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3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
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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.
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on January 20, 2003
I've always known a bit about the ETO (European Theater Ops), but not much at all about the PTO (Pacific Theater Ops). I found the opening chapter to the book especially helpful, as it explained why certain countries aligned the way they did before the war started. It also does a good job setting up the Japanese Empire's goals and directives, which I think gets ignored quite a bit in history classes. If you're a casual student of military history who wants a good foundation for deeper study, this is a great book (especially for high school students who want a good, easy read without getting bogged down in incredible detail). In addition, the maps are simplistic and easy to understand re: army movements.
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on November 6, 2003
I just bought this book and i think the informations inside are good.The only thing that put this book away is there are only a few pictures which are not fun to see.Besides, the book is printed in a black-&-white papers.The maps are also not enough.Apart of it,this is an incredible book.I'd recommend this book highly if only you buy Life:ww2:history'sgreatest conflict in pictures in addition to this book.
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on July 15, 2002
This is definitely a classics for all beginners.
The book gives a full coverage of the War in very simple English. To help readers to understand key events and persons, maps and photographs are used extensively. While each chapter can be readed independently, my favourites are Chapter 6, 11 and 14.
A must-read for all readers who are interested in this subject.
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on July 10, 2007
The book provides little coverage of the main event of WWII: the Germany-USSR war. Instead, it focuses on irrelevant sideshows.

And one of his sections is titled "What if the Nazis liberated Russia", which raises the natural question: how did the author evade the Nuremberg trials?
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on January 18, 2015
There are better reference books at similar price
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on July 24, 2014
Facile à lire, survol parfait pour moi.
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on June 20, 2012
I look forward to write a review however my item has not yet been received. I will write a review once the item arrives.
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