Most helpful positive review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
An excellent springboard to more in-depth study...
on October 28, 2002
I've seen dozens of World War 2 movies, but I never had an understanding of what really happened during the war, and why. I needed a book that would lay a foundation of understanding so I could put everything in perspective. With that in mind (and with the pending release of the Band of Brothers DVD) I decided to get "World War 2 for Dummies". I read this book faster and with more intensity than just about any other book in my life. I couldn't believe how interested I became in the campaigns, and it was great to have a light bulb come on whenever I connected an event with a movie or book. I couldn't believe how many scenes from movies and books came to mind as I read.
Because I am not a historian, or well read on the subject, I can't speak to any historical inaccuracies or bias in the text. There were also no footnotes, so you have to take all the facts and figures at face value, with no help in finding sources for further study.
I would have liked to have seen many more maps, as I found myself constantly looking for a map of territory being discussed, and frequently couldn't find it. I would have also liked footnotes pointing to movies and books that pertain to the subject at hand, either to tie it together, or point to further study. I would have also liked sidenotes mentioning controversial aspects of the war (maybe a "list-of-10") discussing areas of conspiracy or debate among historians, if just to acknowledge their presence. Things like "Did FDR know about the attack on Pearl Harbor beforehand?".
Since finishing this book, I've found myself looking at WW2 much more clearly; as I browse titles of books I might like to read, I can recognize battles and people. And I get excited about recording stuff off of the History Channel, as it is much easier to understand.
And now I finally know what they're so worried about in the "Sound of Music"; I've seen the movie many times, and never knew what the heck the "Anschluss" was!
I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a soup-to-nuts overview of the politics, people and battles of World War 2. My dilemma now is whether to study WW2 further, or read some of the other History for Dummies (World, American, and Civil War) books.