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Short Synopsis
Leading historian Richard Overy re-creates the final hours of peace in Europe.

Full Synopsis
On August 24, 1939, the world held its collective breath as Hitler and Stalin signed the now infamous nonaggression pact, signaling an imminent invasion of Poland and daring Western Europe to respond.

In this dramatic account of the final days before the outbreak of World War II, award-winning historian Richard Overy vividly chronicles the unraveling of peace, hour by grim hour, as politicians and ordinary citizens brace themselves for a war that could spell the end of European civilization.

Nothing was entirely predictable or inevitable. The West hoped that Hitler would see sense if they stood firm. Hitler was convinced the West would back down. Moments of uncertainty alternated with those of confrontation; secret intelligence was used by both sides to support their hopes. The one constant feature was the determination of Poland, a country created only in 1919, to protect its newfound independence against a vastly superior enemy.

1939 documents a defining moment in the violent history of the twentieth century.

"Simon Prebble's crisp British accent and pleasant, slightly gruff voice fit the no-nonsense reportage and occasional analysis of a dreadfully serious historical moment.... This is what listeners of serious nonfiction want: an intelligent book intelligently read." ---AudioFile
The Washington Post's Jonathan Yardley's Pick


Countdown to War

Author Richard Overy, PhD

Narrated by Simon Prebble

Publication date Sep 23, 2010

Running time 4 hrs

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