The War

  • by Geoffrey C. Ward, Ken Burns
  • Narrated by Ken Burns, Tom Hanks, Josh Lucas, Rebecca Holtz
  • 8 hrs and 55 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Here is the audio companion to the magnificent seven-part PBS series. The individuals featured in this audiobook are not historians or scholars. They are ordinary men and women who experienced - and helped to win - the most devastating war in history, in which between 50 and 60 million lives were lost. Focusing on the citizens of four towns - Luverne, Minnesota; Sacramento, California; Waterbury, Connecticut; and Mobile, Alabama - The War follows more than 40 people from 1941 to 1945. Woven largely from their memories, the compelling, unflinching narrative unfolds month by bloody month, with the outcome always in doubt. The iconic events are here, but we also move among prisoners of war, defense workers, and schoolchildren, and families who struggled simply to stay together. An intimate, profoundly affecting chronicle of the war that shaped our world, The War captures the American experience of World War II through the words and deeds, thoughts and feelings of those who made history on the battlefields and on the home front.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Good book, poor audiobook

I looked forward to this book because 1) of the quality of Ken Burns' work on past topics of American History and 2) I feel WWII, more than any other conflict the United States was a part of, tells us how we came to be what we are as a nation and what we became afterwards. The narrative did not disappoint. It was well written and frank, breaking many of the myths that we learned in school about how we just rose up and saved the world after we were attacked by Imperial Japan in 1941. I listened to the book before I saw the PBS series and you can see the close relationship between the two.

So, why only three stars? Well, one star was removed simply because this is an abridged version and it doesn't appear that an unabridged version exists. Call me rigid, but NO abridged version can substitute for reading the authors' full intent. Abridgment means compromise.

The second star was removed because, frankly, although Ken Burns may produce extraordinary documentaries, he is a TERRIBLE reader. Rather than reading in phrases and pausing after a thought is complete, he pauses after every two or three words, whether it makes sense to do so or not: "The boy (pause) went to (pause) the store." The entire reading is riddled with this kind of phraseology and it becomes annoying after awhile because it often forces you to go back and repeat what he has said in order make sense of it. Ugh!
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- Stewart Gooderman "DrG"

A must listen!

Without reservations, I recommend this book to all the citizens of this great nation. I sincerely believe that after completing this book you will have a new respect for the sacrifices our soldiers and their families made during the World War II.
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- Dan D. Dunlap

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-06-2007
  • Publisher: Random House Audio