Download Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945 Audiobook

Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945 Audiobook, by Max Hastings Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Max Hastings Narrator: Ralph Cosham Publisher: Random House Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2020 ISBN: 9780593408339
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,144 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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From one of our finest military historians, a monumental work that shows us at once the truly global reach of World War II and its deeply personal consequences. World War II involved tens of millions of soldiers and cost sixty million lives—an average of twenty-seven thousand a day. For thirty-five years, Max Hastings has researched and written about different aspects of the war. Now, for the first time, he gives us a magnificent, single-volume history of the entire war. Through his strikingly detailed stories of everyday people—of soldiers, sailors and airmen; British housewives and Indian peasants; SS killers and the citizens of Leningrad, some of whom resorted to cannibalism during the two-year siege; Japanese suicide pilots and American carrier crews—Hastings provides a singularly intimate portrait of the world at war. He simultaneously traces the major developments—Hitler’s refusal to retreat from the Soviet Union until it was too late; Stalin’s ruthlessness in using his greater population to wear down the German army; Churchill’s leadership in the dark days of 1940 and 1941; Roosevelt’s steady hand before and after the United States entered the war—and puts them in real human context. Hastings also illuminates some of the darker and less explored regions under the war’s penumbra, including the conflict between the Soviet Union and Finland, during which the Finns fiercely and surprisingly resisted Stalin’s invading Red Army; and the Bengal famine in 1943 and 1944, when at least one million people died in what turned out to be, in Nehru’s words, “the final epitaph of British rule” in India. Remarkably informed and wide-ranging, Inferno is both elegantly written and cogently argued. Above all, it is a new and essential understanding of one of the greatest and bloodiest events of the twentieth century. Download and start listening now!


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  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom | 2/15/2014

    " Good overview of WW 2. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle | 2/13/2014

    " This book is huge, overwhelming, stuffed full of 658 pages of facts, and totally absorbing. It took me over a week to read it, but I'm glad I did. I am astonished at how much I did not know about WWII. I thought I was pretty widely read in the area for an American housewife. :-) But I discovered things constantly that I had NO IDEA about. 2 or 3 million Bengals starved to death in India because no one would send them food supplies to end a famine? Had NO idea. The war in northern Africa was more publicity-propaganda stunt than strategic advantage? Had not a clue. We really didn't need to invade Okinawa, the Philippines or Japan at all? Wow. And I knew that the Eastern Front was monumental in size to anything that happened in Western Europe. Really I did. I just had no idea of the magnitude, the scope of Russian suffering, the paltry insignificance of anything contributed by Americans. The author seems very middle-of-the-road politically, sometimes excoriating Roosevelt and Churchill for cynicism and manipulation but in all believing the "standard story" that the war had to be fought, the US had to be involved, and it's a good thing we did it. (He blew off with one dismissive sentence any idea that Roosevelt manipulated us into Pearl Harbor.) But in all I enjoyed this very much; I especially appreciated the quotes from real people of nearly every place and part of the war telling about their experiences. If someone wants an overview of the entire huge war, this would seem to me to be a pretty good place to start. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 James | 2/9/2014

    " A very considerable amount of work. A long read and not uninteresting but did we really need another single-volume narrative? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deborah | 1/27/2014

    " exhaustively researched, masterful overview with intensely personal individual experiences "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Richard | 1/27/2014

    " An outstanding book: well written and viewing the war through the eyes of its participants -- both combatants and non-combatants. The author did an excellent job in mining the correspondence and diaries of people from the principal combatants (Germany, Japan, China, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union). I highly recommend this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christopher | 1/9/2014

    " One of the best one-volume histories of the war, or any war, I have read. He really is the best-placed to write this sort of thing, given the level of scholarship he has built up over the years. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 1/1/2014

    " First rate summary of the second world war "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katie | 11/21/2013

    " Best single-volume account of WWII that I have read so far. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nigel | 8/19/2013

    " Epic, a long but very worthwhile read, love how the book contains so many extracts from real letters written at the time, and comments overheard - I've never seen that done to such good effect. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 George | 6/27/2013

    " Excellent, easily readable 600 pages plus account of World War II. Most political and military figures are not always positively portrayed and there is an emphasis upon the military and civilian casualties during the war and the war's affect upon people. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erick | 1/31/2013

    " I've said it before, I'll say it again: I want to be Max Hastings when I grow up. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Graham | 12/21/2012

    " you could not read a better primer on ww2 than this one. superb. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Donalee | 7/29/2012

    " This is a boook for history majors using 1st person accounts of the various fronts in WWII. I admit that I did not finish the book. I am too absorbed in my own bailiwick to absorb so much material. I shall save it for a more suitable time of fully functioning brain. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Richard | 6/1/2012

    " Well researched comprehensive WWII history. Not for the casual history reader at almost 700 pages but fascinating and often horrifying given the scope of the subject. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judith | 4/5/2012

    " I found this a totally absorbing read. It's not at all cheerful - the facts are truly depressing - but very informative "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mpz | 1/26/2012

    " Disturbing but facinating view of WW2 "

About the Author

Sir Max Hastings is the author of twenty-six books, most about conflict, and several made the New York Times bestsellers list. Between 1986 and 2002 he served as editor-in-chief of the London Daily Telegraph, then editor of the Evening Standard. He has won many prizes both for journalism and his books have been bestsellers translated around the world. He chronicles Vietnam with the benefit of vivid personal memories: first of reporting in 1967-68 from the United States, where he encountered many of the war’s decision-makers including President Lyndon Johnson, and then of successive assignments in Indochina for newspapers and BBC TV. He rode a helicopter out of the US Saigon embassy compound during the 1975 final evacuation.

About the Narrator

Ralph Cosham (1936–2014), a.k.a. Geoffrey Howard, was a British journalist who changed careers to become a narrator and screen and stage actor. He performed in more than one hundred professional theatrical roles. His audiobook narrations were named “Audio Best of the Year” by Publishers Weekly, and he won seven AudioFile Earphones Awards, and in 2013 he won the coveted Audie Award for Best Mystery Narration for his reading of Louise Penny’s The Beautiful Mystery.