The Epic Madness of World War II

Antony Beevor’s The Second World War plunges the reader into the heart of darkness by rendering an intensely personal narrative of a war that stretched across several continents over nearly a decade.

Issue: Sept-Oct 2012

Antony Beevor, The Second World War (New York: Little, Brown and Co., 2012), 880 pp., $35.00.

WAR IS inherently dramatic, but military histories can be dull. Often written from the generals’ viewpoint, many traditional accounts of famous battles and campaigns mire the reader in a blur of unrecognizable geography and confusing unit identifications (the Third Regiment of the Second Division of the Fourth Army, etc.). These tomes are somehow arid and lifeless as well as dull; they make death and suffering abstract.

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