"The Second World Wars, How the first global conflict was fought and won." by Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson has a stellar reputation as a historian.  He is in fact the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, where his focus is classics and military history.  He is also a frequent contributor to the "Claremont Review of Books", of which I am a member and avid reader.

So I was much delighted to pick up this new novel of his.  And boy was I not disappointed.  This tome shows why Mr. Hanson is a fellow at the Hoover Institution.

I consider myself well read on World War II.   So I am somewhat reluctant to read new works on this subject.  My reluctancy quickly dissappeared when I dived into this book.

First of all this work is lengthy, 529 pages of text, and 102 pages of footnotes.  But do not let the length of this book put you off.  This work is very easy to read and very engaging.  Tough to put this book down, once you pick it up.  But you will need to frequently take breaks so that you can properly absorb what you have read.

Once I decided to engage this work, I quickly relised that through this book Mr. Hanson has presented a comprehencive study of why the Allied Powers won WWII and why the Axis Powers lost.  The author divided this book into 20 chaptors which are then grouped into the following "parts" - {Part One. Ideas, Part Two. Air, Part Three. Water, Part Four. Earth, Part Five. Fire, Part Six. People, Part Seven. Ends}.  These Part Names invoke elemental feelings.  Mr. Hanson used this approach to strip this war of all the hype and glitter and get down to the basics.  Thus to really understand WWII, you need to examine the basic elements of war.

As mentioned previously, the author is noted for his authority on the Classics at the Hoover Institute (along with his military prowness).  So throughout this work, he ties battles and other events in WWII to classical battles and events in previous engagements {Roman Wars, Greek Wars, US Revolutionary War, US Civil War, etc.}.  Mr. Hanson uses this technique to show that what proved true in WWII was also true in Classical Wars.  Apparently there is nothing new under the sun, especially when it comes to warfare.

Mr. Hanson has outdone himself with his latest work.  As far as I am concerned this is his military opus.  I cannot wait to read future works from this author.  If I could be so bold as to make a request.  How about such a novel on the US/Afghan/Iraq wars?