A World at Arms: A New History of World War II
by Gerhard L. Weinberg, Cambridge University Press, 1,126 pages
Four and a half years into it, the fiftieth anniversary of the Second World War has found a chronicle worthy of the occasion. The diplomatic historian Gerhard L. Weinberg has compressed the endless complexities of the global struggle into a coherent—in fact, hypnotic—narrative, offered up in a single, handsome volume. The scholarship is superb and wide-ranging (the German-born author is at home in Nazi-era archives often passed over by other historians), the prose has bite and clarity, Weinberg does not shrink from making judgments, and his tale is leavened with mordant wit and underpinned with moral clarity. This is surely the finest one-volume history we have of the most important event of our century.