Encyclopedia of World War II (2 Vol Set) (Facts on File Library of World History)

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9780816060221: Encyclopedia of World War II (2 Vol Set) (Facts on File Library of World History)

World War II, the largest and deadliest conflict in human history, is widely considered the pivotal event of the modern age. From the rise of fascist Europe to the atomic bombings of Japan, Encyclopedia of World War II presents the complete story of this great conflict in more than 700 entries. International in scope, this two-volume A-to-Z reference covers the military, historical, political, diplomatic, and biographical aspects of the war.

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About the Author:

Alan Axelrod has several books for Facts On File, including Encyclopedia of the American Armed Forces and Encyclopedia of Historical Treaties and Alliances, Second Edition, among others. He serves as a historical consultant to the Discovery Channel and was a creative consultant for A&E's Civil War Journal.

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The Second World War is considered the pivotal event of the twentieth century, and the Encyclopedia of World War II, by prolific military historian Axelrod, is a well-written and complete reference to the war for students and general readers. Not exhaustive, the reference covers the typical ideological, military, political, and social topics “most commonly sought by students and instructors”; and its entries are, as the introduction claims, “useful, relevant, and interesting.” Some 737 concise, descriptive, noninterpretive entries are arranged alphabetically, covering topics such as Aachen, Battle of; Bazooka; Chiang Kai-shek; Dachau concentration camp; Fascism; Lebensraum; Phony War; Waffen SS; and Yalta Agreement. Approximately 40 percent of the entries are biographical. Length ranges from 200 to 3,000 words, and larger entries, such as Aircraft carriers, include subheadings (in this case, describing the fleets of the chief combatants).  Aircraft, British exemplifies the many technical summaries of the equipment of the war’s chief combatants. Entries for major battles and campaigns (El Alamein, Kursk, Stalingrad) range from 700 to 1,200 words, contain easy-to-read maps, and provide the tactical overview and strategic significance of the battle. Articles are cross-referenced and include short bibliographies. Although this may not be a necessary purchase for libraries that have the exhaustive five-volume Encyclopedia of World WarII: A Political, Social, and Military History (ABC-CLIO, 2005), its size and more-selective coverage make it a good choice for public, high-school, and undergraduate libraries. --Charles Becker

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