Max Hastings is the author of more than twenty books, including Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War, Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945, and Winston's War: Churchill 1940-1945. He spent his early career as a foreign correspondent for BBC TV and various newspapers, then as editor of Britain's Evening Standard and Daily Telegraph. He has received numerous awards for both his books and his journalism. He lives in the English countryside west of London.
Noted military historian Hastings asks some uncomfortable questions about the last months of World War II. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
This huge and splendid volume tells the grim tale of the final collapse of the Third Reich. It does so from the viewpoints of the upper millstone (the Western Allies), the lower millstone (the Russians) and the grain being ground in between (the Germans). The research includes previously untapped Russian archives (particularly in the accounts of Soviet veterans) and leads to a gripping and horrifying story that serious students of military history will find almost impossible to put down. The blunders recounted are numerous, from the Allied failure to open Antwerp in the fall of 1944 to the Russian frontal assault on Berlin, and the Wehrmacht is depicted as the best army of the war and also the most atrocious in its treatment of civilians. Indeed, the treatment of civilians is a major theme, since they were slaughtered on a scale unheard of since the Thirty Years' War, and not only the Nazi camp inmates but also the inhabitants of Poland and East Prussia were numbered among the victims. The author hands out praise and blame with his usual edged aplomb (Anglophile readers may be happy to see a partial rehabilitation of Montgomery) and willingness to engender controversy, and also with his usual thorough research and clear writing (along with 24 pages of photos) to sustain every case he makes. His book ranks among the very best military history volumes of the year. Agent, Peter Matson. (Nov. 18) Forecast: With a first printing of 100,000 copies and its status as a History Book Club main selection and a BOMC and Military Book Club alternate, this book should reach its intended audience easily; a four-city author tour will win over less regular readers of WWII along the way. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
"Magisterial. . . . Hastings's gripping narrative blends individual accounts, sweeping reconstructions of battles and devastating criticisms of military and political leaders." -The Washington Post Book World"Splendid . . . A book anyone with an interest in modern warfare will want to read." -The New York Times Book Review"A grand achievement. Max Hastings is a brilliant military historian who enthralls the reader by combining mastery of high strategy and low tactics with poignant understanding of individual combat experiences. This is the last word on the last year of the greatest war in history." -Arthur Schlesinger, Jr."Hastings writes with authority, as well as humanity, about the realities of combat--the fear, smells, hunger, humiliation and the horrendous wounds inflicted. . . . Every leader contemplating a military operation, for whatever reason, should read this book and take several deep breaths." -The Wall Street Journal