Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist
Look Inside World War II

World War II
A New History


  • Date Published: September 2009
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521608435

£ 26.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

Request inspection copy

Lecturers may request a copy of this title for inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • This book is a magisterial global history of World War II. Beginning in 1937 with the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War, Evan Mawdsley shows how the origins of World War II lay in a conflict between the old international order and the new and then traces the globalisation of the conflict as it swept through Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. His primary focus is on the war's military and strategic history though he also examines the political, economic, ideological, and cultural factors which influenced the course of events. The war's consequences are examined too, not only in terms of the defeat of the Axis but also the break-up of colonial empires and the beginning of the Cold War. Accessibly written and well-illustrated with maps and photographs, this compelling new account also includes short studies of the key figures, events and battles that shaped the war.

    • Takes a global approach to the history of the Second World War, integrating events in Asia and the Pacific, India, North Africa, Europe, Russia and America
    • Sets the war within a new chronological framework tracing the escalation of the conflict from the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937
    • Features extensive maps and illustrations, text boxes outlining key individuals, events, and themes, timelines at the start of each chapter, suggestions for further reading and links to relevant websites
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'This objective account of grand strategy of victors and losers in WWII is a direct hit. What emerges is an original thesis, a new insight into the complicated story of the global conflict between 1937 and 1945: factually reliable, cogently argued and concisely written. Magnificent … A new Weinberg is born.' Jürgen Förster, University of Freiburg

    'Mawdsley's comprehensive command of sources, his perceptive analysis, and his vivid presentation make this especially valuable for undergraduates studying the Second World War and military history in general.' Dennis Showalter, Colorado College and author of Hitler's Panzers

    'Evan Mawdsley's new single-volume history of World War II, arguably the Twentieth Century's most terrible war, sets a new standard for scholarship in this vital field. Exploiting an imposing array of fresh archival materials and synthesizing a multitude of recent studies on the subject, Mawdsley redefines the war's basic parameters by including the conflict's oft-neglected but vitally important eastern European and Asiatic dimensions. By doing so he combats the parochialism so pervasive in previous national perspectives on the war and produces a uniquely balanced assessment of the war's multiple theaters and fronts. These qualities ensure that Mawdsley's World War II will likely remain the finest single-volume history of the war for years to come.' David M. Glantz, The Citadel (Military College of South Carolina)

    'Beginning in 1937 and not in 1939, and focusing on Asia as much as Europe, World War II sets its subject in its proper global and chronological context. Its prose is straightforward and direct, with a clarity that rests on sophisticated arguments and deep reading. Such balance makes it an ideal introductory text, but it is one from which even knowledgeable readers will learn.' Hew Strachan, University of Oxford

    'To write a concise book about the biggest war in world history is no small task, but Evan Mawdsley has done it with masterful skill and insight. He casts a fresh light on the war. … What makes this a must-buy for anyone interested in the subject is the beautifully produced maps, illustrations and the fifty-seven short boxes on topics ranging from 'General Ludendorff and total war' to 'The Katyn massacre'. This is a superb read for students and general readers alike, but also an authoritative work of reference.' BBC History Magazine

    'It is a rare textbook that is both cutting edge and new: the book proves that we need to place the start of the Second World War in East Asia in 1937, rather than Europe in 1939 or Russia and Pearl Harbour in 1941. It changes how we write history.' The Times Higher Education Supplement

    'Fresh, insightful judgements and well-judged overall balance make this a masterful book. Its effectiveness is enhanced by the use of side panels that convey important factual information about the tools of war … without interrupting the flow of the narrative. In every respect - conception, design, construction and delivery - this is a book that really works.' John Gooch, War in History

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521608435
    • length: 498 pages
    • dimensions: 250 x 177 x 24 mm
    • weight: 1kg
    • contains: 46 b/w illus. 14 maps 8 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. The world in 1937
    2. Japan and China, 1937–40
    3. Hitler's border wars, 1938–9
    4. Germany re-fights World War I, 1939–40
    5. Wars of ideology, 1941–2
    6. The Red Army versus the Wehrmacht, 1941–4
    7. Japan's lunge for empire, 1941–2
    8. Defending the perimeter: Japan, 1942–4
    9. The 'world ocean' and Allied victory, 1939–45
    10. The European periphery, 1940–4
    11. Wearing down Germany, 1942–4
    12. Victory in Europe, 1944–5
    13. End and beginning in Asia, 1945

  • Author

    Evan Mawdsley, University of Glasgow
    Evan Mawdsley is Professor of International History in the Department of History, University of Glasgow. His previous publications include The Russian Civil War (1983/2008), The Soviet Elite from Lenin to Gorbachev: The Central Committee and its Members, 1917–1991 (with Stephen White, 2000), The Stalin Years: The Soviet Union, 1929–1953 (2003) and Thunder in the East: The Nazi-Soviet War, 1941–1945 (2005).

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.