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Why the Allies Won
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Richard Overy is the author of RAF, Why the Allies Won, The Battle of Britain, and The Dictators, winner of the Wolfson History Prize. He is one of our foremost authorities in modern history and military history. He is professor of history at the University of Exeter in England.

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In The Road to War (1990), Overy plumbed the origins of WWII. Here, he examines the reasons for the war's outcome, challenging two pieces of conventional wisdom: that the Axis overextended itself by taking on the U.S., Britain and the Soviet Union, and that the Allied victory was due to material strength only. Instead, Overy contends that the Allies' triumph depended on the exponential improvement of an initially inferior military capacity, as well as on moral fiber. The Allies, he argues convincingly, turned economic potential into fighting power, exploiting modernity by integrating technology and logistics into a comprehensive war effort that was sustained by moral force. Combining telling detail and wide scope, the author shows that, ultimately, the governments and peoples of the Allied Grand Coalition triumphed because they acted on the understanding that WWII was a life-and-death struggle for fundamental values. Photos; maps. History Book Club main selection; BOMC selection. (Apr.)

As an acclaimed scholar and professor of modern history, Overy (The Road to War, LJ 5/1/90) has crafted an expansive and skillful analysis of the complex reasons for the Allied victory over the Axis powers in 1945. His book debunks the exaggerated and too-simple reason for Allied victory‘that material strength alone merely overwhelmed the enemy. Using clear narrative and sound reasoning, Overy explores the impact of four significant areas of combat as well as the less publicized but equally important noncombat contributions and mistakes of each warring nation. As Overy asserts, "There was nothing preordained about Allied success," and his analysis starkly reveals the narrow line between victory and defeat for both sides. An excellent book for students, scholars, and history buffs.‘Col. William D. Bushnell, USMC (ret.), Brunswick, Me.

A clear-sighted, interesting explanation of the reasons for the victory.

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