Cover image for The Second World War : a narrative history
The Second World War : a narrative history
Ray, John Philip, 1929-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London : Cassel ; New York : Distributed in the USA by Sterling Pub., [1999]

Physical Description:
320 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
D743 .R324 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
D743 .R324 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
D743 .R324 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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What caused the terrible events of World War II--and how do the repercussions still affect us today? And what was it like to be part of a nation fighting for its life? The answers to these and other questions make a fascinating that those who didn't live through this turbulent time need to know. Follow the relentless spread of war, from the initial German blitzkriegs to the Russian campaign, from the Far East to the African front. 336 pages, 36 b/w illus., 6 x 9. NEW IN PAPERBACK

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

As the title suggests, this is a straight chronological history of World War II, emphasizing who, what, when, and where, rather than why. Ray, a secondary-school teacher in Britain, writes in a clear, unadorned prose that is easily digested, particularly by those without a strong background in twentieth-century history. This is a well-organized survey that covers all of the major military campaigns. Although the author generally avoids sustained analyses regarding the causes of the war, his limited efforts usually convey traditional views. He also seems too willing to accept the occasional Allied outrages, such as the fire bombings of Dresden, as dictated by military necessity. For the general reader who needs a primer in this seminal conflict, Ray has provided a valuable resource. --Jay Freeman

Publisher's Weekly Review

The subtitle nicely captures the flavor of this work, explicitly aimed at generations with no personal experience of WWII. Ray, an author and history teacher in a British secondary school, describes the war concisely, comprehensively and quite readably. His expositions and overviews, especially concerning the Eastern and African fronts and the Far Eastern theater, are satisfying to a degree rarely found in more detailed, specialized or intimate accounts. The introduction reflects his approach, serviceably defining "Second World War" in terms of "several conflicts, some linked, others separate, fought by nation states over a period of six years from 1939" in "two main theatres" and "on and under every ocean." Another attractive feature is the attention invested in suggesting causes and consequences, thereby illuminating motives and follies. For the most part, the story-telling mode is captivating and somewhat reminiscent of Samuel Eliot Morison, marred only by rare sections with noticeably flawed syntax. This book will serve youth well, and even veterans of the voluminous war literature will find some new information and novel perspectives here. B&w photographs. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved