Peter Englund November 1942


Code 9781847924810
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'An astonishing achievement' ANTONY BEEVOR
'Extraordinary' JULIA BOYD

An intimate history of the most important month of the Second World War - perhaps the century - as experienced by those who lived through it, completely based on their diaries, letters and memoirs.

At the beginning of November 1942, it looked as if the Axis powers could win the war; at the end of that month, it was obviously just a matter of time before they would lose.

In between came el-Alamein, Guadalcanal, the French North Africa landings, the Japanese retreat in New Guinea, and the Soviet encirclement of the German 6th Army at Stalingrad. In this innovatively kaleidoscopic and riveting historical marvel, Peter Englund reduces these epoch-making events to their basic component: the individual experience.

In thirty memorable days we meet characters including a Soviet infantryman at Stalingrad; an Italian truck driver in the North African desert; a partisan in the Belarussian forests; a machine gunner in a British bomber; a twelve-year-old girl in Shanghai; a university student in Paris; a housewife on Long Island; a prisoner in Treblinka; Albert Camus, Vasily Grossman, and Vera Brittain - forty characters in all. We also witness the launch of SS James Oglethorpe; the fate of U-604, a German submarine; the building of the first nuclear reactor; and the making of Casablanca.

Not since Englund's own The Beauty and the Sorrow has a book given us one of the most dramatic periods of human history in all its immensity and emotional range.

'Thought-provoking' SUNDAY TIMES
'Thoroughly worth reading' TELEGRAPH

About the Author

Peter Englund (Author)
Peter Englund is a historian, journalist and member of the Swedish Academy, which awards the Nobel Prize in Literature.

He is the author of ten books, most recently The Beauty and the Sorrow: An Intimate History of the First World War, and has won various literary prizes for his work including the August prize for the best Swedish book of the year and the Sela Lagerlof Literary Prize.

Peter Graves (Translator)
Peter Graves was born in Wales. He studied German and Swedish at the University of Aberdeen and later taught Scandinavian languages, literature and culture at the universities of Aberdeen and Edinburgh. He has been awarded a number of prizes for his translation work.

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'An astonishing achievement'
- Antony Beevor

'By interweaving the detailed experiences of 39 individuals from all parts of the conflict, Englund presents an extraordinary panorama of this pivotal moment. A haunting narrative imaginatively conceived, brilliantly told'
- Julia Boyd

'Absolutely revelatory. A stunning tour de force. So much in here that is truly fresh and new. Englund chronicles the gripping tale of one month that changed everything in WWII, and it is so beautifully written and timeless. Once read, you'll want to return to this again and again'
- Damien Lewis

'Majestic ... This is an extraordinary evocation of a pivotal moment in the 20th century. Englund captures not only the gnawing tension, the moments of terror and the flinty endurance but also the fractal complexity of this global conflict. Resonantly written and utterly gripping, this book will stay with you'
- Sinclair MacKay

'Thought-provoking ... Englund's book ... deserves an audience, to increase knowledge not only of this particular war, but also of the stupendous sacrifices and tragedies of all human conflicts'
- Sunday Times


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