The Origins of the Second World War
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The Origins of the Second World War

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Exploring the reasons why the Second World War broke out in September 1939 and why a European conflict developed into a war that spanned the globe, The Origins of the Second World War argues that this was not just `Hitler's War' but one that had its roots and origins in the decline of the old empires of Britain and France and the rise of ambitious new powers in Germany, Italy and Japan who wanted large empires of their own.


This fourth edition has been revised throughout, covering the origins of the war from its background in the First World War to its expansion to embrace the Soviet Union, Japan and the United States by the end of 1941. Creating a comprehensive and analytical narrative while remaining a succinct overview of the subject, this book takes a thematic approach to the complex range of events that culminated in global warfare, discussing factors such as economic rivalry, rearmament and domestic politics and emphasising that any explanation of the outbreak of hostilities must be global in scope.


Containing updated references and primary source documents alongside a glossary, a chronology of key events and a Who's Who of important figures, this book is an invaluable introduction for any student of this fascinating period.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 158 pages
  • 159 x 235 x 12.7mm | 272g
  • ROUTLEDGE
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • 4th New edition
  • 2 Tables, black and white; 8 Illustrations, black and white
  • 1138963267
  • 9781138963269
  • 695,652

Table of contents

Preface


List of figures


List of tables


Maps


Chronology


Who's Who





PART ONE BACKGROUND


1 EXPLAINING THE SECOND WORLD WAR


PART TWO ANALYSIS


2 THE INTERNATIONAL CRISIS


The collapse of the League


France and Britain


America and the Soviet Union


From the Rhineland to Munich


3 ECONOMIC AND IMPERIAL RIVALRY


The imperial powers


The `have-not' powers


The failure of `economic appeasement'


4 ARMAMENTS AND DOMESTIC POLITICS


Rearmament


Finance, industry and labour


Rearmament and domestic politics


5 WAR OVER POLAND


The aftermath of Munich


The Soviet factor


The outbreak of war


6 FROM EUROPEAN TO WORLD WAR


The war in the west


Barbarossa


The coming of world war


PART THREE ASSESSMENT


7 HITLER'S WAR?


PART FOUR DOCUMENTS 101


1 The Treaty of Versailles and Germany


2 The Covenant of the League


3 The search for a settlement


4 American `appeasement'


5 Stalin anticipates war


6 The `Hossbach memorandum'


7 Preparation for war before Munich


8 The Munich Conference


9 The Munich Agreement


10 Economic pressure on Japan


11 Mussolini's vision of empire


12 Economic appeasement


13 Britain and Germany in the Balkans


14 The Four-Year Plan


15 Economic dangers for Britain


16 The crisis in France


17 `Peace for our time'


18 The change of mood in the west


19 Hitler plans to crush Poland


20 Chamberlain guarantees Poland


21 The Franco-British `war plan', 1939


22 British intelligence on Germany


23 Stalin warns the west after Munich


24 The Franco-British failure in Moscow


25 The Soviet reaction to German advances, 1939


26 The German-Soviet Pact


27 Britain's Probable Attitude


28 Hitler gambles on western weakness


29 The last gasp of appeasement


30 Bonnet's doubts about war


31 Poland in the middle


32 The last days of peace


33 Chamberlain's `awful Sunday'


34 Berlin proposes peace


35 A Demand for Peace


36 The Tripartite Pact


37 Preparation for total mobilization in Germany


38 The Barbarossa Directive


39 The German attack on Russia


40 Russia raises the price for co-operation


41 Japan decides on war


42 Creating the new world order


GLOSSARY


REFERENCES


INDEX
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Review quote

"This remains the stand-out single volume account of the origins of the war, presented here with importantã `fourth edition' updates. Overy summarizes and surveys a vast literature with consummate perspicacity, to the benefit of readers from all backgrounds."


Ashley Jackson, King's College London, UK


"The fourth edition of this classic text, carefully revised and refreshed, is extremely welcome. Overy guides readers masterfully through the complex historical and historiographical terrain of the road to war, offering a clear but sophisticated interpretation."


Patrick Finney, Aberyswyth University, UK


"The latest edition of Richard Overy's classic text constitutes an invaluable guide for teachers and students - as well as for anyone else interested in understanding how the Second World War came about. Precise, accessible and engaging throughout, the book highlights Overy's powerful command of the subject."


Robert Crowcroft, University of Edinburgh, UK
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About Richard Overy

Richard Overy is Professor of History at the University of Exeter. He has authored and edited more than 30 books on the European dictators, the Second World War and the history of air power, including The Air War 1939-1945 (2006, second edition), Why the Allies Won (2006, second edition), The Dictators: Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia (2004), which won both the Wolfson and the Hessell Tiltman Prizes for History in 2005, and 1939: Countdown to War (2009). His book The Bombing War: Europe 1939-1945 (2013) won a Cundill Award for historical literature.
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Rating details

74 ratings
3.66 out of 5 stars
5 20% (15)
4 34% (25)
3 38% (28)
2 8% (6)
1 0% (0)
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