To Hell and Back

  • by Ian Kershaw
  • Narrated by Leighton Pugh
  • 24 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In the summer of 1914, most of Europe plunged into a war so catastrophic that it unhinged the continent's politics and beliefs in a way that took generations to recover from.
The disaster terrified its survivors, shocked that a civilization that had blandly assumed itself to be a model for the rest of the world had collapsed into a chaotic savagery beyond any comparison.
In 1939, Europeans would initiate a second conflict that managed to be even worse - a war in which the killing of civilians was central and which culminated in the Holocaust.
To Hell and Back tells this story with humanity, flair and originality. Kershaw gives a compelling narrative of events, but he also wrestles with the most difficult issues that the events raise - with what it meant for the Europeans who initiated and lived through such fearful times - and what this means for us.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


A superbly crafted overview of the European journey. As you might gauge a maps usefulness by its accuracy of your locality I found Kershaws balanced view of Ireland in the story a good indicator of his overall ability to be fair and reasonable.
A possible criticism would be the length of time describing the World War itself . Initially i thought the book would use this seminal event as a foundation to explain where it's consequences took Europe but it became merely descriptive for a long while .
A small criticism in an otherwise excellent book.
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- Elaine

If you only get one history book - make it this.

Would you consider the audio edition of To Hell and Back to be better than the print version?

Possibly not, simply because it is more difficult to refer backwards and forwards with an audiobook. Also, history books are made to dip into, which you can't really do with an audiobook.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, it's a book to be digested.

Any additional comments?

This is a history book that covers the period in Europe between the beginning of the First World War to the aftermath of the second world war magnificently. it conveys a huge amount of information in an easy and interesting way. The narrator, too, was perfect.

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- Rosie S

Book Details

  • Release Date: 24-09-2015
  • Publisher: Audible Studios