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Subject: Beevor book recommendations? rss

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Kai Jensen
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I have recently read Antony Beevor's "The Battle for Spain" because I knew nothing about the Spanish Civil War. I knew a little about Stalingrad, so I increased that knowledge reading his "Stalingrad". I don't know much at all about the last few months of WWII, so I am now reading "The Fall of Berlin 1945". Now I've heard of another book by Beevor and I'm looking for feedback before committing my precious book bucks.

Has anyone read A Writer at War: Vasily Grossman with the Red Army, 1941-1945 by Anthony Beevor and Luba Vinogradova - based on Grossman's notebooks, war diaries, personal correspondence and articles? I have been wondering if this one is also worth picking up.

Thanks in advance if anyone answers...
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John Bobek
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If he writes it, I say read it!
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Dan Owsen
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A Writer at War: Vasily Grossman with the Red Army, 1941-1945 is very interesting, though be aware that it is highlights from a notebook. Beevor did a good job stitching the materials together into an interesting narrative and giving them background context. In other words it is not really a focused narrative like Beevor's other books.

What really makes the notebook writings interesting is reading Vasily Grossman's epic novel Life and Fate after reading his notebooks. You can catch glimpses of his own war experiences in Life and Fate. I have only read part of Life and Fate, and it's a typical Russian novel with tons of characters and to be honest a bit of a slow pace, but it is richly written and full of terriffic scenes. I plan to finish it some day soon.
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Stefan Daniels
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Wargamer204 wrote:
If he writes it, I say read it!:D


I'd completely agree. That and most of John Keegan's stuff as well (I really didn't like 'Mask of Command'). But pretty much anything by these two is necessary reading IMO.
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Fredrik Borg
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Like everyone else (I think) I really liked Stalingrad. However, I didn't like "Crete - the Battle and the Resistance" very much and wouldn't recommend it.

How did you like "The Battle for Spain"?

Fredrik.
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Colin Hunter
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I'll chime in and say battle for spain is excellent, I don't know how Kai found it though. I also really like Berlin, although it was incredibly depressing, mind you pretty much all war books are for me.
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Paul Lister
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The Grossman diary is a great read - an intellectuals expeiernce of the great patriotic war. If i could recommend another English writer then Max Hasting's Nemesis : The Battle for Japan 1944-45 is another great read - reminds ome me of Beevor in style and scope.

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Marty M
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His new one has recently been released:-



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Dicky P
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pitferret wrote:

A Writer at War: Vasily Grossman with the Red Army, 1941-1945 by Anthony Beevor and Luba Vinogradova


Haven't heard of this one but as others have said as Beevor has had his hand in this, it must be a buy. All his previous books I have considered excellent, although "Crete - The Battle and the Resistance" didn't hold me as much as the others (I think it was for me just the arena - but still an interesting read).
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Mark Holmes
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I'm currently reading his new book 'D-Day' which has just been released in th UK. Like, 'Stalingrad' and 'Berlin' he's done some original research and gives a balanced view of the Normandy campaign from both the allied and axis sides.

Mark
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Dicky P
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There are some reviews on Amazon UK

http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/1845950151/ref=sr_1_...

which in the main are very positive....
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Matias D
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I didn't like Crete, and I couldn't wrap my head around Spain (I'm completely without knowledge about all things regarding the Spanish Civil War, and had great trouble keeping the names apart, so it all turned into a mess for me blush ). However, Stalingrad and Berlin were excellent.

A Writer at War is also good, but I think Beevor here more had a role as an editor, and not a writer. Even so, it's a great read. Grossman's report from one of the concentration camps is probably the best, and without argument the most gripping, part of the book.

D-Day is getting ordered this summer, for sure.
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Kai Jensen
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Cool! Thanks, guys! That was the answer I was hoping for.

I found the Spain book to be very interesting, as I knew next to nothing on the topic. Before diving into the book, I went online to do a little quick reading and made a cheatsheet of sorts with the important names and the various factions so I could keep everything straight in my head. I had to refer to it ALOT off the start, but after a while I think I figured out the who's who and all.

I will eventually pick up the new D-Day book, too. But as the gaming focus in the house is East Front at the moment, the Grossman book holds more immediate appeal.

The Berlin book is very dark/grim, but I am fascinated reading it. Even though it covers the military aspects I am looking for, it is Beevor's treatment of the human drama on a personal level that always draws me in. The trauma and horror experienced by the Soviet and Eastern European civilians as these two titanic armies swept over them and back again is depressing to say the least. And Beevor doesn't gloss over the ugly parts. He presents a side of the war not often touched on in documentaries or other books I have read.
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M·ANTONIVS·M·F·M·N
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Just to mention "Stalingrad" again.........if you are an East Front gamer "Stalingrad" is an absolute must read. Even if you find historical books boring and hard to get through......Beevor's book on the topic is outstanding.
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Kai Jensen
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Chad pointed out to me that I have already read "Stalingrad". It's on the shelf with the other reference books. Guess it's time for a re-read if I can't recall having waded through it the first time. blush
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Cindy Nowak
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I saw your comments on CSW before I saw the thread here. Thanks for bringing it up, I am looking forward to acquiring his books and reading them!
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Robert Wilson
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I read Stalingrad last winter, bad timing on my part

it was

A: Depressing , and..
B: Colder here than it was in some of the chapters in the book!
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しんぶん赤旗
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If you enjoy the style of history that Beevor tends to write and are looking for a good book about Stalingrad then "Enemy at the Gates" is worth reading (don't be discouraged by the movie). Overall I thought it was a better read. Beevor's book might benefit from more up to date research but the writing doesn't compare. I can't think of any outstanding titles that cover the final stage of the war (only stuff by people like hastings). Maybe Beevor is the best choice.


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John Bobek
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Quote:
If you enjoy the style of history that Beevor tends to write and are looking for a good book about Stalingrad then "Enemy at the Gates" is worth reading (don't be discouraged by the movie).


I second the opinion, though I do actually like the movie. After you read the book, you can find out all the errors the movie makes! Hollywood!shake
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しんぶん赤旗
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dude163 wrote:

B: Colder here than it was in some of the chapters in the book!


That may be the case but did you have to sleep in a hole in the ground.
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