1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $34.95

Buy for $34.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

World War II was one of the defining moments in modern history, a global conflagration that transformed the world through battles, shifting alliances, and horrors unlike anything in recorded history. The story is often told as a series of great campaigns by famous generals, dramatic turning points, and cataclysmic combat. But what about the millions of ordinary people - the citizens and soldiers whose names none of us know but whose impact rippled through every aspect of the war?

From the icy front lines of Soviet Russia to the bombing campaigns against Britain to the American submarines lurking beneath the choppy waters of the Pacific, step into the shoes of remarkable everyday men and women in World War II: Up Close and Personal. Your lecturer is Dr. Keith Huxen, a historian and project director at The Henry M. Jackson Foundation, which supports the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. In 24 engrossing lessons, Keith takes you into the story of ordinary people doing extraordinary things - bringing history to life through the flesh and blood of battles, the diplomatic skirmishes, or beleaguered civilians eking out their next meal.

From the Nazi’s propaganda machine to recruit German youth and the shocking Japanese invasion of China to the bloody Battle of the Bulge and the dropping of the atomic bombs, Keith traces the course of the war to give you a sense of its global scope. While he touches on the alliances and strategies and dynamic weapons of war, history is the story of people. Each lesson zooms in for a view through the eyes of soldiers, sailors, pilots, war correspondents, and citizens struggling to survive a war-torn world.

Meet witnesses to the Rape of Nanjing, see what it was like to drive a Panzer tank during a blitzkrieg, or to be a Black pilot in a segregated American Army. With its focus on the “felt life” of the war, this course is an absolute must-have for anyone interested in the story of our modern world. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2021 The Great Courses (P)2021 The Teaching Company, LLC

What listeners say about World War II: Up Close and Personal

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    40
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    30
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    35
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating, Captivating, Heartbreaking

I really enjoyed this Great Course. It offers a wide variety of eyewitness accounts from various people and places in WWII, from all sides. I learned a lot about what life was like for certain people, whether it be inhabitants of Stalingrad during the siege, Japanese Kamikaze pilots, military leaders, people in the French resistance, or ordinary citizens who got caught in the war. It offers a broad range of perspectives, as well as an overall narrative that helps understand it. The narration is engaging and kept my attention, though it had a few minor errors and obvious changes in tone/sound. Nothing that bothered me.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

This should have been a gripping series of detailed vignettes of people's experiences in the wars. Instead, it's tedious and meandering, more overview (mainly obvious material) than the personal accounts that were promised. Ironically, the author seems not to know how to tell an interesting story. The narration is drab, and I must add that the pronunciation of various foreign names and phrases is inexcusable.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding Presentation

World War II was so large and lasted so long that it seems impossible to cover its complexity in a short course. However, this class is masterfully designed. By telling the history through personal stories, Huxen is able to cover much information and make each lesson create a vivid picture. I am grateful for each of these lessons.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Masterful Assemblage

This lecture series is foremost a tremendous concept brilliantly executed by the resources brought together to present a gallery of vivid and compelling topics covering diverse aspects of the Second World War that range from the most private experiences of individuals to the massive campaigns of warfare. Throughout the separate chapters, one accumulates a body of shared perspectives from individual sufferings and heroics embedded in the vast sweep of the global conflict. Such stories enlarge the account of mere military combatants into a greater portrayal of the underlying humanity that felt the causes and consequences of the acts and events that befell them in ways both particular and universal. The means to gather so diverse and plentiful material into a graspable format is only possible from the remove of time through the lens of historical research. The lecturer has combed his selections from a broad array of extant resources and deftly arranged them into a masterful work of its own.

(A Note on Narration: The delivery of the 24 lectures is at times "uneven". Ordinary statements are occasionally fraught with exaggerated emphasis on syllables, words, and phrases that obliterate the natural rhythms of the prose diction, as though shouting out terms printed in ALL CAPS. Additionally, proper and place names are frequently pronounced in non-standard variations (those in French are generally mangled beyond recognition), though as irritating or unintelligible as they may be, it is not enough to sink the content of the lectures, individually or in their hugely potent whole.)

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Superb content

I think that anyone interested in a true representation of what it was like to experience WWII will find this course to be very engrossing.