A magisterial history of the Second World War by best-selling novelist and former RAF pilot Len DeightonDrawing on the author' s deep understanding of military life and the strengths and frailties of politicians and generals, this is a myth-puncturing analysis of the advent of the Second World War. Blood, Tears and Folly offers a sweeping and compelling historical analysis of six theatres of war- the Battle of the Atlantic, Hitler' s conquest of western Europe, the war in the Mediterranean, the battle for the skies, Operation Barbarossa and the German assault on Russia, and the entry of Japan into a truly global war. This is the period during which the Allied powers were brought to the very brink of defeat. Rooted in the personal accounts of the soldiers themselves, Deighton offers an unflinching account of the political machinations, the strategy and tactics, the weapons and the men on both sides who created a world of terror, millions of dead, the Holocaust, and of nuclear devastation.
If he had never written a word of fiction [Deighton] would still be remembered for his scholarly and merciless history of the Second World War, Blood, Tears and Folly. -- Peter Millar * The Times * A splendid read . . . He has a novelist' s eye for the sort of facts that bring a narrative to life. * Evening Standard * Every page of Deighton' s work glows with the excitement of discovery . . . What wonderful stuff it is! * Guardian * The skill with which he unmasks his villains, the brilliance with which he can sketch a scene and the sharpness of his characterisation are all unrivalled. * Independent *
Len Deighton was born in 1929 in London. He did his national service in the RAF, went to the Royal College of Art and designed many book jackets, including the original UK edition of Jack Kerouac' s On the Road. The enormous success of his first spy novel, The IPCRESS File (1962), was repeated in a remarkable sequence of books over the following decades. These varied from historical fiction (Bomber, perhaps his greatest novel) to dystopian alternative fiction (SS-GB) and a number of brilliant non-fiction books on the Second World War (Fighter, Blitzkrieg and Blood, Tears and Folly). His spy novels chart the twists and turns of Britain and the Cold War in ways which now give them a unique flavour. They preserve a world in which Europe contains many dictatorships, in which the personal can be ruined by the ideological and where the horrors of the Second World War are buried under only a very thin layer of soil. Deighton' s fascination with technology, his sense of humour and his brilliant evocation of time and place make him one of the key British espionage writers, alongside John Buchan, Eric Ambler, Ian Fleming and John Le Carre.