World War II is grand opera—a sprawling epic of power, anguish, loss and death. The great episodes in the war are like arias, familiar but so enthralling that they can be savored over and over, long after their first performance. Working from essentially the same material, Max Hastings and the authors of these and other works about the great war tease fresh meaning and insight from the score and find previously unheard grace notes that give perpetual life to this bloody extravaganza.
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