• List Price: CDN$ 45.38
  • You Save: CDN$ 14.32 (32%)
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca. Gift-wrap available.
The Second World War: A C... has been added to your Cart
+ CDN$ 6.49 shipping
Used: Acceptable | Details
Sold by Books Squared
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: Ships from the USA. Please allow 14-21 business days for delivery. Book Selection as BIG as Texas.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

The Second World War: A Complete History Paperback – Jun 1 2004

4.3 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

See all 12 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback, Jun 1 2004
CDN$ 31.06
CDN$ 11.43 CDN$ 7.81

Harry Potter Coloring Book Deal
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Second World War: A Complete History
  • +
  • The First World War: A Complete History
Total price: CDN$ 57.27
Buy the selected items together

No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 928 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt & Co (P); Revised edition (June 1 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805076239
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805076233
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 4.1 x 23.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 885 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #294,308 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  •  Would you like to update product info, give feedback on images, or tell us about a lower price?

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

This masterful account of history's most destructive conflict explains the purpose and interrelationship of the major campaigns of the war and their effect on soldiers and civilians alike. Though the military aspect is told with noteworthy clarity and narrative power, most impressive is Gilbert's presentation of World War II as primarily a matter of organized evil and mass madness, a deadly virus originating in Berlin and Tokyo that infected victims on a global scale. That it was "the last good war" is a saying made dramatically comprehensible in the sections describing the opposition to the Axis. The scope of the book is astonishingly broad, ranging smoothly from Himmler's "human stud-farms" (dedicated to producing pure Aryans) to the importance of the Burma campaign, from a comparison of Nazi treatment of Jews and Japanese treatment of Filipinos to the SS doctrine that mercy was officially considered a crime. Gilbert is the author of the acclaimed eight-volume official Winston Churchill biography. Photos.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Though few one-volume histories of World War II have been published in the last ten years, the 50th anniversary of the war's start has inspired new works: Gilbert's book and John Keegan's The Second World War (reviewed in this issue, p. 102) are two of them. Gilbert's is less a battle history than Keegan's. For Gilbert (biographer of Churchill and Holocaust historian, author of the massive The Holocaust, LJ 2/1/86) the movements of armies and the decisions of statesmen were ultimately the consequences of Nazi and Japanese racial policies. Thus the struggles and fates of Axis victims are essential to the complete history of war, which inflicted such unprecedented suffering on innocent parties. Gilbert uses this perspective to present the war from an original angle. Accounts of campaigns and conferences are directly juxtaposed to descriptions of atrocities and resistance. Gilbert draws his human interest not from battlefields and home fronts, as do most histories of the war, but from concentration camps and ghettoes. In so doing he reminds us that World War II was a "good war," because it was fought against tyrannies that perpetuated obscenities as a matter of principle. Recommended for all collections.
- Dennis E. Showalter, Colorado Coll., Colorado Springs
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

See all Product Description

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Martin Gilbert is one of the foremost living authorities on the Second World War. This classic work represents the culmination and distillation of that expertise. Gilbert, a noted Churchillian, mixes a "just the facts" style with a profound sense of compassion for the war's victims, particularly those who died in the Holocaust.
Gilbert, a British writer, is obviously stronger when dealing with the European theater, but unlike many Western writers he has a sure grasp of the Russian and Balkan campaigns - as well as the weird diplomatic manoeverings of such states as Hungary and Roumania.
The accounts of the European front's last days are so good that Gilbert spun them into a separate tome, "The Day the War Ended." Interspersed with the Gotterdamerung of Hitler's bunker are bizarre details, such as the (neutral) Irish president's condolences to the German ambassador on the day after the Fuhrer's suicide, and the latecoming combatants who declared war in the last hours.
For blazing-gun military history, try another author, but for the human and political history, Gilbert is matchless.
3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Martin Gilbert's step by step chronological account of the events of WWII starts straight away with the German invasion of Poland on Sept. 01, 1939 and follows through to the consequences and effects of the second world war right of till the time he wrote this book in 1989. Gilbert has written an entire book on the causes and events leading up to the beginning of World War II. Maybe that is why he felt he should have ZERO preamble in this book. Still I think he could at least have put 10 pages of 'preamble' in to this 747 page chronicle. A very brief discussion of Chamberlain's appeasement policy, annexation of Czech land and would have warmed the reader up for the invasion of Poland.

The book itself is excellent in most aspects though. It was a unique and mostly interesting approach to look at each day of the war and see the events unfold before us in a day-by-day, blow-by-blow approach. Hundreds of smaller hero's and villains are held up before us. German citizens and clergy jailed or killed for not submitting to Nazi will. If felt good to know that there were German generals as disgusted by the Jewish pogroms as I am. Other Germans were releasing their dark side, killing Jews and other civilians with impunity. Partisans all over Europe refusing to surrender. These and many other small stories play out along side the big stories we all know the outline of... Pearl Harbor, London Bombing, D'Day...etc. Some reminder of the horrors of the Holocaust are ubiquitous throughout these pages.

The 'day by day' approach makes individual story threads more difficult to follow. Overall though, this is an excellent and clearly well researched account of World War II that I would recommend to anyone!!
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Martin Gilbert's volume on the Second World War is truly a complete history. It is not just a story of battles and great men, but also a story of unparalleled suffering. The Second World War was the most destructive conflict ever to afflict our planet, and Gilbert makes the reader realize this, with his relentlessness in reporting death. In an almost day by day account, Gilbert informs the reader that while all the great battles were taking place, while generals were winning fame, the people of Europe, especially the Jews, were suffering unimaginable horrors. This is the true legacy of World War Two, and Gilbert gets the point across well. As you read the book, you cannot help but feel sick at the awesome loss of life taking place in Hitler's concentration camps. The vivid descriptions of gassings, and the ovens working 24 hours a day, made me put the book down more than once.
Gilbert also talks about the battles, and his descriptions of these are just as vivid if not as detailed. You can imagine what it was like to be there, but don't know everything that happened. In the end you get the sense that Gilbert's focus was definitely not on the military aspects, but on the overall cost of life. He does not glorify this conflict in anyway, and he leaves you believing that maybe no one really won the war.
This is not a book I would tackle all at once, but maybe keep it by your bedside for those restless nights, although you may find you will not be able to put it down once you pick it up. I reccommend this for someone who knows a bit about the war and wants a good general overview. Someone who has done a lot of background reading may not find it as stimulating, but it is still worth reading.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
No one has been more acclaimed or prolific in writing about the total scope of twentieth century history than British author and historian Sir Martin Gilbert, who sometimes seems to represent a kind of one-man revival in British historical publication. Here he focuses impressively on the total scope of World War Two, from the opening shots fired in Poland to the surrender of the Japanese in Tokyo Bay. He brings impressive credentials to the task; as the foremost biographer and authority on Winston Churchill (with an 8 volume biography already published), he is obviously well versed on the particulars of the European theater of the conflict, and in this volume he displays how comprehensive his knowledge of the other theaters of wars, especially the Pacific campaign, is as well.
Readers looking for specific orders of battle or "blow by blow" detailed accounts of particular engagements are likely to be disappointed, but even die-hard military huffs like me sometimes tire of such endlessly specifics, and it is refreshing to have an approach like Gilbert's which concentrates more on the context and connections of such engagements to use to get a better and perhaps more complete appreciation for what was happening in the same time or in the local area that materially affected the progress and eventual outcome of a particular battle. After all, this war was indeed global, and it is indeed useful to recognize that events transpiring in Stalingrad were materially affected by the dispositions of troops and airplanes dedicated to other Nazi commitments in the Mediterranean theater or to defend the skies of Berlin against British and American air raids.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse

Most recent customer reviews