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Other titles in the Seminar Studies in History series:
The Origins of the Second World War (Seminar Studies in History)
Synopses & Reviews
¿Seminar Studies in History...provide a means of bridging the gap between specialist articles and monographs and textbooks. They are written by acknowledged experts on the subject who are not only familiar with current thinking but have often contributed to it. Their format, well-tried and effective, combines information, analysis and assessment effectively. The selections of documents, included from the outset of the series when document work was hardly in vogue in schools, not merely illustrates points made in the text but provides an effective medium for discussion on the issues raised. The further reading guide has stimulated countless students to take their interests further. The structure of the series may not have changed through time but the format has, with attractive four-colour covers and larger pages....Seminar Studies are still, despite all the opposition, a market leader.¿
First published in 1987, this highly successful Seminar Study has now been completely overhauled, updated, expanded and reset. With its dozen additional documents the book now provides a fuller range of essential sources, making the book even more useful for teaching purposes. The bibliography has over thirty new entries and the main text has been fully updated to take account of the writings on the subject since the mid 1980s. In particular, new material has been added on the Munich crisis and on Japan but the most significant change is to be found in the treatment of the Soviet Union. Since 1989 knowledge of Soviet foreign policy has been transformed, and this is reflected in a complete redrafting of the sections covering Soviet actions from the Czech crisis in 1938 to the final showdown with Germany in 1941.
The strength of the new edition lies, as before, in the broad analytical approach and its accessible style. Professor Overy explores why the war broke out in September 1939 and not sooner, and why a European war expanded into world war by 1941. The war has usually been seen simply as Hitler¿s war and yet the wider conflict that broke out when Germany invaded Poland was not the war that Hitler wanted. He had hoped for a short war against Poland; instead, Britain and France declared war on Germany. Richard Overy argues that that any explanation of the outbreak of hostilities must therefore be multi-national and he shows how the war¿s origins are to be found in the basic instability of the international system that was brought about by the decline of the old empires of Britain and France and the rise of ambitious new powers, Italy, Germany and Japan keen to build new empires of their own.
R. J. Overy is Professor of Modern History at King¿s College, University of London.
The Origins of the Second World War explores the reasons why the Second World War broke out in September 1939 and not sooner, and why a European war expanded into world war by 1941.
Richard Overy argues that this was not just Hitlers War but one that had its roots and origins in the decline of the old empires of Britain and France and the rise of ambitious new powers in Germany, Italy and Japan. Any explanation of the outbreak of hostilities must be multinational in scope taking into account the basic instability of the international system that had still not recovered from the shocks of the Great War.
In this third edition:
· The role of Italy in the approach to war has been re-evaluated
· Overy addresses recent revelations about Soviet policy in the 1930s, particularly exploring Soviet military planning and preparations
· Arguments about Chamberlain and his policy of appeasement are rethought and reassessed.
This new edition has now been completely overhauled, updated, expanded and reset. With a comprehensive documents section, colour plates, guide to whos who, a chronology and lists of further reading, The Origins of the Second World War will provide an invaluable introduction to any student of this fascinating period.
Richard Overy is Professor of History at the University of Exeter. He has authored 17 books on the Third Reich, the Second World War and air warfare which include:The Air War 1939-1945 (2nd ed, 2006),Why the Allies Won (2nd ed, 2006) and The Dictators: Hitlers Germany and Stalins Russia (2004)which won both the Wolfson and the Hessell Tiltman Prizes for History in 2005.
This book is an ideal introduction to this much-studied topic, written by a major name in the field.
Table of Contents
PART ONE: THE BACKGROUND
1. Explaining the Second World War
PART TWO: ANALYSIS
2. The International Crisis
The collapse of the League
France and Britain
America and the Soviet Union
From the Rhineland to Munich
3. Economic and Imperial Rivalry
The imperial powers
The ‘have-not' powers
The failure of ‘Economic Appeasement'
4. Armaments and Domestic Politics
Finance, industry and labour
Rearmament and domestic politics
5. War Over Poland
The aftermath of Munich
The Soviet factor
The outbreak of the war
6. From European to World War
The war in the west
The coming of world war
PART THREE: ASSESSMENT
7. Hitler's War?
PART FOUR: DOCUMENTS
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