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Extended Audio Sample 1939: Countdown to War, by Richard Overy Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (110 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Richard Overy Narrator: Simon Prebbl Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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On August 24, 1939, the world held its collective breath as Hitler and Stalin signed the now infamous nonaggression pact, signaling an imminent invasion of Poland and daring Western Europe to respond.

In this dramatic account of the final days before the outbreak of World War II, award-winning historian Richard Overy vividly chronicles the unraveling of peace, hour by grim hour, as politicians and ordinary citizens brace themselves for a war that could spell the end of European civilization.

Nothing was entirely predictable or inevitable. The West hoped that Hitler would see sense if they stood firm. Hitler was convinced the West would back down. Moments of uncertainty alternated with those of confrontation; secret intelligence was used by both sides to support their hopes. The one constant feature was the determination of Poland, a country created only in 1919, to protect its newfound independence against a vastly superior enemy.

1939 documents a defining moment in the violent history of the twentieth century.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Steve | 10/18/2013

    " "As with all books by this author, very well written and with solid analysis." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Amy | 6/13/2012

    " If you are interested in World War II this is the book for you. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Steve | 5/8/2012

    " This brief 124 page book, easily readable in one day, is a fascinating fast-paced journey through day-to-day diplomacy during the two weeks before the outbreak of World War Two. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Luc | 5/23/2011

    " A very good analysis of the last days of august 1939 prior to the beginning of hostilities between Germany and Poland. It provides a lot of useful information about policies and decisions made in time of extreme conditions. "

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About the Author
Author Richard Overy

Richard Overy is a professor of history at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom. His many books on European history include The Twilight Years: The Paradox of Britain Between the Wars; Why the Allies Won; Russia’s War; and The Dictators: Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia, winner of the Wolfson Prize for History.