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Max Hastings
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Inferno: The World at War, 1939–1945

Max Hastings.
Publisher Knopf  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.75 inches
ISBN 9780307273598
Pages/Publication Date 729/2011
Daedalus Item Code 40112
List Price: $35.00
Sale Price: $14.98
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One of Britain's top journalists and the author of more than 20 books, including Winston's War and the Somerset Maugham Award winner Bomber Command, Max Hastings here gives us what many critics have deemed the best single-volume history of World War II ever written. Through detailed stories of everyday people—soldiers, sailors, and airmen; British housewives and Indian peasants; SS killers and the besieged citizens of Leningrad (some of whom resorted to cannibalism); Japanese suicide pilots and American carrier crews—Hastings provides a singularly intimate portrait of the world at war. At the same time, he traces the major developments—Hitler's refusal to retreat from the Soviet Union until it was too late; Stalin's ruthlessness in using his vast population to wear down the German army; Churchill's leadership in the dark days of 1940 and 1941; Roosevelt's steady hand before and after the United States entered the war—and puts them in human context. Hastings also illuminates some of the less explored aspects of the war, including the Soviet invasion of Finland, during which the Finns fiercely resisted and surprised Stalin's Red Army, and the Bengal famine in 1943 and 1944, when at least a million people died in what turned out to be, in Nehru's words, "the final epitaph of British rule" in India.

"Hastings shapes all these stories, almost miraculously, into a coherent narrative. Overlaid upon this tapestry is an analysis of how the war brought out the best and the worst in people, how it could be won only through the use of astonishing brutality and how it changed society forever."—Telegraph (London)

"A new, original, necessary history, in many ways the crowning of a life's work. A professional war correspondent who has personally witnessed armed conflict in Vietnam, the Falkland Islands and other danger zones, Hastings has a sober, unromantic and realistic view of battle that puts him into a different category from the armchair generals whose gung-ho, schoolboy attitude to war fills the pages of a great majority of military histories. He writes with grace, fluency and authority.... Inferno is superb."—NYTBR

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