REVIEWS

“A compelling history of the World Wars and in between. Factual and easy to read, Eamonn Ashe brings this period of history to life for the reader. Like an engaging visit to a war museum the book uses Maps, Photos, Timelines and engaging snippets of ‘up close’ information. The best war book I’ve read, completing my understanding of the war periods. Because of its readability and engaging style, I would recommend for readers of all ages, including use in schools and universities. A book you won’t leave unread.” — Stephen Copeland, New Zealand.

“This book is informative, concise and excellently researched. The illustrations and maps make it very easy to follow for the less enthusiastic followers of war. A magnificent achievement!”  Colette Toner, Ireland.

“This book should be on every secondary school history curriculum. It not only relates the horrors and confusion of the two conflicts, but crucially narrates the importance of the interwar years linking the two conflicts. I especially appreciated the author’s approach of retaining the essentials of the important events of the wars while retaining the fundamental historical narrative. All the important details and explanatory maps have been included and I feel it would also serve as a useful work of reference to any student of history.” — Owen Meegan, Ireland.

“The thing that impressed me most about ‘31 Years of Hell! 1914–1945’ was the incredible detail, which must have taken countless hours of painstaking research. Most people of my generation think they know about the wars (WW2 in particular) but in reality most of us know only the outlines. The author Eamonn Ashe filled in the gaps, of which there were a huge number, and brought it all together. I was especially interested to learn about the interwar years: fascinating reading. This is not a book to read and discard, it lingers and prompts you to pick it up again and again; an excellent source of reference.”— Mary Bowater, Spain.

“This book is a brilliant piece of military history. It fascinated me as it is a concise history of both wars and the interval between them. The amazing research spanning such a long period. To understand the First World War it is so necessary to look at the relationship between the great powers and this book explains this so clearly.  He sets the scene so well: the build up, the various timelines…and I especially found the detailed maps so helpful in understanding the complexity of it all. A line remains with me: “an entire generation of young men dead on the battlefield”. And the broken homes and hearts left for generations to come. The cover hits you in the face — ‘31 Years of Hell!’ For serious students of history, this is the book to learn from.” — Columba Faulkner, Ireland.

“‘31 Years of Hell!  1914–1945’ is so well written. It is a great insight into the history of those times. It is great to see the author’s years-long research translated into a book which could teach so much to so many generations.” — Charlie McDonald, Ireland.

“‘31 Years of Hell! 1914–1945’ is a must read for anyone who has an interest in history and in particular the great wars. It sets the scene in Europe prior to these world changing events. It is written in a way that gives the reader a clear understanding of how the environment and atmosphere led to a time of such huge instability and loss of many of the world’s young men. This is a well-written and well-researched book and a must read for anyone who wants to learn about the biggest conflicts of the 20th century.” — Naomh Cusin, New Zealand.

“A great read; a detailed and analytical account of both world wars. ’31 Years of Hell! 1914-1945’ gives accounts of great heroism and great tragedy in an entertaining and easy-to-read way. The illustrations are first class. A must-have book for students of history.” — Danny Kelly, Ireland. 

“I have read ‘31 Years of Hell! 1914–1945’ and found it to be very informative. It covers a vast period of time when Europe and most of the world were involved in terrible wars. The maps are very helpful, enabling one to follow the movements of opposing armies. The book has given me a wonderful understanding and education of those times. One should hope that wars on such a scale would never again be repeated. I am very happy to recommend this book, especially as an education to young people who may not be aware of that era and the sacrifices our forebears endured to halt the aggression of rogue nations.” — Tony McCarthy, Ireland.

“A brilliant book that tells the tragic and triumphant stories of two World Wars in an eloquent, interesting and informative way. It is beautifully produced and richly illustrated. The author achieves the difficult task of writing a detailed historical account and analysis in a very readable and accessible book. This book will prove a valuable reference source.” — Graham Cole, UK.

“This book was a great read, I enjoyed it greatly. I appreciate the amount of work that went into it, all that research.” — Colin Healy, Ireland.

“A prodigious piece of research distilled into a format that offers some appreciation of the human, cultural and economic cost of those years. Text-specific maps illustrating military movements and territorial shifts are a welcome inclusion. Chronological summaries along the way complement the overview. Having just finished the book, I would have no problem starting again (just opened it now to ponder those maps. So much of today’s news overlies the narrative.) I knew bits and pieces of the subject matter, often acquired from popular media but without a coherent frame of reference. The book prompted me to google and amplify hitherto new-to-me incidents, such as — in the final chapters — events at the bridge at Remagen. I will return to it in future to fit other events into context. As a satisfied layperson, I would have no hesitation in recommending this book to any similar enquirer.”— Jim, Wexford, Ireland.

“I found this book very easily read and well researched. Everything is in chronological order and very easy to follow, and interesting. The facts are presented very well. Mr. Ashe has spent a lot of time and effort putting all of this information together and his passion for the subject is very evident. If history books were always written like this, I might have carried on learning history at school! Well done, sir!” — James Adare, New Zealand.

“This book is a comprehensive history of Europe in the first half of the 20th century, taking in the two major conflicts caused by European greed and national pride, resulting in unimaginable destruction of its cities and the brutalisation and death of millions of its citizens. Those wars became world wars because of the involvement of British, French and German overseas territories and later the USA in WWI and the USA and Japan and most of Asia in WWII. The book sets out the events leading up to the First World War in commendable detail and demonstrates how the mistakes made in the aftermath of WWI led to the even more destructive war that followed from 1939 to 1945. It also contains information on the attitudes of nations involved in the wars and other nations which managed to remain neutral. I was particularly interested in the attitudes of Ireland, being Irish myself, and Switzerland for less obvious reasons. For people of my (older) generation this book is a valuable reminder of the events that unfolded during our younger years. For later generations who have an interest in history this is an invaluable, deeply researched and superbly written catalogue of the history of the early part of the 20th century and makes absorbing reading. I strongly recommend it to all readers with an interest in history and human affairs.” — Aidan Fahey, Ireland.

“I found ‘31 Years of Hell! 1914–1945’ very good, well constructed and I learned a lot from it.” — Bobby Lake, Ireland.

“A fabulous resource for researchers, students and history buffs, or indeed, anyone interested in the great wars and the period in between. Packed with facts, maps and photographs, this book is easy to dip in and out of, and can take pride of place on any non-fiction shelf.” — Caroline Farrell, The Librarian’s Cellar.

“This book describes the two World Wars of the 20th century, and shows how the interwar period inevitably led from the first to the second World War. The book is very readable and on finishing the book you will have acquired a good knowledge of the period.” — Steve Phillips, UK.

“‘31 Years of Hell! 1914–1945’ is so timely, coming as it does as we mark 100 years since the end of the Great War as a reminder of the horrors of the conflict, the loss of life and the destruction of communities and of the need to strengthen our resolution that this must never happen again. It is an essential read for every citizen of Europe. Readers will find it easy to follow as there is a chapter for each of the war years explaining the main events of that year across all the war fronts and at the end of each chapter there is a summary of these engagements. There are also good illustrative maps of the action. Another excellent feature are descriptions, appropriately inserted, of important aspects of the war such as trench warfare in the first war and the massacre at Ardeatine Caves in the second. These enhance one’s understanding of horrors of war.” — Peter Fuller, Ireland.

“I appreciate this distillation of the author’s extensive and assiduous research into the turbulent time addressed by his book. It combines a direct, uncluttered chronological narrative with aide-mémoire type summaries of specific issues. The text of this nicely-produced volume is enhanced by a wide range of well-chosen photographs and clear, colourful maps. There is, of course, a plethora of ingeniously recondite and voluminous analytical studies of the period, as indeed there are of sober inventories of the relevant facts. Eamonn Ashe’s contribution to the latter literature is to be welcomed for its well-informed clarity and its dual usefulness either as a direct and lucid exposition or as a readily accessible, carefully indexed work of reference.” — Denis Sim, Scotland.