The World at War: The Landmark Oral History from the Previously Unpublished Archives

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9780091917517: The World at War: The Landmark Oral History from the Previously Unpublished Archives

"The World at War" is the definitive television work on the Second World War. It set out to tell the story of the war through the testimony of key participants - from civilians to ordinary soldiers, from statesmen to generals. First broadcast in 1973, the result was a unique and irreplaceable record since many of the eyewitnesses captured on film did not have long to live. The programme's producers committed hundreds of interview-hours to tape in its creation, but only a fraction of that recorded material made it to the final cut. For more than 30 years the interviews have never been allowed to be published - until now.The well-known names interviewed for the series include Albert Speer, Karl Wolff (Himmler's adjutant), Traudl Junge (Hitler's secretary), James Stewart (USAAF bomber pilot and Hollywood star), Anthony Eden, John Colville (Parliamentary Private Secretary to Winston Churchill), Averell Harriman (US Ambassador to Russia) and Arthur 'Bomber' Harris (Head of RAF Bomber Command). Highly respected historian and bestselling author Richard Holmes has skilfully woven this valuable original material into a compelling narrative, creating a truly phenomenal oral history of the Second World War.

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Review:

"The World at War was one of the greatest television series of all time...it is tremendously exciting that the complete interviews are now published here for the first time" -- Laurence Rees

From the Author:

"When I was first invited to edit the archive of interview transcripts compiled when the series was made, there was a real sense of excitement and discovery as the door to the filing cabinet grunted open. It was immediately clear, as I flicked through the files, that there was far, far more material than was ever aired...I suspect that only about 10% of the interview material was ever broadcast...My abiding memory of a project which has claimed the best part of a year of my working life is of the sheer scale of The World at War and its triumphant and enduring success. I doubt if we shall even see something of this epic dimension carried off with such panache again...In a small way this series has changed the way that I personally looked at history, and in a broader sense it changed television's relationship with the past. These transcripts, lying in the dusty darkness for half my lifetime, have something fresh to say about this war which shaped the world I grew up in, and whose long shadow, even now, is only beginning to recede."

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