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Blood and Ruins

The Great Imperial War, 1931-1945

Richard Overy

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Allen Lane
05 January 2022
A bold new approach to the Second World War from one of its foremost historians
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. He argues that this was the 'great imperial war', a violent end to almost a century of global imperial expansion which reached its peak in the 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.

How war on a huge scale was fought, supplied, paid for, supported by mass mobilization and morally justified forms the heart of this new account. Above all, Overy explains the bitter cost for those involved in fighting, and the exceptional level of crime and atrocity that marked these imperial projects, the war and its aftermath. This war was as deadly for civilians as it was for the military, a war to the death over the future of the global order.

Blood and Ruins is a masterpiece from of one of the most renowned historians of the Second World War, 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.
Imprint:   Allen Lane
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 240mm,  Width: 162mm,  Spine: 47mm
Weight:   1.282kg
ISBN:   9780713995626
ISBN 10:   0713995629
Pages:   1040
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Richard Overy is Honorary Research Professor of History at the University of Exeter and one of Britain's most distinguished historians. His major works include The Dictators, winner of the 2005 Wolfson Prize, The Morbid Age and The Bombing War, which was a finalist for 2014 Cundhill Prize. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and a Member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts.

Reviews for Blood and Ruins: The Great Imperial War, 1931-1945

Majestic and original ... Overy has written many fine books, but Blood and Ruins is his masterpiece. At almost 1,000 pages, it puts all previous single-volume works of the conflict in the shade. -- Saul David * The Times * This book is Richard Overy's magnum opus (in every sense of the phrase) ... It would be difficult to overstate the brilliance with which argument and insight are interwoven in a fast-paced narrative ... Extraordinarily compelling, and written with remarkable fluency. -- John Darwin * Times Literary Supplement * Recasting World War Two as the logical continuation of decades of imperial growth and territorial ambition, this new exploration of the conflict is expansive in its geographical and chronological scope. Yet it never loses sight of the very human cost of that ambition ... A weighty, important take from a leading author in the field. * History Revealed * His masterly synthesis of the war's vast literature and sources has never been bettered. ... it is unflagging and consistently illuminating. -- Geoffrey Roberts * Irish Times *

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