Read War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk Online


These two classic works capture the tide of world events even as they unfold the compelling tale of a single American family drawn into the very center of the war's maelstrom.The multimillion-copy bestsellers that capture all the drama, romance, heroism, and tragedy of the Second World War -- and that constitute Wouk's crowning achievement -- are available for the first tiThese two classic works capture the tide of world events even as they unfold the compelling tale of a single American family drawn into the very center of the war's maelstrom.The multimillion-copy bestsellers that capture all the drama, romance, heroism, and tragedy of the Second World War -- and that constitute Wouk's crowning achievement -- are available for the first time in trade paperback....

Title : War and Remembrance
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780316954990
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 1042 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

War and Remembrance Reviews

  • Debbie
    2019-05-01 04:25

    1382 PAGES COMPLETE!Let me first say, was about this being a challenge for me as well as about reading this particular book. From the afterward in the author's notes Herman Wouk sum it all up. "The purpose of the author in both War and Remembrance and The Winds of War was to bring the past to vivid life through the experiences, perceptions, and passions of a few people caught in the war's maelstrom. This purpose was best served by scrupulous accuracy of locale and historical fact, as the backdrop against which the invented drama would play."That is exactly what this author delivered. I started this journey with Herman Wouk asking the question "What was WWII about?" He gave the settings and the mechanics so to speak in Winds of War but War and Remembrance was a masterpiece. There was a depth that completely surpassed the first book. It was more thorough, gripping and at times raw. I asked a question and this author told so much. And though it was very lengthy and I at times felt weary with the undertaking of the comprehension of such a piece, I asked, I was curious, I wanted to comprehend and I asked for it. Although my curiosity is more than satiated and I comprehended the story and the information given I must say I will never and refuse to accept explanation for some things. This is a good book and I'm glad I took the time to take it on. 6 stars. It's an undertaking but I do recommend it to all who want to take it on and for those who really want to try to understand a lot more about WWII the Pacific, the European front and the Holocaust. It's not the only account or view but it is a pretty broad one. Personal note:Years ago working in admissions in the Cancer center of a local hospital I registered a man who had a number tattooed on his thick gray hairy arms. I remember behaving with the utmost professionalism but not being able to to stop myself from stealing glances at it. I knew generally what it meant. For his being admitted for a Cancer treatment he smiled, laughed and joked with me a lot. At the end of the registration as I placed an admissions bracelet on this exact wrist he said, "Deb I survived this tattoo, I'll beat this Cancer don't you worry." I don't remember my response now. I don't remember seeing him again while I worked there. But as I read this book, I wondered...about the nice man with the numbers on his arm. I hoped he survived twice. Just something I remembered & shared here.

  • Matthew Klobucher
    2019-05-11 08:08

    This review covers both books in this story of World War II,The Winds of War andWar and Remembrance. Together they follow the experience and growth of Victor Henry, a U.S. Navy Officer, his family, and the many people they meet (American and otherwise) in the great events of that global conflict. As with all great novels, these books are not meant merely to entertain, but to teach and communicate something of the human condition. Here, the auther attempts to reveal the depth of human goodness and evil; to document the human ability to strive, to suffer, to hurt, and to love; and to show the final virtue in individual goodness. I sometimes feel like placid, comfortable lives tend to obscure humanity: there is no need for greatness and no opportunity. This is also dealt with in the story, for though the events of this story take place during a world war, a relatively small part of the book takes place during actual combat. All in all, this is a masterful work, equally attractive to those who enjoy romance and those who enjoy battle. In my mind it stands withWar and Peace as one of the greatest novels of all time.

  • Mike (the Paladin)
    2019-05-06 08:27

    I read these back in the 80s at the same time a friend of mine did. She loved them and sort of aimed me at them (we both liked Robert Ludlum, Frederick Forsyth and a few other authors). I can't say I liked these as much as she did.This duology concentrated more heavily (so heavily) on the romances and love lives of the characters in these books that I was hardily sick of them by the time I finished. The books basically became one long extended soap opera so far as I was concerned. The actions of the characters were annoying, and by turns predictable or infuriating (for example... no details here to avoid a spoiler, but) one of our female protagonists makes such incomprehensible decisions it came very close to winning the book a flight out the window. it was however a library book so I couldn't fling it. *******Slight Spoiler Below Line ********(view spoiler)[(The Jewish young lady manages to get trapped inside Nazi Germany and set up her emotional adultery as her American love serves on a submarine in the war)....If I want a soap-opera I can watch TV. So...not great.(hide spoiler)]

  • John Nevola
    2019-04-25 05:28

    “War and Remembrance” is a legitimate 5 STAR book if there ever was one! It is, along with The Winds of War, the Gold Standard of historical fiction for World War II.Readers should seriously consider reading The Winds of War before reading this book for two reasons. One, the first book in the dualology is a prequel and the understanding the story and the characters makes reading the second book that much more enjoyable. The second reason is to be sure you like how Herman Wouk writes and treats history. Most people do but if you’re one of those ultra-picky readers, you may find his canvas too broad, his characters too perfect and his treatment of historical figures too narrow. If that’s the case, you need not waste your time reading the second book.For me, however, Wouk is a master storyteller and these two books are fantastic. They deal with a period of history that is my passion and I certainly tip my hat to Wouk for his thoughtful and thorough research. For wonderful thought-provoking entertainment and a history lesson all rolled into one, these two books are the best you can get!John E. NevolaAuthor of The Last Jump: A Novel of World War II

  • Amy
    2019-05-15 02:22

    This book was my life for a good 2 months and I will never be the same. I read this before Winds of War which is actually supposed to be first. I would recommend reading them in order, but I do believe that War and Remembrance is slightly better. It's the story of a family during WWII, and you grow to absolutely care about everyone, and really understand all the complexities and personality flaws of the characters. Some are in America, some are in Europe, some feel strongly against Hitler, some aren't sure, some are fighting, some are waiting, some are suffering, some are stuck in Europe, some are in love, some are out of love, some are cheating, some are faithful till the end, some are hunted, some are hunting. I could go on. This mass market paperback I found in a used bookstore was like 1400 pages. So be prepared for that. The regular paperback is probably 900-100o pages. So worth it.

  • Laura
    2019-04-30 08:28

    Just arrived from Jamaica through BM.A magnificent work of fiction written by Herman Wouk with plenty of historical facts.Among the main historical facts, one should mention the battles of Singapore, Midway (unforgettable tale), Leyte Gulf, the Tehran Conference, the sieges of Imphal and Leningrad.Some hints of the Manhattan project has also been provided by the author.I have never heard about "The Paradise Ghetto" before I have read this book as well as the "Great Beautification".It seems the author performed a great research work on the scenes in Oswiecim or Auschwitz.A TV series War and Remembrance (1988) was made based on this book.5* Winds of War5* War and RemembranceTBR The Caine MutinyTBR The HopeTBR The Glory

  • Mike Frost
    2019-05-06 06:27

    I came across this book from my youth at a flea-market down the street on a walk with my daughter, and despite the fact that it is the second in the series, I had the impulse to snatch it up to see if I would enjoy it as much as I had in junior high. It turns out that I did.Historical fiction, when written well, has a way of creating lasting memories of important events in a way that no text book can. For anyone interested in World War II, especially the war in the Pacific, this is a great place to firm up your understanding of the chronology of events. Especially noteworthy is the Battle of Midway sequence, which is truly a poorly appreciated event during which the future of the world turned on the actions of a very few men and some lucky circumstances.

  • David
    2019-05-06 04:02

    I liked Winds of War and I loved reading War and Remembrance. This is a historically accurate book describing WWII from Pearl Harbor until the wars conclusion. It continues the characters and theme of Winds of War with Pug Henry as the primary character who manages to put himself in many of the critical decision meetings and actions for both the Pacific and the European theatres. The action, details and perspectives presented regarding the Doolittle raid, Midway, Guadalcanal and the Battle of Leyte Gulf were excellent. I have read many books on WWII but Wouk made several observations that I had not heard before, such as that the Doolittle raid pushed the Japanese into speeding up the timetable for Midway such that they did not implement their new codes until just before the battle, a crucial reason we knew they were coming. The fiasco in leadership on both sides at Leyte Gulf was an eye opener as well. In Europe, the odd German attempt at control information at the Paradise concentration camp is told along with the gruesome mass killing of Jews at Auschwitz. There are love interests in War and Remembrance that are somewhat less central to the story than they were in Winds of War. As would be expected in a War story, some characters reach there end at the hands of the enemy. It is a tribute to Wouk's character development that the reader feels a loss when these interesting characters meet their maker. This is the best book that I have read in over a year. I give War and Remembrance a must read.

  • Daniel
    2019-05-22 00:01

    This wasn't supposed to be my Holocaust spring. Who needs such a thing? But Bloodlands was on hold for months and months; I finally got it. War and Remembrance was on my cousin's bookshelf, an old mass-market paperback, 1400 pages of pure pulp that I'd promised to read if an easy opportunity arose. By the end my head was filled with battleships and cattle-cars and the sheer brutality of the 20th century; it left me feeling edgy and tearful.Herman Wouk is an interesting writer, mixing history, reportage, and character-driven narrative into a frothy, "as it happened" account of WWII. He was a better writer in The Caine Mutiny, certainly; wartime service aboard a naval ship in the Pacific gave his observations a primary reliability rarely achieved in W&R or The Winds of War, and nothing in these latter books impacted me as much as CM's astonishing conclusions on the requirements of service and the nature of command.Still, the "War" books have several things going for them. First, they are immensely readable and, where length becomes a burden, skimmable. Secondly, Wouk wrote them late, in the 1970s, and touches upon the dichotomies of American hegemony (Cold War, the middle east, genocide) which came to dominate the second half of the 20th century. As a Jew looking at America, as an American looking at the world, and as a writer looking into himself, Wouk lays out a vast array of material to ponder, and does a wonderful job of getting out of the way.Now I must have a Jane Austen chaser.

  • Donna Carpenter
    2019-04-24 06:25

    Blecccch. There isn't a more unbelievable, unappealing, sexless "romance" than that of Pamela and Pug. Fortunately, a few of the characters I disliked in The Winds of War have redeemed themselves or at least become more interesting and less obnoxious. The only woman who comes off with any growth or dignity is Natalie, and she only ends up that way through unimaginable suffering. Pamela is a pathetic martyr, Rhoda is a selfish, dishonest twit, Madeleine is ignored through most of the book, and Janice turns into a slut (except at the end, when she turns into a frumpy former slut!)Reading both novels back to back, I started out reading von Roon's "excerpts," but ended up skimming them at the end, only reading Victor's notes. I also skimmed the Leyte Gulf chapters as they were technically and historically thorough, but did not contain much plot. I enjoy Wouk's attention to naval detail, but at the same time this portion went too far in that direction.

  • Mary
    2019-05-10 04:15

    Wouk's earlier THE WINDS OF WAR was a book I tore through, but this sequel I found a bit slower. Still worth reading, though, especially if you've read the first. (It's been so long since I've read either that I can't comment on whether reading WAR AND REMEMBRANCE stands on its own, whether a reader will like it on its own merits, not as a fond "remembrance." The television miniseries of both books, especially of WINDS OF WAR, are both quite good. I'd say it was close in quality to RICH MAN, POOR MAN, still one of my favorite miniseries of all time.

  • Susan
    2019-05-10 02:23

    Get the hell out of Italy, Natalie!

  • Ali Murphy
    2019-05-19 08:23

    After finishing “The Winds of War” I tried very hard to take a break from the Henry family and to “save” the rest of the story for later. I lasted a week and I was back into their lives in this even longer second book. I had come to know and love these characters and I simply needed to know what happened to them all.I did learn the fates of all the family members and a few more besides. I also learned that Wouk did a tremendous amount of research for this book, just as he did with the first in the series, but in this case, he crammed most of it into the story. Wouk did a fantastic job in giving the reader a sense of the absolutely massive scale of this war. His descriptions of the advance of the German army into Russia give you a whole new appreciation for the endless landscape and the sheer audacity and insanity of the assault. And this was just one theatre of the war! Wikipedia tells me that Wouk spent thirteen years researching for the two Henry books and I cannot help but wonder that after the success of the first book his editor was a little lax and allowed Wouk to show all that research. This was most evident in the description of battles which were often recounted from more than one angle and prefaced with expository statements from the author. This made the book feel bloated and endless and not in a good way. I often felt impatient for Wouk to get back to the action! When reading “The Winds of War,” I really didn’t want it to end and with this I really did wonder if it would.Nonetheless, Wouk tells an amazing story. His characters are brilliant and I cared for each and every one of them. It is my understanding that Wouk moved closer to his Jewish roots as he got older and became more orthodox. This is clear from his focus on the treatment of the Jews in the war. His storyline involving Natalie Jastrow was very well-done and he treats the whole issue with great sensitivity and pathos, making clear how little regular people knew about the activities of the Nazis and the reluctance of the western powers to act on what could be perceived as war propaganda.Another aspect of the story that Wouk did an amazing job on was the plight of refugees. So often in war stories the focus is on the war and not on the impact this has on the civilian populations. Wouk captures the uncertainty, griminess and sometimes terror of civilians travelling in Europe during war time. I read this book travelling cattle class to Australia, a fifteen and half hour trek on one flight and a 32 hour total journey from start to destination and so I found those sections, while in no comparable, particularly compelling.I also really liked his telling of the American involvement in the war. As an Australian who grew up on a history of our country’s involvement in both the first and second world wars from the giddy-up, I have often teased Americans about coming late to the party. Wouk’s story gave me a new appreciation for the American contribution to WWII. The number of America lives lost in the conflict number in the hundreds of thousands, and should not be denigrated, it far exceeds the number of Australian deaths, but pales in comparison to the millions of lives lost in Europe. Nonetheless, America’s involvement ended the war. The American soldiers fought bravely, but it was the industrial might of America that swayed the course of war in favor of the Allies. Wouk’s description of Lend-Lease and the scale-up of American industry after Pearl Harbor is boggling and very impressive. Wouk’s suggestion that Roosevelt long wished to enter the war, but needed to manage public opinion was balanced well with his telling of these backdoor efforts to help the Allies. While I knew all these things, there was something about Wouk’s book that captured the massiveness of it all and what an accomplishment it was. While the teasing is all fun, the western world owes much to America’s effort.I enjoyed this book even though it was bloated. I miss the Henrys now I am done. Unfortunately, it was just not as well written as the first installment. Really a 3.75 star read.

  • Marilyn
    2019-05-14 01:01

    Almost 3 weeks to finish this epic conclusion of Book 2. I just re-read my review on the Winds of War (Book 1) and I am repeating, fiction writing of the finest quality. I felt I had relived the war. What a wonderful strong fictional family chosen by this author to represent the horrors of World War 2. If you are an avid reader, please take the time to read these 2 books and thanks to those who encouraged me to read them back to back. I read these 2 books with almost 2000 pages in 5 weeks, that is just how good these books were.

  • Michelle Bacon
    2019-05-05 00:16

    Holy Moly, I did it. 1 day shy of 3 months reading this and I finally finished. Whew. This books brings the harrowing truth to the surface of WWII and the immense tragedy that the Jewish people suffered during the reign of Adolf Hitler. It doesn't paint a rose-colored picture of what they went through, nor does it do that for those who fought in the war. It's scary when you see the size of the book and wonder exactly how much a person has to say about a horrible war, but Wouk covers it all. Good book overall. If only I read much faster.

  • Barth Siemens
    2019-05-11 01:28

    When I read books like this, I come away with a sense of the larger picture. The Henry family's stories were intertwined with 'writings' by Dr. Jastrow and also a Nazi historian, which were further commented on by Victor Henry, in the form of translator's notes. This manner of storytelling creates an epic world within the novel.Additionally, there were so many quotable sections that I finally set aside any hope of remembering them. I'll just have to read the book again. I recommend that you read it, too.

  • Z-squared
    2019-05-04 03:21

    Occasionally I get a craving for something a little different, especially in audiobook format since I share them with my husband. And his tolerance for romance is loooooow. So I stepped outside of my usual comfort zone to give the Winds of War (the preceding book to War and Remembrance) a try, since it's considered to be THE quintessential WWII historical fiction novel. I schlepped through W of W on my daily commutes, alternately bored to death or white-knuckling my steering wheel, and when I got to the end, I wasn't honestly sure whether I wanted to listen to the sequel. Impulsively, I went ahead with the purchase, as much because Audible credits make it a good bargain as from any desire to continue the story.War and Remembrance didn't really improve on the experience of its predecessor. I still enjoyed the sweeping nature of the narrative, the way characters were conveniently flung to the far corners of the world to give the listener an intimate view of mind-bogglingly epic events. I also felt like I got a good education in parts of WWII that were skimmed over or skipped entirely in history class, such as the Paradise Ghetto, the Tehran talks, and the battle of Leyte Gulf. I even enjoyed the long-winded digressions of the fictional German General Armin von Roon. But I found the writing itself to be jarring at times, particularly the wavering between limited- and omniscient-third-person viewpoints. The inclusion of occasional flowery, essay-like passages on the war direct from the author also bugged me. I don't like my opinions spoon-fed to me, I'd rather have characters and plots speak for themselves. It was also very, very clear that the author was writing in the 60s/70s, and some of Wouk's more dour elegiacs weren't nearly as prescient as he likely thought they were. The big downside for me, which will keep me from ultimately recommending this book (and its prequel) to anyone, is how difficult it is to root for any of these characters. Terrible things happen to most of them, and almost all of them bring it all on themselves. The women in particular tend to be vain, vapid, and stupid. The men don't always cover themselves in glory either; even Victor Henry, the paragon of virtue, tends to wallow in indecision at key moments. I slogged through nearly 100 hours of narrative with the hope that at least some of these characters would redeem themselves by the end, but for the most part, I was disappointed. Towards the end, it seemed like Wouk himself started feeling like it was a slog, too. The narrative seemed to speed up, as if Wouk was eliding important character-driven moments and skimming through the last year of the war in the hopes of just finishing the damned thing before being buried alive by it. I guess I'm glad I read it, but I kind of feel like I want 100 hours of my life back, too.

  • Leslie
    2019-05-07 01:17

    I am very glad that I read (listened to) this sequel to The Winds of War but it didn't quite pack the same punch. I suspect that part of the problem is it is soooo long; even though my attention only flagged once (when the list of people in the Midway battle was given), it was a bit wearing.Kevin Pariseau was terrific and I am happy that I chose to experience these books in audiobook format.

  • Amy
    2019-05-18 06:22

    It took me a while to pick up War and Remembrance after I finished Winds of War. The disappointment of not having closure at the end of the first book left me feeling slightly burned. I knew the second half was gong to be just as long and treacherous a tale, and did not feel like I had to courage to start it. 6 months later, I finally decided to take the plunge. And wow, what a wild ride. For some reason, I was much more absorbed in War and Remembrance than I ever was during Winds of War. Perhaps it's because in this book I will finally have some closure and the war is going to finally end... and most of all, I will finally find out what happens to Natalie! I don't think I blinked during the last 10% of the book. My breath was caught in my throat. And I felt light headed after it all came to a wrap. Wouk does a fantastic job describing the family troubles of the Henry family. At times, I felt like I was reading about the characters in my own life. I love that he tries to stay objective instead of black vs. white moralistic through out the book. Even Hitler, the true villain in the book got his share of positive remarks as a person, thus enabling readers to understand at a deeper level, how the German people could have worshiped him so. The historical notes and battle scenes were a little hard to follow without having a visual of the referenced geography. However, reading it did entice me to want to study up more on the facts of WWII. Perhaps after closer research, I will attempt those chapters again.

  • Brittany
    2019-04-23 03:22

    War and Remembrance picks up where WThe Winds of War left off. I suppose you could read them separately, but I don't know why you'd want to. It is a lot of pages to read, but they're all so absorbing that you don't realize you've read almost 2,000 pages until you're done. If anything, WWar and Remembrance is even grimmer than The Winds of War. Mainly, for me, because more of the story happens in and around the concentration camps. One description was so detailed and vivid that it actually upset my stomach and I couldn't eat for a couple of days. But that's what makes this a stunning work as a novel. Wouk never falls into easy interpretations; he digs to get into the roots of things and to look at them from all angles. For me, what was most startling about the concentration camps was the look inside the minds of the men running it. I think these books are a must-read for anyone.

  • Jeff
    2019-05-20 06:20

    Like its predecessor, The Winds of War, this book is a must read. A great book overall and the two book series is highly interesting. My only negative criticism concerns the amount of time spent during the middle of the book, which covers late 1942 and early 1943. Probably too much detail. Then, there is not a whole lot of time devoted to the last 14 months of the war -- as if Herman Wouk wanted to rush the ending. I would have balanced it out a little more. This criticism is a tale wagging the dog, though. The book is lengthy, but it would be a disservice not to afford coverage to the entirety of the war. In other words, I am not bothered by the length. 6 stars.

  • JoAnne Pulcino
    2019-05-10 05:11

    GOLDEN OLDIEWAR AND REMEMBERANCE VOL.IIHerman WoukThis is to repair an oversight on my reviews. I reviewed THE WINDS OF WAR and did not include the second volume. The continued saga of the Henry family through the horrors of war and the beauty of love is enchanting. Herman Wouk is an author I will treasure forever.There was also a mini TV series of both books which was very well done, and managed to capture a lot of the heart of the novels.

  • Sarah
    2019-05-17 02:20

    Well I read The Winds of War (Book 1) (which is huge), I did enjoy it, but this one is even longer. I kept losing the thread of the story and having to re-read bits. I could persevere but it would take ages and I'm afraid my To Read pile is calling to me. No offence Mr Wouk.

  • Jennifer Clark
    2019-05-23 06:18

    "In the glare, the great and terrible light of this happening, God seems to signal that the story of the rest of us need not end, and that the new light can prove a troubled dawn. For the rest of us, perhaps. Not for the dead, not for the more than fifty million real dead in the world’s worst catastrophe: victors and vanquished, combatants and civilians, people of so many nations, men, women, and children, all cut down. For them there can be no new earthly dawn. Yet though their bones lie in the darkness of the grave, they will not have died in vain, if their remembrance can lead us from the long, long time of war to the time for peace."One of the most beautiful, thought-provoking and important books I think I have ever read. Worth the dedication of reading over 1300 pages (over 2000 if you also include the prequel Winds of War, which is also wonderful and makes this book all the more meaningful). I am truly glad I read this and will be pondering it for quite a while.

  • Tessa
    2019-05-01 03:25

    These two books took me a while to get through, to the exclusion of all other reading, but they were so worth it. What a powerhouse history of World War II. Wouk had an incredible grasp of the geopolitics behind the war, both in Europe and the Pacific. The lengthy battle scenes were not as interesting to me but seemed authentic and were easy to skim over for the gist of the drama. The melodramas of the fictional Henry family sometimes felt inconsequential next to the gravity of the historical events, but they still illustrated well the effects of war on a family, especially a military one. Pug Henry's uncanny way of being in the right place at the right time to experience these great events at times stretched credulity, but he's a good character. Characterizations of Hitler, Stalin, Churchill, Roosevelt, were all fascinating and the treatment of the "final solution" heartbreaking, with a sense of dread building throughout the books. The books are long, but really essential reading for a layperson's study of World War II.

  • Phil
    2019-05-22 03:22

    Wow! I have been immersed in the pair of these novels for a good few months with the little time I've spared for fiction. A good friend recommended this to me and I was not disappointed. I think all readers can relate to at least one character in the larger Henry family circle. Everyone has their moment of strength and/or glory, juxtaposed against the incredible onslaught of the fascist and incessant evil mania of the Nazis. Although over 70 years have passed since WWII, the power of the endless stories brought out by the best and worst of humanity, never ceases to amaze, disturb and humble me. The fantastic amount of research behind each of these books is evident from one stage of the story to the next, with the reader reliving the war with each of the characters. After finally completing this epic, it was probably two or three days before I stopped thinking about the characters.Highly recommend tackling this mountain of a story if you haven’t already done so.

  • Melissa Powers
    2019-05-03 01:12

    Absolutely stunning! This is a must read. Continuing the same trend as The Winds of War, this sequel was packed full of historical content. The difference for me was the emotional impact it had. Wouk did a great job portraying the strength and resilience of the Jewish people, even during the most horrific circumstances. I can go on and on about this book, and my love of the Henry family. But the the biggest thing I'll take away is this: the human race is capable of incredible endurance and heroic defiance, and also unimaginable evil...

  • Heather Harris
    2019-05-16 07:09

    I just finished this book and I'm trying to figure out how to write what I'm thinking of it. This book picks up after Winds of War ends, just after Pearl Harbor, and goes through the end of WWII. Winds of War, though long, was a good way to get to know the main characters these books follow, and therefore make their experiences much more meaningful. Because of that, Warren's death hit harder than I expected it to. The Henry family deals with so much sadness because of the war, directly and indirectly. It's all the more poignant for knowing that even though this family wasn't real, so many families did indeed endure what the Henrys did. I must admit, too, that I'm quite angry with Aaron Jastrow for dilly-dallying about leaving Italy until it was far too late. If it was just him, it would have been bad enough, but that he never heeded Natalie and what it cost both of them is so frustrating. It's easy to look back on it from my perspective, knowing the history of what would happen when they obviously wouldn't. But even still, that she kept trying to get him to leave and he just passively (perhaps quite lazily as well) delayed and delayed until they couldn't leave, that was maddening. Because of his inaction, they ended up in a concentration camp, with his death and Natalie and Louis, while alive, being horribly (perhaps irreparably) scarred. It's hard to see that and not think of how it could have been had he just left one of the times Natalie tried to get him to. It was heartbreaking to see her change from a vibrant, fascinating young woman who was so full of life into a broken human being. In this too, it's very hard to feel anything but amazement, contempt, and disgust for the majority of Germans of the time. Appropriately, the heaviest mantle of blame is squarely on Hitler's shoulders. But he would have just been a raving lunatic on a street corner had he not had support. And he obviously had tremendous support to be able to do what he did. He alone didn't create places like Auschwitz, building them with his own hands. There were all too many people who dreamed up, created plans for, built and ran those places. While I can believe that there were many, many people who didn't know what was going on, there were all too many who not only knew what was going on, but actively participated in it. For those, that is where the most of my anger and disgust is. At the same time, my anger is also for those who though they may not have directly participated in the mass murder, still saw droves of Jews disappear, who never had issue that all those people were disappearing, taken away by an overtly and radically anti-Semitic government. I guess it's easy from my position, looking back on history. But I still wonder how anyone can have so much hate that they would actively try to exterminate an entire race. I know this is only one example of too many butcheries throughout history, but it's disturbing in how methodical and planned it was. The portions of translations from Von Roon regarding the logic behind the extermination were enlightening in a terrible way.

  • Scott Axsom
    2019-05-14 08:10

    War and Remembrance is the second half of Wouk’s magnum opus, the first half of which is The Winds of War. The two novels are, on the surface, a 2000 page tome split into two 1000 page halves, but that description doesn’t begin to do justice to the immense difference between the two. The Winds of War is about the run-up to WWII where War and Remembrance is about the war itself and the two flow seamlessly, chronologically together. War and Remembrance took Wouk 16 years to write (’62-’78) and the first novel took just (!) seven (’64-’71), so that may explain some of the difference but, as I’ll explain below, I think there’s a more romantic, and at once more practical, explanation. The second novel is as much about the holocaust as it is about the fighting itself and Wouk has such a highly developed literary repertoire at his disposal that he can tell this tale, this 650,000 word tale (both books), in a manner that keeps the reader turning the page with relish until the very end. He takes us inside the holocaust from the Jewish perspective but does so from three very distinct angles. As such, he provides a first-hand account of the “final solution” (manifested here at Auschwitz) and its horrors while, at the same time, providing the increasingly desperate perspective of those trying to avoid its ever-expanding clutches. One character is running to escape the horrors he's seen while the other is being inexorably drawn to the horrors he can only imagine. From a literary perspective, he conceives and employs this juxtaposition to brilliant effect.War and Remembrance is the more complete book of the two, and not simply because it brings us to conclusions – Wouk wisely leaves many, many loose ends. The character development is deeper and more elegant than that of the first book. The writing is recognizably more literary in tone and, though both novels are markedly polemical, in War and Remembrance Wouk often makes his arguments with more Steinbeck-like passion than he ever did in The Winds of War. His devotion to the subject of the holocaust is ever-present in the poignancy of the writing though it's never overwrought. I’ve read many novels incorporating the holocaust as both main and back-story but none does so in such a broad-ranging fashion while maintaining so many beautiful storylines over such an immense depth of historical soil.This book changed the way I look at both writing and the political and moral ramifications of World War II – indeed, of war itself. This is what literature at its best can achieve and, though Wouk has an exceptional and exceptionally respected list of credits, from a perspective of pure craftsmanship, I can’t imagine how any of them can compare with War and Remembrance.

  • Nicole
    2019-04-26 04:10

    Wow. Where to begin with my review of this book? I really enjoyed i t, like I did the first one. However, this one was much harder to read because it dealt with Auschwitz and the Holocaust. It took me a long time to read those parts because it wasn't something I just wanted to pick up and read when I had a chance to late at night (that and the other books for book club I had to read while trying to get through all 1300+ pages of this one!!). I didn't really want pictures of those horrors in my mind as I was falling asleep. However, it was extremely well written. When the author first brings the Holocaust into the book several hundred pages in, it's heartbreaking and unbelievable, of course, but there's a tenderness to it as well, oddly enough. It almost reminded me of the girl in the little red dress from Spielberg's Schindler's List. It seems to me both the author and Spielberg were trying to evoke the same emotions, one visually and one through the written word. After this scene, he doesn't refer to them again for a while, but when he does it's more graphic, although not gory -- just telling it plainly how it was. I still enjoyed the descriptions of military battles and such and wondered how much of it was accurate and factual while reading (there is a note in the back by the author that clarifies what was factual and what wasn't). All the underlying romances and drama taking place with the main characters was enjoyable and, while I knew beforehand basically what was going to happen to Natalie and her uncle, their stories (and of all the characters) kept me reading this book. Without them, this book would have been just another history lesson of World War II. I did actually read (while some of my friends skipped them) the fictionalized chapters from Armin Von Roon, which are all very self-aggrandizing about the Germans' and Hitler's roles in the war. While it was readily apparent to me while reading what the author's attitude was toward Germans, Hitler and his policies and actions, and the war itself, as well as his Jewish heritage being apparent in his writing, I do believe he really tried to be unbiased in his presentation of the history. Overall, this a very good book and an enjoyable read, especially the scene where Byron "deals with" his younger sister's lover. I laughed so hard I cried. It's a great followup to the first book and I highly recommend it.