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Richard Overy - Author

About the Author

Richard Overy is Professor of History at the University of Exeter. The author of more than twenty books on the dictators, airpower and World War II, he is one of Britain's leading historians of the twentieth century. His books include The Air War 1939-1945, Why the Allies Won, Russia's War and more recently The Dictators, which won the 2005 Wolfson Prize for history. He is a Fellow of the British Academy.

Featured books by Richard Overy

A History of War in 100 Battles

A History of War in 100 Battles

Author: Richard Overy Format: Hardback Release Date: 23/10/2014

A history of warfare distilled into 100 momentous battles - epic moments that have shaped our world. From the earliest recorded skirmishes of the ancient world to the computerized conflicts of today, renowned military historian Richard Overy dramatically brings to life the sights and sounds of the most significant battles in world history: the flash of steel, the thunder of guns, the shrieks of the dying, and the strange, eerie calm that descends on the bloodstained battlefield when the fighting is done. Each of the 100 battles featured in the book - from the Fall of Troy to Operation Desert Storm - shows how the nature of armed combat has changed as technology, strategy and tactics have evolved over time. Yet, equally strikingly, the outcome of almost all the battles across the ages have been decided by the same mix of leadership, courage, deception, innovation and, time and again, a moment of good fortune. Rather than arranged chronologically, the battles are organized under these different themes to reveal surprising connections across centuries and cultures. In Richard Overy's own words, 'Battle is not a game to plug into a computer but a piece of living history: messy, bloody and real.' Whatever else has changed over the last few millennia, that much remains the same.

ebook of the month

Other books by Richard Overy

Der Bombenkrieg

Der Bombenkrieg

Author: Richard Overy Format: eBook Release Date: 26/09/2014

Nichts hat die Zerstorungskraft des Zweiten Weltkriegs so sehr ins kollektive Gedachtnis eingebrannt wie der Bombenkrieg: Mit nie da gewesener Gewalt vernichtete er Dutzende Stadte in ganz Europa, 600000 Menschen starben, Millionen verloren alles; die Ruinen von Coventry oder Dresden wurden zu Symbolen einer technischen, menschengemachten Apokalypse. In der ersten umfassenden Darstellung erzhlt Richard Overy die Geschichte dieses Krieges. Er schildert die Anfnge der neuen Strategie des "e;Moral Bombing"e;, ihre Entwicklung wie schlielich ihr Scheitern, und er deckt zahlreiche Mythen und Irrtmer auf, die bis heute kursieren. Erstmals entsteht ein internationales Gesamtbild, von der Offensive gegen das Ruhrgebiet bis zu den "e;Baedeker-Angriffen"e;, die unschtzbares historisches Erbe auslschten, von den deutschen Bomben auf Stalingrad bis zu wenig bekannten Schaupltzen wie Rom oder Bulgarien. Overy zeigt, warum der Luftkrieg trotz Ineffektivitt und mrderischer Kosten ausgeweitet wurde, welche Rolle Hermann Gring oder General Harris dabei spielten. Aber auch die kulturellen und menschlichen Verheerungen treten vor Augen, die Not und Hoffnung in den Luftschutzkellern wie bei den Piloten. Richard Overy zeichnet ein monumentales Panorama Europas in dunkler Zeit - das Standardwerk ber den Bombenkrieg.

The Bombing War Europe 1939-1945

The Bombing War Europe 1939-1945

Author: Richard Overy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/06/2014

The ultimate history of the Blitz and bombing in the Second World War, from Wolfson Prize-winning historian and author Richard Overy The use of massive fleets of bombers to kill and terrorize civilians was an aspect of the Second World War which continues to challenge the idea that Allies specifically fought a 'moral' war. For Britain, bombing became perhaps its principal contribution to the fighting as, night after night, exceptionally brave men flew over occupied Europe destroying its cities. The Bombing War radically overhauls our understanding of the War. It is the first book to examine seriously not just the most well-known parts of the campaign, but the significance of bombing on many other fronts - the German use of bombers on the Eastern Front for example (as well as much newly discovered material on the more familiar 'Blitz' on Britain), or the Allied campaigns against Italian cities. The result is the author's masterpiece - a rich, gripping, picture of the Second World War and the terrible military, technological and ethical issues that relentlessly drove all its participants into an abyss.

War in the Pacific From Pearl Harbour to Hiroshima

War in the Pacific From Pearl Harbour to Hiroshima

Author: Richard Overy Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/06/2012

From Pearl Harbor to Hiroshima looks at the relentless war against Japan in the Pacific Islands which formed an integral part of the eventual Allied victory in World War II. It tells the story of the heroic actions of the men who toiled on the islands - the names of which have now become synonymous with bloodshed, hardship, and unstoppable spirit - which eventually resulted in victory for the Allies. This fascinating and heart-wrenching story is brought to life by the addition of 12 carefully selected facsimile pieces of memorabilia.

Goering Hitler's Iron Knight

Goering Hitler's Iron Knight

Author: Richard Overy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/11/2011

Hermann Goering was Hitler's most loyal supporter, his designated successor and the second most powerful man in the Third Reich. One of the main architects of the Nazi regime, he was also instrumental in the creation of the Gestapo and directly ordered the Final Solution. But who was the man behind the carefully-constructed mask? Self-indulgent and ruthless, sybaritic and brutal, egotistical yet capable of self-effacement, weak-willed yet fiercely calculating, Goering was a contradictory, complex and often bufoonish character. He styled himself as the 'Iron Man' but was known to wear togas, fur coats and faux-medieval hunting outfits. A brilliant World War I fighter pilot, military leader and mercurial Luftwaffe commander, he also loved the opera and took a perverse pride in his ill-gotten, infamous art collection. In this classic biography, Richard Overy takes the reader on a chilling journey into the heart of Hitler's inner circle. He illuminates the many facets of Goering's personality and charts his story from his golden days as Hitler's most trusted commander to his failures and loss of power after the Battle of Britain, his sensational trial at Nuremberg and his ignominious death by suicide on the eve of his execution.

Rethinking History, Dictatorship and War New Approaches and Interpretations

Rethinking History, Dictatorship and War New Approaches and Interpretations

Author: Richard Overy, Professor Jeremy Black, Dr Ulrike Ehret Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/11/2011

The contributions in this collection deal with three of the most important themes of historical studies: the way history is or ought to be written, the nature of dictatorships and the nature of wars. The primary focus is on modern Europe and two defining experiences in the first half of the twentieth century: the two world wars and totalitarian dictatorships. This volume seeks to honour Professor Richard J. Overy, one of the great historians of his generation. Richard Overy has shaped our understanding of the main themes of this volume with the publication of over 20 books - most recently, The Morbid Age: Britain Between the Wars (2009), The Times Complete History of the World (2007), The Dictators: Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia (2004). In a substantial conversation that serves as an introduction, he reflects on some of the key issues of this book.

Bombing, States and Peoples in Western Europe 1940-1945

Bombing, States and Peoples in Western Europe 1940-1945

Author: Richard Overy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/06/2011

This is the first book to treat bombing during WWII as a European phenomenon and not just the 'Blitz' on Britain and Germany. With Western Europe now at the heart of a united continent, it is even more difficult to explain how only 70 years ago European states destroyed much of the urban landscape from the air. There were many blitzes between 1940 and 1945 with an estimated 700,000 people killed. The purpose of this book is to provide the basis for a comparison of the experience of western states under the impact of bombing. In particular, it considers the political, cultural and social responses to bombing rather than the military, strategic and social dimensions which have formed the core of the discussion hitherto. This book will correct the popular perception of the British Blitz as the key bombing experience by exposing the reality of life under the bombs for communities as far apart as Brest, Palermo, and Rostock. An international panel of historians consider the issues raised amidst the bombing of human rights and protection of civilians in this seminal event in C20th history.

Bombing, States and Peoples in Western Europe 1940-1945

Bombing, States and Peoples in Western Europe 1940-1945

Author: Richard Overy Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/06/2011

This is the first book to treat bombing during WWII as a European phenomenon and not just the 'Blitz' on Britain and Germany. With Western Europe now at the heart of a united continent, it is even more difficult to explain how only 70 years ago European states destroyed much of the urban landscape from the air. There were many blitzes between 1940 and 1945 with an estimated 700,000 people killed. The purpose of this book is to provide the basis for a comparison of the experience of western states under the impact of bombing. In particular, it considers the political, cultural, and social responses to bombing rather than the military, strategic, and social dimensions which have formed the core of the discussion hitherto. This book will correct the popular perception of the British Blitz as the key bombing experience by exposing the reality of life under the bombs for communities as far apart as Brest, Palermo, and Rostock. An international panel of historians consider the issues raised amidst the bombing of human rights and protection of civilians in this seminal event in C20th history.

Russia's War

Russia's War

Author: Richard Overy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/09/2010

In Russia's War: 1941-1945, Richard Overy re-creates the Soviet Union's apocalyptic struggle against Nazi Germany, from the point of view both of the troops and of the ordinary civilians. In the course of human history there has probably been no more terrible place than Eastern Europe in 1941-45. Estimates of total Soviet military and civilian deaths in the period now stand at more than 25 million. Yet without the Soviet war effort, it is unlikely that Germany could have ever been defeated. Drawing on a recent wealth of evidence to account for the Soviet Union's remarkable victory against invading forces, Richard Overy's Russia's War is a fascinating account of the epic struggle that turned the tide of the Second World War. 'Masterly ... a vivid account' Robert Service, Independent 'A dramatic and exciting tale ... His set-piece descriptions of such visions of Hell as Stalingrad, the 900-day siege of Leningrad and the crucial battle of Kursk are as fascinating as they are horrifying' Alan Judd, Sunday Times 'Overy is a first-class military historian ... Now, we have an authoritative British account that understands both sides, without illusions' Norman Stone, Spectator 'Excellent ... Overy tackles this huge, complex and multifaceted story with the vital gifts of clarity and brevity' Antony Beevor, Literary Review Richard Overy is Professor of History at the University of Exeter. His books include Why the Allies Won, Russia's War, The Battle of Britain, The Morbid Age and The Dictators, which won the Wolfson and the Hessell Tiltman Prizes for history in 2005.

The Morbid Age Britain and the Crisis of Civilisation, 1919 - 1939

The Morbid Age Britain and the Crisis of Civilisation, 1919 - 1939

Author: Richard Overy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/05/2010

Richard Overy's The Morbid Age opens a window onto the creative but anxious period between the First and Second World Wars. British intellectual life between the wars stood at the heart of modernity; it was the golden age of the public intellectual and scientist: Arnold Toynbee, Aldous and Julian Huxley, H. G. Wells, Marie Stopes and a host of others. Yet, as Richard Overy argues, a striking characteristic of so many of the ideas that emerged from this new age - from eugenics to the Freudian unconscious, to modern ideas of pacifism and world government - was the fear that the West was faced a dystopian future of war, economic collapse and racial degeneration. Brilliantly evoking a Britain of BBC radio lectures, public debates, peace demonstrations, pamphleteers, psychoanalysts, anti-fascist volunteers, sex education manuals and science fiction, The Morbid Age reveals a time at once different from, and yet surprisingly similar to, our own. 'History at its best' Economist 'The carefree image of life in Britain between the wars is overturned in this magnificent account' Peter Preston, Observer 'It is hard to imagine anyone recording these times more exactly and more intelligently, or with greater insight and scholarship, than Overy has' Simon Heffer, Daily Telegraph 'With learning, lucidity and wit, The Morbid Age ... brilliantly describes the sense of an inevitably approaching catastrophe' Eric Hobsbawm, London Review of Books Richard Overy is Professor of History at the University of Exeter. His books include Why the Allies Won, Russia's War, The Battle of Britain and The Dictators, which won the Wolfson and the Hessell Tiltman Prizes for history in 2005.

The Battle of Britain Myth and Reality

The Battle of Britain Myth and Reality

Author: Richard Overy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/05/2010

From the award-winning author of The Dictators, Richard Overy's The Battle of Britain: Myth and Reality is the best introduction available to a defining moment in British history. The extraordinary struggle between British and German air forces in 1940 was one of the pivotal events of the Second World War. How close did Britain really come to invasion during this time? What were Hitler and Churchill's motives? And what was the battle's real effect on the outcome of the war? 'It is harder to imagine a sounder and more succinct account of the Battle of Britain' Max Hastings, Evening Standard 'No individual British victory after Trafalgar was more decisive in challenging the course of a major war than the Battle of Britain ... the best historical analysis in readable form which has yet appeared on this prime subject' Noble Frankland, The Times Literary Supplement 'The Battle of Britain is hard to beat' Saul David, Sunday Telegraph 'Exemplary ... a compelling account' Boyd Tonkin, Independent 'Succeeds brilliantly ... along the way a lot of myths bite the dust' Time 'A captivating and brilliant analysis of the fragile circumstances of Britain's victory' Observer Richard Overy has spent much of his distinguished career studying the intellectual, social and military ideas that shaped the cataclysm of the Second World War, particularly in his books 1939 - Countdown to War, Why the Allies Won, Russia's War and The Morbid Age. Overy's The Dictators: Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia won the Wolfson Prize for History and the Hessell Tiltman Prize.

1939 Countdown to War

1939 Countdown to War

Author: Richard Overy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 29/04/2010

24 August 1939: The fate of the world is hanging in the balance. Hitler has ambitions to invade Poland and hopes Stalin will now help him. The West must try to stop him. If they don't, world war will result. In this dramatic account Richard Overy re-creates hour-by-hour the last days of peace in 1939, as politicians and the public braced themselves for a war they feared might spell the end of European civilization. Nothing was predictable or inevitable. The West hoped that Hitler would see sense if they stood firm. Hitler was convinced the West would back down. The one constant feature was the determination of Poland to fight against the armed might of Germany. Countdown to War brings to life a defining moment in the history of the twentieth century.

The Road to War The Origins of World War II

The Road to War The Origins of World War II

Author: Richard Overy, Andrew Wheatcroft Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/09/2009

Hailed on publication as a thought-provoking, authoritative analysis of the true beginnings of the Second World War, this revised edition of The Road to War is essential reading for anyone interested in this momentous period of history. Taking each major nation in turn, the book tells the story of their road to war; recapturing the concerns, anxieties and prejudices of the statesmen of the thirties.

The Turning of Tide 1942-44

The Turning of Tide 1942-44

Author: Richard Overy Format: Mixed media product Release Date: 02/03/2009

The Turning of Tide.

The Second World War Experience: Axis Ascendant 1941-42

The Second World War Experience: Axis Ascendant 1941-42

Author: Richard Overy Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/10/2008

The Second World War Experience is a four-volume series, published in association with the Imperial War Museum, covering the whole six-year global conflagration. Volume two, The Second World War Experience: Axis Ascendant , charts the period when the Axis powers reigned supreme. It begins with the German drive eastwards and the invasion of Russia and moves to the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor and the entry of America into the war. The action continues in Africa and sees the start of the bloody battles in the Far East where British, Commonwealth and American forces faced combat and hardship like never before. Rare items of memorabilia sourced from around the world combined with an audio CD of veterans' first-hand accounts bring the era and the events to life as never before.The memorabilia includes: Roosevelt's handwritten notes for his day of infamy speech which saw America's entry into the war; the order to McArthur to abandon the Philippines; Stalin's handwritten notes on his scorched earth policy; and the letters home of a British officer in Africa telling of his harrowing involvement in the battles of Gazala and Tobruk.

Why The Allies Won

Why The Allies Won

Author: Richard Overy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/09/2006

The Allied victory in 1945 - though comprehensive - was far from inevitable. By 1942 almost the entire resources of continental Europe were in German hands and Japan had wiped out the western colonial presence in Asia. Democracy appeared to have had its day. In this remarkable study, Richard Overy provides a reinterpretation of the war through an account of the decisive military campaigns that created the astonishing revival in Allied fortunes. He also explores the deeper factors that determined success and failure: industrial stength, fighting ability, the skills of leaders and the moral contrasts between the two sides. Today the modern world is once more in the throes of painful transformation. It is essential to establish why and how the last great war was won. Richard Overy casts a brilliant light on the most important turning-point of the modern age.

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