Blood and Ruins: The Great Imperial War, 1931-1945


HUMANITY’S eternal propensity to wage war – and why – has been acutely and unrelentingly examined, impeccably researched and re-told in this breath-taking masterpiece compiled by an award-winning academic. And while Professor Overy has produced a work of genius, he has avoided using great swathes of overanalysed reasoning by writing beautifully explained sections in a readable and digestible format filled with the ‘did you know?’ kind of facts that jumped out as I picked up this 1,000-page tome. A big read, yes, but the information is retained by the reader and it is as lively and engaging as any brilliant cinematic documentary.

Overy aims to change the perspective through which World War Two is viewed, including its origins. Foremost, he argues it was the 'great imperial war', the dramatic and bloody end of a century of global expansion and of the interwar ambitions of Italy, Germany and Japan, each determined to forge their own new empires.

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