World War II: The Complete Illustrated History

Richard Overy, Carlton (Sterling, dist.), $39.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-84732-658-4
Overy's large format book begins in 1919 with the Treaty of Versailles and ends with the looming Cold War. Facing pages present new topics dense with text, photos (including some excellent combat photography), and graphic elements, showing principal players, map locations, timelines, important dates, propaganda campaigns, and more. Some of the most wrenching moments in the book address the effects of WWII on civilian populations; the British, Germans, and Russians were particularly cruel to their enemy civilian populations, believing that their suffering would lead to capitulation. The text is clear and concise, relating only the most pertinent points of the major battles and events of the war and resulting in an excellent coffee table book for history buffs, or as an absorbing introduction to the Great War for students at the middle school level. Illus. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 02/07/2011
Release date: 09/01/2010
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