No Simple Victory: World War II in Europe, 1939-1945

No Simple Victory: World War II in Europe, 1939-1945

by Norman Davies


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One of the world's leading historians re-examines World War II and its outcome

A clear-eyed reappraisal of World War II that offers new insight by reevaluating well-established facts and pointing out lesser-known ones, No Simple Victory asks readers to reconsider what they know about the war, and how that knowledge might be biased or incorrect. Norman Davies poses simple questions that have unexpected answers: Can you name the five biggest battles of the war? What were the main political ideologies that were contending for supremacy? The answers to these questions will surprise even those who feel that they are experts on the subject.

Davies has established himself as a preeminent scholar of World War II. No Simple Victory is an invaluable contribution to twentieth-century history and an illuminating portrait of a conflict that continues to provoke debate.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143114093
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/26/2008
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 592
Sales rank: 504,394
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Norman Davies is a supernumerary Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford, Fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Historical Society, and Professor Emeritus at London University. His books include Europe: A History (a New York Times Notable Book), The Isles: A History, and the definitive history of Poland, God’s Playground.

Table of Contents

List of Tables     vi
List of Illustrations     vii
Maps     x
Introduction     1
Interpretation - Five Factors     9
Warfare - Military Action in Europe, 1939-1945     73
Politics - Before, During and After the War     131
Soldiers - From Enlistment to War Grave     205
Civilians - Life and Death in Wartime     283
Portrayals - The Second World War in Pictures, Literature and History     427
Inconclusions     477
Notes     491
Further Reading     509
Index     511

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"A riveting, sustained performance." —-Publishers Weekly Audio Review

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No Simple Victory: World War II in Europe, 1939-1945 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Ammianus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Multi-faceted study of the war in Europe with a number of interesting observations. NOT a straight military history. Some facts may be in error but a worthwhile read for those interested in something other than a general history.
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tazm More than 1 year ago
Posted 9/21/2009: Davies does it again by bringing detailed history down to the masses. This is a smooth read but NOT easy on the psyche. It is insightful and helps one understand the global view of WWII and questions current concepts and beliefs. Davies gives possible insight as to why the UK and US (if all powerful) did not keep the Soviets from "accumulating" what was later called the "Soviet Block"; why the 44 Rising in Warsaw failed to give Poland her independence, what the underlying agendas of the principle leaders were; and war crimes other than the Holocaust currently causing political unrest today. Davies does not "answer" all of these questions for the reader, he tells you throughout a true historian cannot know all and should not tell you what to think; he gives YOU the facts, and leaves you to ask your own questions (and asks a few of his own). Davies somehow moves through this often emotionally difficult material always reminding you along the way of human frailty and strengths existing on ALL sides. As all good researchers Davies points out the weaknesses of his material (when they exist) and calls for more in depth research. After reading this book I understand more about world politics today, and understand much of today's unrest and lack of trust is still a result of this event. This book should be A MUST read to stimulate discussion and consideration in all College World History courses and be used judiciously by educators in the curriculum of all High School World History courses. I was fortunate enough to have a very few of my educators ask some of these hard questions before the information was available (declassified). I am gratified now to be directed towards some of the answers and believe our youth today would benefit. Hopefully their questions and observations will keep events such as this from happening again. A short read by Polish Historian Adam Zamoyski "Warsaw 1920" about the short lived conflict between Poland and Soviet Russia between WWI and WWII is great as a subsequent read. It gives the reader additional insight regarding the politics between Soviet Russia, Germany and Poland leading up to WWII.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As an overview of WWII the book covers a number of aspects. This is not simply an overview of military operations. It covers politics, the home fronts, combat, etc. I found it compelling and thoroughly enjoyed it. It opened my eyes to the enormous contribution of the Soviets as well as a new perspective on the Polish invasion and other side shows.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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