The Duel: The Eighty-Day Struggle Between Churchill and Hitler

Yale University Press
2
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This is a day-by-day account of the eighty-day struggle in 1940 between Hitler--poised on the edge of absolute victory--and Churchill--threatened by imminent invasion and defeat--on the eve of the second World War.

"A masterful book--masterful in its portrayal of its protagonists, masterful in its overall understanding of the death-struggle in which they engaged, masterful, above all, in its vivid, suspenseful chronicling of the most momentous eighty days in the history of this century."--Geoffrey Ward

"This is a marvelous book. John Lukacs has lucid, unsentimental insight into the mind and character of both Churchill and Hitler."--Conor Cruise O'Brien

"A wonderful story wonderfully told."--George F. Will

"It is salutary to be reminded in this powerful study how close Hitler came to winning in 1940. . . . An impressive study . . . [written] with elegance and panache."--Peter Stansky, New York Times

"A master of narrative history on a par with Barbara Tuchman and Garrett Mattingly."--Kirkus Reviews
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A01
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Additional Information

Publisher
Yale University Press
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Published on
Mar 11, 2001
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9780300089165
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Military / World War II
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This content is DRM protected.
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In this brilliant, strikingly original book, historian John Lukacs delves to the core of Adolf Hitler's life and mind by examining him through the lenses of his surprisingly diverse biographers.

Since 1945 there have been more than one hundred biographies of Hitler, and countless other books on him and the Third Reich. What happens when so many people reinterpret the life of a single individual? Dangerously, the cumulative portrait that begins to emerge can suggest the face of a mythic antihero whose crimes and errors blur behind an aura of power and conquest. By reversing the process, by making Hitler's biographers--rather than Hitler himself--the subject of inquiry, Lukacs reveals the contradictions that take us back to the true Hitler of history.

Like an attorney, Lukacs puts the biographies on trial. He gives a masterly account of all the major works and of the personalities, methods, and careers of the biographers (one cannot separate the historian from his history, particularly in this arena); he looks at what is still not known (and probably never will be) about Hitler; he considers various crucial aspects of the real Hitler; and he shows how different biographers have either advanced our understanding or gone off track. By singling out those who have been involved in, or co-opted into, an implicit "rehabilitation  of Hitler," Lukacs draws powerful conclusions about Hitler's essential differences from other monsters of history, such as Napoleon, Mussolini, and Stalin, and--equally important--about Hitler's place in the history of this century and of the world.


From the Hardcover edition.
Were World Wars I and II inevitable? Were they necessary wars? Or were they products of calamitous failures of judgment?

In this monumental and provocative history, Patrick Buchanan makes the case that, if not for the blunders of British statesmen–Winston Churchill first among them–the horrors of two world wars and the Holocaust might have been avoided and the British Empire might never have collapsed into ruins. Half a century of murderous oppression of scores of millions under the iron boot of Communist tyranny might never have happened, and Europe’s central role in world affairs might have been sustained for many generations.

Among the British and Churchillian errors were:
• The secret decision of a tiny cabal in the inner Cabinet in 1906 to take Britain straight to war against Germany, should she invade France
• The vengeful Treaty of Versailles that mutilated Germany, leaving her bitter, betrayed, and receptive to the appeal of Adolf Hitler
• Britain’s capitulation, at Churchill’s urging, to American pressure to sever the Anglo-Japanese alliance, insulting and isolating Japan, pushing her onto the path of militarism and conquest
• The greatest mistake in British history: the unsolicited war guarantee to Poland of March 1939, ensuring the Second World War

Certain to create controversy and spirited argument, Churchill, Hitler, and “the Unnecessary War” is a grand and bold insight into the historic failures of judgment that ended centuries of European rule and guaranteed a future no one who lived in that vanished world could ever have envisioned.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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