World War Two

A Short History

Author: Norman Stone

  • Allen Lane
  • Format: Hardback
  • Published: 08 Jan 2013
Buy Now


A pacy, compelling and penetrating account from Wolfson Prize-winning author Norman Stone, that shows World War Two in a fresh new light

The Second World War is the nightmare that sits at the heart of the modern era - a total refutation of any notion of human progress and a conflict which still haunts us seventy years on.

Norman Stone's gripping new book aims to tell the narrative of the war in as brief a compass as possible, making a sometimes familiar story utterly fresh and arresting. As with his highly acclaimed World War One: A Short History, there is a compelling sense of a terrible story unfolding, of a sceptical and humorous intelligence at work, and a wish to convey to an audience who may well have no memory of the conflict just how high the stakes were.

This is a beautifully written, clever and imaginative attempt to convey what can almost not be conveyed.


'[An] entertaining history ... Novices will receive a painless introduction, but educated readers should not pass up the highly opinionated prologue and epilogue and the author's trademark acerbic commentary throughout ... Readers of all stripes ... will find plenty to ponder' Kirkus Reviews

Reviews of Norman Stone's World War One:

'Bold, provocative and witty ... One of the outstanding historians of our age' Spectator

'Exhilarating ... scintillating ... a heady cocktail' Observer

'Do we need another history of the First World War? The answer in the case of Norman Stone's short book is, yes - because of its opinionated freshness and the unusual, sharp facts that fly about like shrapnel' Literary Review

'One of the most original modern commentaries on the conflict ... this stimulating work can be read for pleasure in an afternoon, even if you are not particularly interested in World War One. That truly is the mark of a great history book' Evening Standard

About the author:

Norman Stone is one of Britain's greatest historians. His major works include The Eastern Front, 1914-1917 (winner of the Wolfson Prize and published by Penguin), Europe Transformed and The Atlantic and Its Enemies (published by Penguin). He has taught at the universities of Cambridge, Oxford and Bilkent, where he is now Director of the Turkish-Russian Centre. He lives in Ankara.

Product details

  • Format: Hardback
  • ISBN: 9781846141393
  • Size: 144 x 222mm
  • Pages: 272
  • Published: 08 Jan 2013
  • Publisher: Allen Lane
Back to top