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1 Hawthorne Western Civilization- 20th Century

1939: Countdown to War

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1939: Countdown to War Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A leading historian re-creates the final hours of peace in Europe.

On August 24, 1939, the world held its collective breath as Hitler and Stalin signed the now infamous nonaggression pact, signaling an imminent invasion of Poland and daring Western Europe to respond.

In this dramatic account of the final days before the outbreak of World War II, award-winning historian Richard Overy vividly chronicles the unraveling of peace, hour by grim hour, as politicians and ordinary citizens brace themselves for a war that could spell the end of European civilization. Nothing was entirely predictable or inevitable. The West hoped that Hitler would see sense if they stood firm. Hitler was convinced the West would back down. Moments of uncertainty alternated with those of confrontation; secret intelligence was used by both sides to support their hopes. The one constant feature was the determination of Poland, a country created only in 1919, to protect its newfound independence against a vastly superior enemy. 1939 documents a defining moment in the violent history of the twentieth century.

Review:

"In this short book, stating that 'nothing in history is inevitable,' University of Essex professor Overy (Why the Allies Won) strives to explain what led to the outbreak of WWII after years of tension and appeasement. He focuses on the diplomatic maneuvering during 'the extraordinary ten days of drama,' August 24 to September 3, 1939, demonstrating that diplomats in London, Paris, and Berlin wanted to avoid a world war. But Overy traces the events and decisions that moved the two allies, sworn to defend Polish independence, from efforts at deterrence to a willingness to fight after Hitler invaded Poland. Overy is best in portraying the diplomatic wrangling, taking readers inside an explosive meeting between Neville Henderson, Britain's ambassador to Berlin, and German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop. He also uncovers some surprising facts, such as France's last-minute wavering in confronting Hitler and that the Nazi leader, in exchange for Britain acquiescing in his Polish takeover, promised to guarantee the British empire. The last-minute diplomacy Overy describes is fascinating, but there is too little political, military, and sociocultural background to provide context for readers unfamiliar with the period. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)

Book News Annotation:

Although in hindsight the outbreak of war seems an inevitable consequence of the international crisis provoked by Hitler's Germany, this book shows that nothing in history is inevitable. Overy (modern history, King's College London) offers a detailed account of the events of the late summer of 1939. He explores the socio-historical conditions that preceded major developments such as Hitler and Stalin's alliance with the nonaggression pact and Chamberlain's announcement that Britain would join France at war. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

andquot;Overy's book is easily the best account of Europe's descent into...death and destruction.andquot; --Evening Standard (London)

A brilliantly concise narrative of the days leading to the outbreak of history's greatest conflagration, 1939 takes readers hour by hour through the nail-biting decisions that determined the fate of millions. Richard Overy, a leading historian of the period, masterfully recreates the jockeying for advantage that set Europe's greatest powers on a collision course. Would Stalin join Hitler in a bid to divide Poland and flout the West? Would Britain and France succeed in forcing Germany to reason? And how far would a defiant Poland push its claim to exist? In the summer of 1939, the course of events was anything but assured, as this exceptionally absorbing book drives home.

Synopsis:

"Overy's book is easily the best account of Europe's descent into...death and destruction." --Evening Standard (London)

A brilliantly concise narrative of the days leading to the outbreak of history's greatest conflagration, 1939 takes readers hour by hour through the nail-biting decisions that determined the fate of millions. Richard Overy, a leading historian of the period, masterfully recreates the jockeying for advantage that set Europe's greatest powers on a collision course. Would Stalin join Hitler in a bid to divide Poland and flout the West? Would Britain and France succeed in forcing Germany to reason? And how far would a defiant Poland push its claim to exist? In the summer of 1939, the course of events was anything but assured, as this exceptionally absorbing book drives home.

About the Author

Richard Overy is a professor of history at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom. His many books on European history include The Twilight Years: The Paradox of Britain Between the Wars, Why the Allies Won, Russia's War, and The Dictators: Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia, winner of the Wolfson Prize for History.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780670022090
Subtitle:
Countdown to War
Author:
Overy, Richard
Author:
Overy, R. J.
Author:
Overy, Richard J.
Author:
Overy, Richard
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Subject:
Modern - 20th Century
Subject:
Military - World War II
Subject:
Military-World War II General
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20110927
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
b/w map
Pages:
176
Dimensions:
7.8 x 5.15 x 0.5 in 0.31 lb
Age Level:
17-17

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Military » World War II » General
History and Social Science » Western Civilization » 20th Century

1939: Countdown to War Used Hardcover
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$12.50 In Stock
Product details 176 pages Viking Books - English 9780670022090 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In this short book, stating that 'nothing in history is inevitable,' University of Essex professor Overy (Why the Allies Won) strives to explain what led to the outbreak of WWII after years of tension and appeasement. He focuses on the diplomatic maneuvering during 'the extraordinary ten days of drama,' August 24 to September 3, 1939, demonstrating that diplomats in London, Paris, and Berlin wanted to avoid a world war. But Overy traces the events and decisions that moved the two allies, sworn to defend Polish independence, from efforts at deterrence to a willingness to fight after Hitler invaded Poland. Overy is best in portraying the diplomatic wrangling, taking readers inside an explosive meeting between Neville Henderson, Britain's ambassador to Berlin, and German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop. He also uncovers some surprising facts, such as France's last-minute wavering in confronting Hitler and that the Nazi leader, in exchange for Britain acquiescing in his Polish takeover, promised to guarantee the British empire. The last-minute diplomacy Overy describes is fascinating, but there is too little political, military, and sociocultural background to provide context for readers unfamiliar with the period. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Synopsis" by ,

andquot;Overy's book is easily the best account of Europe's descent into...death and destruction.andquot; --Evening Standard (London)

A brilliantly concise narrative of the days leading to the outbreak of history's greatest conflagration, 1939 takes readers hour by hour through the nail-biting decisions that determined the fate of millions. Richard Overy, a leading historian of the period, masterfully recreates the jockeying for advantage that set Europe's greatest powers on a collision course. Would Stalin join Hitler in a bid to divide Poland and flout the West? Would Britain and France succeed in forcing Germany to reason? And how far would a defiant Poland push its claim to exist? In the summer of 1939, the course of events was anything but assured, as this exceptionally absorbing book drives home.

"Synopsis" by ,

"Overy's book is easily the best account of Europe's descent into...death and destruction." --Evening Standard (London)

A brilliantly concise narrative of the days leading to the outbreak of history's greatest conflagration, 1939 takes readers hour by hour through the nail-biting decisions that determined the fate of millions. Richard Overy, a leading historian of the period, masterfully recreates the jockeying for advantage that set Europe's greatest powers on a collision course. Would Stalin join Hitler in a bid to divide Poland and flout the West? Would Britain and France succeed in forcing Germany to reason? And how far would a defiant Poland push its claim to exist? In the summer of 1939, the course of events was anything but assured, as this exceptionally absorbing book drives home.

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