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No Simple Victory [Audio]
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If history really belongs to the victor, what happens when there's more than one side declaring victory? That's the conundrum Norman Davies unravels in his groundbreaking book No Simple Victory. Far from being a revisionist history, No Simple Victory instead offers a clear-eyed reappraisal, untangling and setting right the disparate claims made by America, Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union in order to get at the startling truth. In detailing the clash of political philosophies that drove the war's savage engine, Davies also examines how factors as diverse as technology, economics, and morale played dynamic roles in shaping battles, along with the unsung yet vital help of Poland, Greece, and the Ukraine (which suffered the highest number of casualties). And while the Allies resorted to bombing enemy civilians to sow terror, the most damning condemnation is saved for the Soviet Union, whose glossed-over war crimes against British soldiers and its own people prove that Communism and Nazism were two sides of the same brutal coin. No Simple Victory is an unparalleled work that will fascinate not only history buffs but anyone who is interested in discovering the reality behind what Davies refers to as "the frozen perspective of the winners' history."
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About the Author

Norman Davies is a professor emeritus of the University of London. Simon Vance, a former BBC Radio presenter and newsreader, is a full-time actor who has appeared on both stage and television. He has recorded over eight hundred audiobooks and has earned five coveted Audie Awards, and he has won fifty-seven Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine, which has named him a Golden Voice.

Reviews

The typical Western view of WWII's European Theater-as a struggle between freedom and fascism that climaxed with the Normandy landings-is harshly critiqued in this scathing reappraisal. Historian Davies (Rising '44: The Battle of Warsaw) argues that British and American campaigns were a "sideshow" to the titanic conflict between the Wehr-macht and the Red Army on the Eastern Front, where most of the fighting and decisive battles occurred. The war was therefore not a "simple victory" of good over evil, he contends, but the defeat of one totalitarian state, Nazi Germany, by another, the Soviet Union, whose crimes were just as vast, if less diabolical. Davies's topical approach judiciously surveys the military, economic and political aspects of the war, often from an Eastern European perspective. He observes, for example, that the region that suffered the most civilian deaths was Ukraine, and that the Soviet Union was initially as much an aggressor-against Poland, Finland and the Baltic states-as Germany. (Poland's travails, Davies's professional specialty, are somewhat overemphasized.) Davies cuts against the grain of popular war histories like Stephen Ambrose's accounts of D-Day and the Bulge, but his interpretations rest on solid scholarly work. Photos. (Sept. 10) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Davies, Norman. No Simple Victory; World War II in Europe, 1939-1945. Viking. Sept. 2007. 544p. photogs. maps. index. ISBN 978-0-670-01832-1. $30. Davies (Supernumerary Fellow, Wolfson Coll., Oxford; Rising '44: The Battle of Warsaw) reappraises the war and demolishes many of the myths accreted around it. A lively and contrary historiography, skillfully written and far from humorless, this should be in any subject collection. Where were the seven battles fought that had the most casualties? Americans might know one or two. Hint: all were on the Eastern Front. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

"A riveting, sustained performance." ---Publishers Weekly Audio Review

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