Next book

WHY THE ALLIES WON

Was the Allied victory in WW II an inevitable triumph of good over evil? No, says Overy (History/King's College, London; The Air War: 19391945, 1981, etc.), in this incisive analysis of the factors that led to victory over Germany, Italy, and Japan. In early 1942, Overy points out, the Axis powers were triumphant in every world theater. Japan had, in a single blow, crippled Allied fleets, had conquered all the Pacific islands within a 1,000-mile perimeter, and was threatening an apparently defenseless Australia. Germany had conquered much of Europe and had inflicted devastating, losses on the Soviet Union. Britain was prostrate, its lifelines threatened by relentless U-boat attacks. The US had yet to mount an armament program, and the Soviet Union seemed industrially exhausted. Yet by 1944 Allied victory was simply a matter of time. Overy explains this remarkable reversal of fortune by reviewing Allied success in each of four zones: the sea war, in which the Allies capitalized on vast US and British fleets, shrewd use of airplanes at sea, and superior intelligence; the Soviet victory on the Eastern front, where Hitler underestimated both the fighting spirit and the renewed production potential of the Soviets; the air war, in which Allied long-range bombing forced the Germans to fight the last two years of the war without air support; and the reconquest of Europe after the D-Day invasion, which sealed Hitler's fate. Overy also analyzes the superior control of resources by the Allies, the combat effectiveness of Allied and Axis troops, the leadership of the two sides, and the moral contrasts between them. He concludes that ``the Allies won . . . because they turned their economic strength into effective fighting power, and turned the moral energies of their people into an effective will to win.'' A cogent look at the 20th century's great turning point. (Book-of-the-Month Club selection; History Book Club main selection)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-393-03925-0

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Norton

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1996

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 31


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller


  • National Book Award Finalist

Next book

KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 31


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller


  • National Book Award Finalist

Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

Next book

A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

Close Quickview