The Second World War

The Second World War

A People's History

Book - 2001
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Baker & Taylor
A fresh take on the Second World War moves beyond the battlefields to discuss the effects of the conflict on innocent bystanders, spanning the globe to paint a terrifying portrait of war at its cruelist.

Blackwell North Amer
The Second World War surpassed all previous wars in the sheer cost of many millions of lives, the majority of them civilian. It left a world reeling from physical destruction on a scale never experience before or since, and from the psychological traumas of loss, of imprisonment and genocide, and permanent exile from home.
In this short book, Joanna Bourke turns an unblinking eye on the events and outcomes in the vast number of places where the war was fought: throughout Western and Central Europe, on the Eastern Front in the Soviet Union, in the Pacific, in Africa, in Asia. She shows where the strategic decisions came from and how they were implemented. In addition to the facts of this global conflict, she details the human, individual cost. Through diary entries and recorded oral history, we experience how ordinary people felt when they witnessed or heard of events, from the declaration of war on the radio to the mass murders carried out by Nazi soldiers in Russian villages.
Our understanding of the past conflict and our own age of violence and human atrocity into which the Second World War thrust us will be greatly enhanced by the scope and detail of this book.

Oxford University Press
The Second World War saw an unprecedented expansion of suffering beyond the frontlines. Of the 1,355,000 tons of bombs dropped on Germany, for instance, most fell on non-military targets, and of the 55 million people killed worldwide, two-thirds were civilians. In The Second World War: A People's History, Joanna Bourke uncovers the grim stories of death and destruction lost behind those statistics.
Using diary entries, oral histories, poetry and letters home, Bourke allows the people that lived and died in the global bloodletting to tell their own stories. Soldiers who fought for all sides and in all of the major theatres tell of the fear and horror of combat. Partisan fighters recount the daring risks they took and the torments of captivity. Civilians describe the anxiety of approaching war, their struggle for survival, and their despair and helplessness as the war consumed their world. Bourke chillingly demonstrates that all of this sorrow and woe was the direct result of political and military decisions on both sides. A brief, objective synopsis of each campaign in the war clarifies the link between strategic, military decisions and the massacre and inhumane treatment of non-combatants--events now known only by names like Nanking, Sobibor, Dresden, and Nagasaki--that was all too common in this brutal war.
This short, engaging history is a poignant testimony to the memory of the innocents lost and a stark reminder that their demise was not inevitable--indeed it was often strategically planned and methodically executed.

Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2001
ISBN: 9780192802248
Branch Call Number: 940.53 BOU
Characteristics: ix, 270 p. :,ill., maps ;,20 cm.


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