinberg is the William Rand Kenan, Jr. Professor Emeritus of History at the University o
...more
Kiran Brahma
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
A small read that you can do it under 2 hours. You get the gist of the entire war and general idea on what led to what. This series by oxford has been highly appreciated by me as you are able to get the key info on large topics in short duration and then decide to read further or not.

This book was written concise but lacked the charm of few other topics I read in the series. Nonetheless considering the complex topic being addressed, guess you can’t get a better book to read than this
Bob Mobley
Oct 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Gerhard Weinberg’s excellent, well-written, short introduction to the Second World War, covers in a strategic overview the major theaters’ issues, leaders, and strategies that were the heart and core of the Second World War. The book is an excellent starting point for someone interested in pursuing in more specifics, various campaigns and different specific geographic regions of this global conflict. I found of great interest the concise chapter on the innovations and technological developments ...more
Ian McHugh
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
What Weinberg does here is brilliant. He covers all of the major campaigns and battles of the Second World War in less that 150 pages. He includes an excellent bibliography at the end and provides a summary post-war (and pre-war) developments. Being honest, I found the broad sweep of the content difficult to master at first. I think a sense of the outline of the conflict would be enormously beneficial for any reader but as the text progressed and the expansive nature of the geographical coverage ...more
Stacy Bearse
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I'm hooked on these brief histories of big events. Some will argue that it is impossible to describe a world-changing event in 125 pages. But, Weinberg does a credible job of summarizing the aggression of the Axis and the response of the Allies. Those who bask in the glory of war should remember that WWII claimed some 60-million lives, the majority of them civilians. And nuclear weapons were not used until the very end of the conflict. The consequences of WWIII are unimaginable. ...more
Kristopher Cussans
Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was adequate for 144 pages, I think the narrator of the audio book is very good. It does feel like it is listing information however which is my biggest criticism.

I'd recommend this for younger readers daunted by larger books. If you are very interested in WW2 and are not put off by larger books then I'd recommend Anthony Beevor's Second World War and his other books on the subject for a more narrative history.
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Ed Oakley
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
I know more now than I did. The book did it’s job. As my first real introduction to the events of WW2 I now have an understanding, however broad, of the major signposts of the war.

Looking forward to opening up some more WW2 books!
Vikas Datta
Mar 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A very concise but very incisive overview of this watershed conflict...
Nishant Pappireddi
Jul 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was indeed a very short book on WW2, but it was very detailed and informative nonetheless. I learned some new factoids and was reminded of many things about WW2 I had forgotten over the years.
Zach
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
For what it is--a very short introduction to a four-year war that actually took more like 90 years--this is as good as it gets.
Grant
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An excellent introduction and overview of humanity's greatest and worst armed conflict. ...more
Evan
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
There really isn't much to say that hasn't already been said by previous reviewers. A solid introduction and overview of the events of WW2. ...more
Hank Hoeft
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
This slim volume was a pleasant surprise for me. I've read a whole lot of books on World War II in my life, including Gerhard Weinberg's massive and exhaustive A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II, so I almost passed over Gerhard's 136-page Very Small Introduction. But it does a great job of encapsulating in 136 pages what he covered more comprehensively in 1,178 pages. The effect is to get a better overall and immediate sense of the strategic sweep of the entire range and scope of ...more
Another Human
Mar 22, 2021 rated it did not like it
Definitely not a good book, they somehow managed to make it worse than their introduction fo world war 1. which suffered from an acute case of Whitewashing, Black/White -ness now this one is brought to you by the Western gang that pretty much tells the story how UK and US carried the team. Not a single mention of commonwealth deeds and Bengal femine. I know and understand its a short introduction and there is no time to talk about the suffering of men by the hand of the supposedly good guys but ...more
Jason
May 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
People are going to have a problem with a Very Short Introduction book clocking in at 130 pages about World War II. It's too short - WELL, IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE. The author stuck with a political theme and didn't get very far into the military history, and as such was able to make a lot of headway into the Big Picture stuff involving the causes and events of the war - not so much the effects. Author did about as good of a job as he could have - I've read a few books on World War II and I learned s ...more
Mahaliah
Jul 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great overview of WWII in quick-to-read format that gives you the essential information. I found it interesting to learn the scope of the war in the Pacific and Northern Africa. I especially liked Chapter 7 that outlined the changes and developments on the home fronts of many of the countries involved in the war. Some of the sentences in this book were cumbersome, and it could be a bit dry at times. Overall, this is a great read for anyone who knows a bit about the war in Europe but wants to lea ...more
Helfren Filex
Jun 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
The history from the World War II where Hitler made his rampage that caused tension within the Europe as Germany aims to conquer the continents. The chronological order on how the world war II happened is a treasure of history and for the next generation to analyse for the universal global peace.

Inspiring retelling of history.
Brian M
Jan 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Too short. Even though it had it in the tile, there needed to be at least 25 percent more content.
Roger Woods
May 09, 2020 rated it liked it
A brief overview of Word War 2.
Nathan Billington
Jul 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic, short, digestible essay on the Second World War— the author doesn’t glorify war, and keeps it deeply human. I highly recommend this sobering read.
Alex H
Sep 04, 2020 rated it liked it
I read this in one night for my history class. It was fine. Nothing particularly riveting ab the narration but mostly to the point. Wouldn’t read again.
Nigel Bamber
The author manages to pack-in a lot of the temporal and geographical structure of this massive conflict, although this does result in quite a dry read. However as an introductory overview and reference book, I think it achieves it's purpose. ...more
Prabhat
Aug 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Why so terse? Wanted to like the book. But a terse, formal writing mars the scholarly, sweeping narrative. May be I was rushing through a bit. Yet it failed to work for me, given the awesome topic at hand!
✧ mari ✧
Mar 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very nice overview of the events of World War II. Well-structured and well-written, which is honestly all I could ask for.
Sajad Torkamani
Dec 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Does the job I suppose - gives a very short introduction to World War 2!
Brooklyn
Oct 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
Formal writing style made it difficult to follow at times. Overall, a great summary of WWII.
Davíð Isebarn
Apr 17, 2017 rated it liked it
interesting chapters leading up to the war and the last chapters about the effects of the war on different countries, other chapters are difficult to follow
Phi Beta Kappa Authors
Gerhard L. Weinberg
ΦBK, SUNY at Albany, 1975
Author

From the publisher: The enormous loss of life and physical destruction caused by the First World War led people to hope that there would never be another such catastrophe. How then did it come to be that there was a Second World War causing twiceas much loss of life and more destruction than any other previous conflict?

In this Very Short Introduction, Gerhard L. Weinberg provides an introduction to the origins, course, and impact of the war on
...more
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A Very Short Read...: VE Day 1 3 Apr 30, 2020 01:40AM  

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Gerhard Ludwig Weinberg is a German-born American diplomatic and military historian noted for his studies in the history of World War II. Weinberg currently is the William Rand Kenan, Jr. Professor Emeritus of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has been a member of the history faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill since 1974

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