Written by Ellis Ian Fields

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

image for History Review: "Moral Combat" by Michael Burleigh

An important new work on the ethical questions of the Second World War. As Burleigh himself says: "…it is about the prevailing moral sentiment of entire societies and their leaderships, and how this changed under the impact of both ideology and total war."

Ken Lucid, reviews the book:

"I think that this is a good book in some ways - like it has two sections of photographs, not just one in the middle like in a lot of books. No! These are nearer the front and the back - and because there are loads of notes (boring!) and a list of other books you could read (as if!) when you get to the second set of pictures, you know you're nearly at the end.

"The big chapters are also divided into shorter bits, which is always a good sign - you feel like you're getting somewhere.

"He talks a lot about the Russians, the Germans and the Japanese (he calls them "Predators" - what's that all about?). The Brits and the Yanks weren't as bad, he reckons… I should bloody well hope not! We didn't start it!

"One downside was that there was a lot of words I had to look up. I think he's just showing off - "mephitis," "rebarbative"… come on Mike!

"Also it'll set you back 30 quid - maybe you should wait for the paperback.

"I was at a conference with the author once - he seemed a nice guy, but I could drink more wine than him. Also, he didn't want to come out later and try to pick up some fit history under-grads I had my eye on. Stiff!

"And I'm not going to hold it against him that he has refused to work with my company - Hitler, Nazis, Communists, Death and Destruction Productions - on programmes for the History Channel. We do alright without him."

Ken Lucid is Professor of Modern History at the University of Thames Valley East,

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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