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 strong and compelling narrative marking the start and finish to the two world wars of the 20th century. It is hard to belief that a great civilisation like Europe would in the space of 20 years embark on two of the the most destructive events in the first half of a century. Told with precision, facts and an erudite compilation - to hell and back is easily one of the best books I have listened to on audible to date!
Can't wait for volume 2
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- D. Kelly


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

Book Details

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