Blood and Ruins: The Last Imperial War, 1931-1945 (Paperback)
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A thought-provoking and original reassessment of World War II, from Britain’s leading military historian
A New York Times bestseller
Richard Overy sets out in Blood and Ruins to recast the way in which we view the Second World War and its origins and aftermath. As one of Britain’s most decorated and respected World War II historians, he argues that this was the “last imperial war,” with almost a century-long lead-up of global imperial expansion, which reached its peak in the territorial ambitions of Italy, Germany and Japan in the 1930s and early 1940s, before descending into the largest and costliest war in human history and the end, after 1945, of all territorial empires.
Overy also argues for a more global perspective on the war, one that looks broader than the typical focus on military conflict between the Allied and Axis states. Above all, Overy explains the bitter cost for those involved in fighting, and the exceptional level of crime and atrocity that marked the war and its protracted aftermath—which extended far beyond 1945.
Blood and Ruins is a masterpiece, a new and definitive look at the ultimate struggle over the future of the global order, which will compel us to view the war in novel and unfamiliar ways. Thought-provoking, original and challenging, Blood and Ruins sets out to understand the war anew.
"Blood and Ruins is a monumental work; it is hard to imagine that a more comprehensive study of World War II could possibly be contained between two covers. Richard Overy has given us a powerful reminder of the horror of war and the threat posed by dictators with dreams of empire." -- The Wall Street Journal
“The Pacific clash over colonies reveals a greater truth about the Second World War…Blood and Ruins…refuses to treat the Pacific as ‘an appendix,’ as histories often do. Rather, it sees World War II as a truly ‘global event.’”--The Atlantic
"Startling yet persuasive...brilliant." --Kirkus (starred review)
"Astute and incisive. WWII buffs should consider this a must-read" --Publishers Weekly
"One of the great historians of the Second World War." --Sunday Times
"Probably the most important book published on the history of the second world war this century."--Richard J. Evans, The Guardian on The Bombing War
"Tremendous ... a masterpiece of the historian’s art." --The Times on The Bombing War
"A superb work, comprehensive and written with rare fire and intelligence." --The Observer on The Dictators
"Stimulating and enjoyable … essential reading." --The Guardian on The Road to War
"This book is [Overy’s] magnum opus (in every sense of the phrase)." --Times Literary Supplement