The Origins of the Second World War  book cover
5th Edition

The Origins of the Second World War

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after April 12, 2022
ISBN 9780367620820
April 12, 2022 Forthcoming by Routledge
196 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Now in its 5th edition, The Origins of the Second World War explores the reasons why the Second World War broke out in September 1939 and why a European conflict developed into a war that spanned the globe.

This book argues that the global conflict was not just ‘Hitler’s War’ but one that had its roots and origins in the decline of the old empires of Britain and France and the rise of ambitious new powers in Germany, Italy and Japan who wanted large empires of their own. Richard Overy covers the origins of the war from its background in the First World War to its expansion to embrace the Soviet Union, Japan and the United States by the end of 1941. Creating a comprehensive and analytical narrative while remaining a succinct overview of the subject, this book takes a thematic approach to the complex range of events that culminated in global warfare, discussing factors such as economic rivalry, rearmament and domestic politics and emphasising that any explanation of the outbreak of hostilities must be global in scope. This new edition includes more discussion of the role of empire and the imperial background to the war.

Containing several new primary source documents alongside a glossary, a chronology of key events and a Who’s Who of important figures, this book is an invaluable introduction for any student of this fascinating period in history.

Table of Contents

PART I: Background  1. Explaining the Second World War  PART II: Analysis  2. The international crisis  3. Economic and imperial rivalry  4. Armaments and domestic politics  5. War over Poland  6. From European to world war  PART III: Assessment  7. Hitler’s war?  PART IV: Documents

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Richard Overy is Professor of History at the University of Exeter. He has authored and edited more than 30 books on the European dictators, the Second World War and the history of air power.