Liberation or Catastrophe, Michael Howard

Liberation or Catastrophe, Michael Howard

Reflections on the history of the Twentieth Century

This book contains the text of seventeen lectures and one article first written between 1991 and 2003 by Professor Sir Michael Howard, who for many years was the Robert A. Lovett Professor of Military and Naval History at Yale. They cover five broad topics, starting with a look at the world before the First World War, then moving on to examine key aspects of the First and Second World Wars, the Cold War, Europe after the Cold War and finally the first two years of the "war on terror".

Each of the eighteen chapters in of interest in its own right. Inevitably with a book of this type they don't all link together in an entirely satisfactory way, but that is perhaps a good reflection of the history of the Twentieth Century itself.

For me the book falls into two distinct parts. The first three sections are traditional history - looking at some key developments of the century. The chapter on Britain and the German Resistance, 1938-1944, is one of my favourites, debunking the idea that the British leadership missed a chance to avoid the Second World War by not encouraging that resistance.

The second part of the book, on Europe and the post-Cold War world and the "war on terror", look to the future. Here Professor Howard gives his views on how Europe should develop in the future, and on how the world should react to the threat of terrorism, and on both issues comes to very sensible conclusions.

This is an interesting collection of essays from a distinguished military historian,

Author: Michael Howard
Edition: Hardback
Pages: 213
Publisher: Hambledon Continuum
Year: 2007

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