The West Point History of World War II

This new book from Simon & Schuster covers the outbreak of war through to 1942. The authors are some of the worlds leading Second World War historians, this coupled with the sumptuous look and feel of the book should be enough to leave you drooling.

I’ll say from the outset I’m not usually a fan of what the library as a child called “over sized books”, or now are dubbed “coffee table books”. The size makes them difficult to read, the inclusion of pictures is often at the expense of quality text.

In this instance my inherent prejudices are overcome by the outstanding content, magnificent illustrations all enhanced by superb picture selection. Each chapter covers a different topic and its not all “war, war”.

Steve R Waddell takes on the “Road to War”, Robert M. Citino looks at Germanies early victories and British historian Richard Overy analyses “People and the Economies of War”. It would be easy to complain none of the chapters go into enough depth, and that is a fair complaint, but there will be something in there you don’t know. Its so well written even going over familiar territory is a pleasure especially when coupled with the maps, statistical illustrations and three page pull out explanations.

What this book manages to achieve is a clarity that is often hard to attain. Everything ties in well together, nothing is superfluous, every picture, map and graphic are there in support of one another any enthusiast will benefit from owning this book.

Chapters in the book are:

The Road to War by Steve R. Waddell
German Years of Victory by Robert M. Citino
Britain Stands Alone by Richard J. Overy
The Germans Turn East: Operation Barbarossa & The Beginnings of the Final Solution by Geoffrey P. Megaree
Japan Strikes: From Pearl Harbour to Midway by Edward J. Drea
People and Economies At War by Richard J. Overy
The War At Midpoint by Clifford J. Rogers