This abstract is from the book called ‘The Second World Wars’ written by Victor Davis Hanson, published by Basic Books in year 2017. Hanson stated the reason for the title of the book is that he was fascinated by two things- first, no wars have been fought before on so many different landscapes that are unrelated; second, no war has been fought in such different ways.

The book does not mention incidences in a chronological sequence but look at large emblematic themes of how good or bad the decision was for fighting a war. It tried to point out of how, when, why and where the war broke out. In his first chapter, he explains it was German’s shame and French, British, Russian and Americans laxity due to which World War ll broke out after twenty years of Versailles.

He marks the comparison between World War 1 and World War 2 highlighting the deaths in World War 1 was mostly of combatants (that is, 59 percent). The non-combats deaths were mostly related to war famine or disease, like Spanish Flu (1918) and agricultural disruptions. There on the other hand, World War 2 was a deliberate effort to kill civilians on the basis of Axis power or to establish a power through fear.

In order words, who died were 60–70 percent civilians. First World War remained a conflict of European familial nations sharing common interest on having limited parliamentary. Second World War was much of a technology led war developed for mass death like, grenades, poisonous gas, submarine. The ability to move men and material faster and easily by air, water and land became the catalyst of turning European border wars into global wars. The similarity lies in the lesson on conflict was speed kill. If the soldiers covered large miles in short time, then they had killed more people. This was true for both First and Second World War.

While stating the reason for Hanson’s interest in Second World War is that he argues that while comparing the three centuries of conflict from 1700- 1988, nearly one hundred million people have died in 471 wars and half of it perished in World War 2. He believes, numbers to be higher but exact number does not exist due to poor record keeping due to war. However, there are conflicts over the methodology for counting the numbers of death in war. Identifying the relationship and connection between war and deportation, famine, disease and massive displacement. Nevertheless, whatever the counting methodology remains, World War 2 remains to have a death toll three times higher that any other wars. In his book, he tried to assert an argument of the most destruct war that has been broken out in history is Second World War 2. He further states the distinctions and division influencing and glorifying that time frame between 1939- 1945. Technology is considered to make life easier and so it did. Transportation and communication allowed to war to expand.

The book shows the effort and time put in to analyse the bloodiest war till date. It is considered one of the best works of Victor D. Hanson. It has shown a sharp interlink between politics, media and innovation.

‘The Second World Wars’
By Roshani Goel, Senior Qualitative Researcher, Sanrachana
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