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Total War

A People’s History of the Second World War

Kate Clements, Paul Cornish, Vikki Hawkins, Margaret MacMillan

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An innovative illustrated history of the Second World War, told with the help of personal stories from across the globe

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Total War is an illustrated account of the most significant event of the 20th century: World War II. Widely seen as the embodiment of 'total war', the conflict threw nations and communities into turmoil, destroying boundaries between civilians and soldiers and unleashing violence, death and destruction on an unprecedented scale. The events of the war are related here not only through compelling photographs, maps and infographics, but also through the personal stories of some of the millions worldwide - from journalists and resistance fighters to aircrew and ordinary citizens - whose lives were changed forever. Combining the personal with the global, Total War is an original and highly readable portrayal of a conflict whose effects are still being felt today.


'With outstanding production values and a fresh, modern design, this is a tremendous overview of WWII for the general reader'
The Armourer

'Well-researched and engagingly written … richly illustrated'
History of War

'Life stories and more are recounted in this beautifully produced book sure to fascinate anyone with an interest in the history of the Second World War and the impact on our ancestors’ lives worldwide'
Family Tree

'Total War combines the global with the personal: maps, statistics and graphics alongside stories of human beings swept up in the most significant event of the 20th century'
The Budapest Times

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 27.5 x 21.5 cm

Extent: 288 pp

Publication date: 7 October 2021

ISBN: 9780500252482

Contents List

1. Peace Lost
2. European War
3. Britain's War
4. Global War
5. Victory in the Balance
6. The End and After

About the Author

Paul Cornish is a senior curator at the Imperial War Museums (IWM), and the IWM’s firearms specialist. He is the author of The First World War Retold, and has contributed to a number of academic publications relating to the material culture of conflict. Vikki Hawkins is a curator at the IWM. She has published and contributed to various conferences on the topic of displaying marginalized histories in museums, and is currently developing a research project on the material culture of sexual violence in conflict. Kate Clements is a curator for the new Second World War Galleries at IWM London. She has undertaken curatorial work on a number of exhibitions at the museum, including the Lord Ashcroft Gallery display of Victoria Cross and George Cross awards.