Julian Thompson

Butcher’s Bill

All Hell Let Loose: The World at War 1939–1945


HarperPress 748pp £30 order from our bookshop

An average of 27,000 people died each day between September 1939 and August 1945 as a result of the war. We still live with the consequences to this day. Max Hastings has combined his considerable experience of war reporting with years of research on the Second World War to write a compelling account of this terrible event, largely told through the eyes of a multitude of men and women who were touched by it. The book is well paced throughout, and a compelling read: no mean feat given the vast canvas it covers. He writes with compassion, but without sentimentality; with understanding, but without hesitating to explode myths where necessary. He castigates incompetence, but acknowledges that mistakes are often made in war. He knows that even the finest intelligence organisation will rarely tell you everything you would like to know.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'One of the best aspects of Kaufmann’s book is its optimism' Here's @BurlM11's review of @epkaufm's Whiteshift. ,
    • Whom did Picasso label a 'bristly pig'? Read Rosalind P Blakesley's review of The Collector by Natalya Semenova to… ,
    • Alexandra Gajda on Anna Beer's new biography, Patriot or Traitor: The Life and Death of Sir Walter Ralegh ,
    • Mark Lawson reviews @jonathancoe's Middle England - The Rotters' Club for our Brexit age. ,
    • 'Behind every book that is published lies ... a haunted landscape, populated by the ghosts of things written and ex… ,
    • 'We once more live in a great age of dragon invention' Here's Tom Shippey on Martin Arnold's The Dragon ,
    • RT : Man at the q&a part of the book panel: Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't s… ,