Listen free for 30 days

  • The Second World Wars

  • How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won
  • Written by: Victor Davis Hanson
  • Narrated by: Bob Souer
  • Length: 23 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Military
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (25 ratings)

Audible Membership

$14.95 a month

1 credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
The Plus Catalogue—listen all you want to thousands of Audible Originals, podcasts, and audiobooks.
$14.95 a month plus applicable taxes after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy Now for $50.07

Buy Now for $50.07

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Tax where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

A definitive account of World War II by America's preeminent military historian.  

World War II was the most lethal conflict in human history. Never before had a war been fought on so many diverse landscapes and in so many different ways, from rocket attacks in London to jungle fighting in Burma to armor strikes in Libya.  

The Second World Wars examines how combat unfolded in the air, at sea, and on land to show how distinct conflicts among disparate combatants coalesced into one interconnected global war. Drawing on 3,000 years of military history, Victor Davis Hanson argues that despite its novel industrial barbarity, neither the war's origins nor its geography were unusual. Nor was its ultimate outcome surprising. The Axis powers were well prepared to win limited border conflicts, but once they blundered into global war, they had no hope of victory.  

An authoritative new history of astonishing breadth, The Second World Wars, offers a stunning reinterpretation of history's deadliest conflict.

©2017 Victor Davis Hanson (P)2018 Tantor

What listeners say about The Second World Wars

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    21
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    17
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    19
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

VDH is person I respect his character and intent.

WW II is an amazing history where the USA, Canada & Great Britain United the free world to defeat evil. VDH gives pride to the services of my father who served on HMS Summerside as a sparked on a Corvette on Convoy duty at stark of the war, participated on Operation Touch, and finished out the war in Operation headquarters in Halifax due his as signal proceser at 60 + words per minute

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A fine military overview to supplement other works

The Second World Wars is a military history that does not spend a great deal of time mired in the weeds of politics. As such, you will need other sources for that. It is also divided into topics, not chronology or geography. It is an excellent second book, perhaps, for building a foundation to the subject, as it assumes some understanding of the course of the war.

As already stated, this book is broken into topics: air power, sea power, land power, industrial production, and so forth. The discussion is very erudite; it is packed full of detail and expert opinion. A prevailing theme is the critical importance of military deterrence. This is a compelling argument and, in the days of waning hegemony, a warning to nations who wish to avoid war.

The narrator did a good job overall, but the pacing was too quick. This necessitates reviewing sections, sometimes multiple times, to fully absorb the material as you are thinking about it. He also had a habit of making rather massive nasal inhales after reading a section. It is a little distracting and could have been easily edited out, but I did not score it against him.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • LARRY DINKIN
  • 2019-02-07

The story behind the story of WW 2

I have read over 35 books on WW 2 and the "Second World Wars" is one the most fascinating. It tells the story behind the story of WW 2. The book also introduces new facts by a well-informed author. Could not stop listening.

26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Stephen
  • 2019-01-11

Outstanding.

Loved it. Learned a lot. The book was finished in no time. Couldn't stop once I started it

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dr Sockmonkee
  • 2019-02-05

Amazing amount of information

I loved this book. I had never considered the different theaters of war or the participants in the way presented. I learned much more than I knew beforehand.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • M. E. Blackman
  • 2019-03-15

Very well written, not as well spoken.

No complaints whatsoever regarding VDH’s writing or the way this book was put together. It’s a great overview of the various aspects of the war. (If you’re looking for details of particular battles or campaigns, this isn’t it.) I was a bit disappointed with the narrator’s errors with some of the pronunciation, and especially with pauses in the middle of sentences which interrupted the flow of the story.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • DOUGLAS RIFE
  • 2019-02-11

The full scope of the world-wide conflict

I have listened to all of the book and am starting it a second time. It is the best of the WW2 overviews. Victor Davis Hanson is not only recognized as a "war history" expert - he is our era's best commentator and historian of war and its affect on the world and politics. The approach he takes interweaves the multiple theaters, the various elements (land, sea, air, strategy, tactics, logistics, technology, and industry) while maintaining a linkage of all factors even while emphasizing one aspect. I am now investing the time to listen through again - there is so much to be mined from this mother-lode of data.

The narration is excellent.

I'll be looking for more of Victor Davis Hanson's work on audible products.

24 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Steve Hillman MD
  • 2019-05-05

The whole story of WWII

As a lifetime student of WWII I found myself surprised at the vast amount of detail I had missed in the past.
This is the most complete work on the subject I’ve encountered.
A must reafy

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • George
  • 2019-01-26

excellent book

Absolutely stonning book if you are loving details. Strategies, planning and politics during the world war II ....all those you thought you know before reading it. Well, the book will teach you a lot more.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • REX LANYI
  • 2019-05-18

A Reluctant 4.5 Stars

I "only" gave it 4.5 Stars because although the book was very well researched and written, I felt that the Asian War was not included proportionately. It seemed like the war in the Pacific and Asia received about one-third of the author's time, with China barely being mentioned. Something much closer to half of the book would have been appropriate. However, the book was excellent in all other respects.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • 2020-05-08

So Tedious

I have read Victor Davis Hanson's columns from time to time and have always found him to have great insight, even if I did not fully agree with him, which is why I bought this book.

I have slogged through more than half of this and listen to it from time to time. It is incredibly tedious and highly repetitive. It does not seem particularly well organized. There are repeated references to wars in ancient history and how they supposedly relate to World War II. Some may find those references interesting. I do not.

The narration is also not so great. Souer generally speaks very quickly and in somewhat of a monotone, punctuated by strange silences and drawing deep breaths.

If I could do it again, I would pass on this one.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Timothy L
  • 2019-02-01

great commentary on World War II

a different View and understanding of World War II that you've never heard before from an excellent scholar on war Victor Davis Hanson.

5 people found this helpful