BookBrowse Reviews Warlords by Simon Berthon, Joanna Potts

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Warlords

An Extraordinary Re-Creation of World War II Through the Eyes and Minds of Hitler, Churchill, Roosevelt, And Stalin

by Simon Berthon, Joanna Potts

Warlords by Simon Berthon, Joanna Potts
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Mar 2006, 358 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2007, 384 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


World War II as seen through the eyes of its four great 'warlords'. History

From the book jacket: In a unique combination of innovative style and thorough scholarship, Warlords tells the story of World War II through the lives of the four great war leaders: Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill, and Franklin Roosevelt. While their nations fought battles with weapons, the four warlords of the twentieth century fought a war of the mind. Structured along the lines of a cinematic thriller, rapidly cutting from one man to the next, the book takes us blow by blow as they try to out-think and outfight each other. These encounters are told on a day-by-day, even hour-by-hour basis, affording unparalleled insights into parallel actions.

Though there have been many single, and some dual, biographies, no previous book has put these four great figures together in this exciting and popularly appealing way. Moving from Whitehall and Washington to the Wolf's Lair and the Kremlin, Warlords documents the psychological battles among the leaders and shows how their thoughts and actions changed history.

Comment: The juxtaposition of the four story lines in Warlords, gleaned mainly from journals and eye-witness accounts, is fascinating. For example, as the focus moves from one leader to another, and back again, one feels the increasing pressure on Churchill and the British people as they hold out alone through two years of war, paralleled with Hitler's increasing frustration as to why the British won't behave reasonably and surrender! His conclusion was that Britain must have signed a secret treaty with the Russians, which caused him to turn on them, making an enemy of a former ally, and opening a second front.

The relationship between Roosevelt and Churchill is particularly fascinating. Today, they are usually portrayed as bosom-buddy allies, but the journal entries and eye-witness reports of the time portray a quite different relationship. In fact, it appears that Roosevelt considered Britain's imperial ambitions to be a greater threat than Stalin's, and considered Stalin the sort of person that he could do business with.

"The European people will simply have to endure Russian domination in the hope that, in ten or twenty years, the European influence will bring the Russians to become less barbarous"
- Roosevelt, speaking in 1942.

Time and again, Roosevelt leads Churchill to believe that the USA is ready to go into the war, only to back out again. Even the much vaunted Lend-Lease Act only provided 1% of Britain's weapons during the lonely year of 1941; and it took the Germans to declare war on the USA in December 1941 to eventually bring America into the war in Europe.

This review was originally published in April 2006, and has been updated for the April 2007 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.



This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Discover your next great read here

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Castle of Water
    Castle of Water
    by Dane Huckelbridge
    When a whopping 24 out of 27 readers give a book 4 or 5 stars, you know you have a winner on your ...
  • Book Jacket: Havana
    Havana
    by Mark Kurlansky
    History with flavor...culture with spice...language with gusto...it would be hard to find a better ...
  • Book Jacket: Temporary People
    Temporary People
    by Deepak Unnikrishnan
    In this powerful and innovative collection of 28 short stories, Deepak Unnikrishnan presents a ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Nest
by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

A funny and acutely perceptive debut about four siblings and the fate of their shared inheritance.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    If We Were Villains
    by M. L. Rio

    An intelligent and captivating story of the enduring power and passion of words.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Stars Are Fire
    by Anita Shreve

    An exquisitely suspenseful novel about an extraordinary young woman tested by a catastrophic event.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

When an old man dies, a library burns to the ground.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Y S M B, I'll S Y

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -