This two volume work is, as promised, concise- and it is also comprehensive. In spite of its subtitle, Snyder recognizes the start of World War II in the Japanese attack on Chinese barracks at Mukden in 1931, after the destruction by bandits of a scant 31 inches of South Manchurian Railway. From there the ""melancholy chronicle of aggression"" proceeds to Madrid to to Munich, and finally to the Nazi invasion of Poland. Nor does the author neglect the fact that the world in 1960. Virtually no incident is unreported, however sketchily, from major campaigns and battles to accounts of such dramas as the destruction of the Graf Spee and the Bismarck, th ambush of Japan's Admiral Yamamoto and the lucky Allied seizure of the Rhine bridge at Remagen. One could wish for more than an occasional anecdote, but there are balanced accounts of such controversial subjects as the Yalta Agreements and the Nuremberg Trials. No newspaper-fed armchair soldier will, however, find anything new in the book and there are no interpretations of old events. It is a record, f but one unlikely to provide much stimulation.