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101st Airborne troops move out of Bastogne (Battle of the Bulge); photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Summer Learning Track: The World at War, 1939-1945

The Second World War lasted six grueling years, from 1939-1945, and was the most widespread and deadliest war in history, involving more than thirty countries and resulting in more than 50 million military and civilian deaths (History.com).

This summer, challenge yourself to learn more about World War II. You'll get credit for reading or listening to books and watching documentaries or films. If you love reading nonfiction you will find many titles in the Richland Library collection to appeal to you. If you like more variety you could read the book then watch the film adaptation or vice versa. Or you could read a historical fiction novel, watch a documentary or television series and then use that as a springboard into a nonfiction book that gives you more background on the topic.

Because the topic of the Second World War is a particularly large one there are many areas to learn about. Check out the topics below to get an idea of what is available, you can stick with one topic or mix and match. You can follow this learning track or create one of your own.

The Summer Learning Challenge begins on June 1 and goes through August 16.

Overview

Inside World War II (Documentary)

The World at War (Documentary)

The War (Documentary)

BBC History of World War II: The Road to War (Documentary)

The Second World War, by Antony Beevor (Nonfiction)

Inferno : The World at War, 1939-45, by Max Hastings (Nonfiction)

The Story of World War II, by Donald L. Miller (Nonfiction)

A People's History of World War II :The World's Most Destructive Conflict, As Told By The People Who Lived Through It (Nonfiction)

The New York Times Complete World War II, 1939-1945: The Coverage From The Battlefields To The Home Front (Nonfiction)

Army of Evil: A History of the SS, by Adrian Weale (Nonfiction)

European Theater - Western Front

The Rising Tide, by Jeff Shaara (Fiction)

The Longest Day (Film)

The Big Red One: The Reconstruction (Film)

Band of Brothers (Television)

The Ghost Army (Documentary)

The Bombers and the Bombed : Allied Air War Over Europe, 1940-1945, by Richard Overy (Nonfiction)

The Monuments Men : Allied Heros, Nazi Thieves, And The Greatest Treasure Hunt In History, by Robert Edsel (Nonfiction)

The Day of Battle : The War In Sicily And Italy, 1943-1944, by Rick Atkinson (Nonfiction)

An Army at Dawn : The War In North Africa, 1942-1943, by Rick Atkinson (Nonfiction)

The Guns At Last Light : The War In Western Europe, 1944-1945, by Rick Atkinson (Nonfiction)

Monty's Men: The British Army and the Liberation of Europe, by John Buckley

Dam Busters : The True Story Of The Inventors And Airmen Who Led The Devastating Raid To Smash The German Dams In 1943, by James Holland (Nonfiction)

European Theater - Eastern Front

The Katyn Order, by Douglas W. Jacobson (Fiction)

Stalingrad (Film)

Defiance (Film)

Armor And Blood : The Battle of Kursk, the Turning Point of World War II, Dennis E. Showalter (Nonfiction)

Operation Barbarossa : Nazi Germany's War in the East, 1941-1945, by Christian Hartmann (Nonfiction)

Leningrad : The Epic Siege of World War II, 1941-1944, by Anna Reid (Nonfiction)

The Retreat : Hitler's First Defeat, by Michael K. Jones (Nonfiction)

Ostkrieg: Hitler's War of Extermination in the East, by Stephen G. Fritz (Nonfiction)

Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, by Timothy Snyder (Nonfiction)

Deathride: Hitler vs. Stalin, by John Mosier (Nonfiction)

Pacific Theater

The Bridge on the River Kwai (Film)

The Great Raid (Film)

The Pacific (Televison)

Missions That Changed the War: The Doolittle Raid (Documentary)

Japan 1941: Countdown to Infamy, by Eri Hotta (Nonfiction)

Pacific Payback: The Carrier Flyboys Who Avenged Pearl Harbor At The Battle Of Midway, by Stephen L. Moore (Nonfiction)

The Ultimate Battle: Okinawa 1945--the Last Epic Struggle Of World War II, by Bill Soan (Nonfiction)

Red Blood, Black Sand: Fighting Alongside John Basilone from Boot Camp to Iwo Jima, by Charles W. (Charles William) Tatum (Nonfiction)

Unbroken : A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, by Laura Hillenbrand (Biography)

With the Old Breed at Peleliu and Okinawa, by E. B. (Eugene Bondurant) Sledge (Biography)

War at Sea

Ghosts of Bungo Suido, by Peter T. Deutermann (Fiction)

Das Boot (Film)

Operation Pacific (Film)

Victory at Sea (Documentary)

The Burning Shore : How Hitler's U-Boats Brought World War II to America, by Edward Offley (Nonfiction)

Out of the Depths : An Unforgettable WWII Story of Survival, Courage, and the Sinking of the USS Indianapolis, by Edgar Harrell (Nonfiction)

Operation Storm : Japan's Top Secret Submarines and Its Plan to Change the Course of World War II, by J. (John) Geoghegan (Nonfiction)

The Admirals: Nimitz, Halsey, Leahy, and King--the Five-star Admirals Who Won the War at Sea, by Walter R. Borneman (Nonfiction)

The Real Cruel Sea: The Merchant Navy in the Battle of the Atlantic, 1939-1943, by Richard Woodman (Nonfiction)

Kaiten: Japan's Secret Manned Suicide Submarine And The First American Ship It Sank In WWII, by Michael Mair (Nonfiction)

Women at War

Sisters of War (Film)

Wish Me Luck (Television)

American Experience. Fly Girls. (Documentary)

Our Mothers' War: American Women At Home And At The Front During World War II, by Emily Yellin (Nonfiction)

The Secret Rescue: An Untold Story of American Nurses and Medics Behind Nazi Lines, by Cate Lineberry (Nonfiction)

We Band of Angels: The Untold Story of American Nurses Trapped on Bataan by the Japanese, by Elizabeth M. Norman (Nonfiction)

Women Heroes of World War II : 26 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue, by Kathryn J. Atwood (Teen nonfiction)

Hitler's Furies: German Women in The Nazi Killing Fields, by Wendy Lower (Nonfiction)

A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France, by Caroline Moorehead (Nonfiction)

Priscilla: The Hidden Life of an Englishwoman in Wartime France, By Nicholas Shakespeare (Biography)

The Holocaust

The Emperor of Lies, by Steve Sem-Sandberg (Fiction)

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (Film)

Schindler’s List (Film)

Holocaust: The Liberation of Majdanek (Documentary)

A Film Unfinished (Documentary)

Night, by Elie Wiesel (Nonfiction)

The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition, by Anne Frank, 1929-1945 (Nonfiction)

A World without Jews: The Nazi Imagination from Persecution to Genocide, by Alon Confino (Nonfiction)

How Could This Happen: Explaining the Holocaust, by Dan McMillan (Nonfiction)

Hanns and Rudolf: The True Story of the German Jew Who Tracked Down and Caught the Kommandant of Auschwitz, by Thomas Harding (Nonfiction)

African American War Experience

Flygirl, by Sherri L. Smith (Fiction)

Liberation Road: A Novel Of World War II And The Red Ball Express, by David L. Robbins (Fiction)

The Tuskegee Airmen (Film)

Freedom Flyers of Tuskegee, Tuskegee Airmen : They Fought Two Wars (Documentary)

African American War Heroes: True Stories of Patriotism & Valor (Documentary)

The Road to Victory: The Untold Story Of World War II's Red Ball Express, by David Colley (Nonfiction)

Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickels, by Tanya Lee Stone (cataloged as Children's Nonfiction)

The Color of War: How One Battle Broke Japan and Another Changed America, by James Campbell (Nonfiction)

The Port Chicago 50 : Disaster, Mutiny, And The Fight For Civil Rights, by Steve Sheinkin (Teen Nonfiction audiobook, but also available in print)

Double Victory: How African American Women Broke Race And Gender Barriers To Help Win World War II, by Cheryl Mullenbach (Nonfiction)

Occupation, Resistance, and Underground Movements

The Soldier's Wife, by Margaret Leroy (Fiction)

Man Escaped, Or, the Wind Blows Where It Wishes (Film)

Making Choices: The Dutch Resistance During World War II (Documentary)

Story of a Secret State: My Report to the World, by Jan Karski (Nonfiction)

The Ariadne Objective: The Underground War To Rescue Crete From The Nazis, by Wes Davis (Nonfiction)

Diary of the Dark Years, 1940-1944: Collaboration, Resistance, And Daily Life In Occupied Paris, by Jean Guéhenno (Nonfiction)

The Freedom Line: The Brave Men and Women Who Rescued Allied Airmen from the Nazis During World War II, by Peter Eisner (Nonfiction)

Forgotten Ally: China's World War II, 1937-1945, by Rana Mitter (Nonfiction)

Muriel's War: An American Heiress in the Nazi Resistance, by Sheila Isenberg (Biography)

Resistance. Vol. 01, by Carla Jablonski (Graphic Novel)

Science, Technology and the War

Nazi Mega Weapons : German Engineering in WWII (Documentary)

Engineers of Victory: The Problem Solvers Who Turned the Tide in the Second World War, by Paul M. Kennedy (Nonfiction)

Blackett's War: The Men Who Defeated The Nazi U-boats And Brought Science To The Art Of Warfare, by Stephen Budiansky (Nonfiction)

The Race for Hitler's X-planes: Britain's 1945 Mission to Capture Secret Luftwaffe Technology, by John Christopher (Nonfiction)

Terrors and Marvels: How Science and Technology Changed the Character and Outcome of World War II, by Tom Shachtman (Nonfiction)

The Tizard Mission: The Top-secret Operation That Changed the Course of World War II, by Stephen Phelps (Nonfiction)

The First War of Physics: The Secret History of the Atom Bomb, 1939-1949, by J. E. Baggott (Nonfiction)

Bomb: The Race to Build and Steal the World's Most Dangerous Weapon, by Steve Sheinkin (Nonfiction)

Dark Side of the Moon: Wernher Von Braun, the Third Reich, and the Space Race, by Wayne Biddle (Biography)

Tuxedo Park: A Wall Street Tycoon and the Secret Palace of Science That Changed the Course of World War II, By Jennet Conant (Biography)

Spies and Code Breakers

Spies of the Balkans: A Novel, by Alan Furst (Fiction)

Nazi Spies in America (Documentary)

Secrets of the Dead. Bugging Hitler's Soldiers (Documentary)

Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory, by Ben MacIntyre (Nonfiction)

Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies, by Ben Macintyre (Nonfiction)

The Spies Who Never Were: The True Story of the Nazi Spies Who Were Actually Allied Double Agents, by Hervie Haufler (Nonfiction)

Agent Garbo: The Brilliant, Eccentric Secret Agent Who Tricked Hitler and Saved D-Day, by Stephan Talty (Nonfiction)

Spies in the Sky: The Secret Battle for Aerial Intelligence During World War II, by Taylor Downing (Nonfiction)

They Dared Return: The True Story of Jewish Spies Behind the Lines in Nazi Germany, by Patrick K. O'Donnell (Nonfiction)

The Secret Lives of Codebreakers: The Men and Women Who Cracked the Enigma Code at Bletchley Park, By Sinclair McKay (Nonfiction)

The Home Fronts

Mr. Churchill's Secretary: A Novel, by Susan Elia MacNeal (Fiction) English Home Front

The Wives of Los Alamos: A Novel, by TaraShea Nesbit (Fiction) American Home Front

Bomb Girls (Television) Canadian Home Front

Land Girls (Television) English Home Front

Foyle’s War (Television) English Home Front

The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II, by Denise Kiernan (Nonfiction) American Home Front

The Arsenal of Democracy: FDR, Ford Motor Company, And Their Epic Quest to Arm an America at War, by A. J. Baime (Nonfiction) American Home Front

Imprisoned: The Betrayal Of Japanese Americans During World War II, by Martin W. Sandler (Teen Nonfiction) American Home Front

Berlin at War, by Roger Moorhouse (Nonfiction) German Home Front

Home Front Girl: A Diary of Love, Literature, and Growing Up In Wartime America, by Joan Morrison (Teen Biography) American Home Front

Leadership and Diplomacy

Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood With Britain In Its Darkest, Finest Hour, by Lynne Olson (Nonfiction)

Roosevelt's Centurions: FDR and the Commanders He Led To Victory in World War II, by Joseph E. Persico (Nonfiction)

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, And An American Family In Hitler's Berlin, by Erik Larson (Nonfiction)

Churchill and the King: The Wartime Alliance of Winston Churchill and George VI, by Kenneth Weisbrode (Nonfiction)

The Hopkins Touch: Harry Hopkins and the Forging of the Alliance to Defeat Hitler, by David L. Roll (Nonfiction)

Rendezvous with Destiny: How Franklin D. Roosevelt and Five Extraordinary Men Took America Into the War and Into the World, by Michael Fullilove (Nonfiction)

Six Months in 1945: FDR, Stalin, Churchill, Truman, and the Birth of the Modern World, by Michael Dobbs (Nonfiction)

Yalta: The Price of Peace, by Serhii Plokhy (Nonfiction)

Winston's War: Churchill, 1940-1945, by Max Hastings (Nonfiction)

The Mantle of Command: FDR at War, 1941-1942, by Nigel Hamilton (Biography)

Social and Cultural History

The Love-charm of Bombs: Restless Lives in the Second World War, by Lara Feigel (Nonfiction)

Thanks for the Memories: Love, Sex, and World War II, By Jane Mersky Leder (Nonfiction)

Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War, by Mark Harris (Nonfiction)

Assignment to Hell: The War Against Nazi Germany With Correspondents Walter Cronkite, Andy Rooney, A.J. Liebling, Homer Bigart, And Hal Boyle, by Timothy M. Gay (Nonfiction)

And the Show Went on: Cultural Life in Nazi-Occupied Paris, by Alan Riding (Nonfiction)

Season of '42: Joe D, Teddy Ballgame, And Baseball's Fight To Survive A Turbulent First Year Of War, by Jack Cavanaugh (Nonfiction)

War Posters: Weapons of Mass Communication, by James Aulich (Nonfiction)

World War II Letters: A Glimpse into the Heart of the Second World War Through the Words of Those Who Were Fighting It (Nonfiction)

Art and the Second World War, by Monica Bohm-Duchen (Nonfiction)

Grandma's Wartime Kitchen: World War II and the Way We Cooked, by Joanne Lamb Hayes (Nonfiction)


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Amazon Says: How could a political party as fundamentally evil and overtly racist as the Nazis come to power? Why was Japan, known for its admirable treatment of POWs in WWI, responsible for such grim atrocities in the Second World War? This comprehensive collection not only examines the details of the conflict (the Battle of Moscow, the campaign against German U-boats, the RAF bomber offensive), but digs deeper to attempt to answer the questions that still haunt us. Through startling archive footage and eyewitness testimony, this 12-disc set offers a unique perspective and true understanding of what actually happened. DVD Features: Documentaries:Battle of the Atlantic includes a 50-minute documentary on merchant seamenHorror in the East includes a 50-minute documentary on the Indian Army and a 60-minute documentary on Burma Featurette:D-Day: Reflections of Courage includes a 20-minute making-of featurette Introduction:Award-winning writer, filmmaker and Creative Director of BBC History Laurence Rees provides introduction and closing words to collection Other:D-Day: Reflections of Courage includes 30 minutes of eyewitness accounts Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State includes six follow-up discussions hosted by award-winning journalist Linda Ellerbee less...
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Amazon Says: During World War II, a hand-picked group of American GI's undertook a bizarre mission: create a traveling road show of deception on the battlefields of Europe, with the Nazi G more...
Amazon Says: During World War II, a hand-picked group of American GI's undertook a bizarre mission: create a traveling road show of deception on the battlefields of Europe, with the Nazi German Army as their audience. The U.S. 23rd Headquarters Special Troops used inflatable rubber tanks, sound trucks, and dazzling performance art to bluff the enemy again and again, often right along the front lines. This little-known unit's knack for trickery was crucial to Allied success in World War II, but their top-secret mission was kept quiet for nearly 50 years after the war's end. Using archival footage and dozens of still photographs, paintings, and sketches created by soldiers, The Ghost Army tells the extraordinary story of these incredible battlefield illusions and the talented young men, many recruited from art schools across the country, who used their creativity to ultimately save lives. less...
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Amazon Says: A tale of strength, survival and forgiveness In January 1942, the Japanese war machine thundered across South East Asia. In its path lay a tiny Papuan mission station, Vunapo more...
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Amazon Says: During WWII, more than a thousand women signed up to fly with the U.S. military. Wives, mothers, actresses and debutantes who joined the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPS) test-piloted aircraft, ferried planes and logged 60 million miles in the air. Thirty-eight women died in service. But the opportunity to play a critical role in the war effort was abruptly canceled by politics and resentment, and it would be 30 years before women would again break the sex barrier in the skies. less...
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The Second World War by Antony Beevor
Amazon Says: Over the past two decades, Antony Beevor has established himself as one of the world's premier historians of WWII. His multi-award winning books have included Stalingrad and T more...
Amazon Says: Over the past two decades, Antony Beevor has established himself as one of the world's premier historians of WWII. His multi-award winning books have included Stalingrad and The Fall of Berlin 1945. Now, in his newest and most ambitious book, he turns his focus to one of the bloodiest and most tragic events of the twentieth century, the Second World War. In this searing narrative that takes us from Hitler's invasion of Poland on September 1st, 1939 to V-J day on August 14th, 1945 and the war's aftermath, Beevor describes the conflict and its global reach--one that included every major power. The result is a dramatic and breathtaking single-volume history that provides a remarkably intimate account of the war that, more than any other, still commands attention and an audience. Thrillingly written and brilliantly researched, Beevor's grand and provocative account is destined to become the definitive work on this complex, tragic, and endlessly fascinating period in world history, and confirms once more that he is a military historian of the first rank. less...
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Amazon Says: A modern master of the historical novel, Jeff Shaara has painted brilliant depictions of the Civil War, the Revolutionary War, and World War I. Now he embarks upon his most am more...
Amazon Says: A modern master of the historical novel, Jeff Shaara has painted brilliant depictions of the Civil War, the Revolutionary War, and World War I. Now he embarks upon his most ambitious epic, a trilogy about the military conflict that defined the twentieth century. The Rising Tide begins a staggering work of fiction bound to be a new generation’s most poignant chronicle of World War II. With you-are-there immediacy, painstaking historical detail, and all-inclusive points of view, Shaara portrays the momentous and increasingly dramatic events that pulled America into the vortex of this monumental conflict. As Hitler conquers Poland, Norway, France, and most of Western Europe, England struggles to hold the line. When Germany’s ally Japan launches a stunning attack on Pearl Harbor, America is drawn into the war, fighting to hold back the Japanese conquest of the Pacific, while standing side-by-side with their British ally, the last hope for turning the tide of the war. Through unforgettable battle scenes in the unforgiving deserts of North Africa and the rugged countryside of Sicily, Shaara tells this story through the voices of this conflict’s most heroic figures, some familiar, some unknown. As British and American forces strike into the “soft underbelly” of Hitler’s Fortress Europa, the new weapons of war come clearly into focus. In North Africa, tank battles unfold in a tapestry of dust and fire unlike any the world has ever seen. In Sicily, the Allies attack their enemy with a barely tested weapon: the paratrooper. As battles rage along the coasts of the Mediterranean, the momentum of the war begins to shift, setting the stage for the massive invasion of France, at a seaside resort called Normandy. More than an unprecedented and intimate portrait of those who waged this astonishing global war, The Rising Tide is a vivid gallery of characters both immortal and unknown: the as-yet obscure administrator Dwight D. Eisenhower, whose tireless efficiency helped win the war; his subordinates, clashing in both style and personality, from George Patton and Mark Clark to Omar Bradley and Bernard Montgomery. In the desolate hills and deserts, the Allies confront Erwin Rommel, the battlefield genius known as “the Desert Fox,” a wounded beast who hands the Americans their first humiliating defeat in the European theater of the war. From tank driver to paratrooper to the men who gave the commands, Shaara’s stirring portrayals bring the heroic and the tragic to life in brilliant detail. A new level of accomplishment from this already acclaimed author, The Rising Tide will leave readers eager for the next volume of this superb saga of the war that saved and changed the world. less...
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Amazon Says: WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE AND NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER In the first volume of his monumental trilogy about the liberation of Europe in WW II, Pulitzer Prize winner Rick A more...
Amazon Says: WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE AND NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER In the first volume of his monumental trilogy about the liberation of Europe in WW II, Pulitzer Prize winner Rick Atkinson tells the riveting story of the war in North Africa The liberation of Europe and the destruction of the Third Reich is a story of courage and enduring triumph, of calamity and miscalculation. In this first volume of the Liberation Trilogy, Rick Atkinson shows why no modern reader can understand the ultimate victory of the Allied powers without a grasp of the great drama that unfolded in North Africa in 1942 and 1943. That first year of the Allied war was a pivotal point in American history, the moment when the United States began to act like a great power. Beginning with the daring amphibious invasion in November 1942, An Army at Dawn follows the American and British armies as they fight the French in Morocco and Algeria, and then take on the Germans and Italians in Tunisia. Battle by battle, an inexperienced and sometimes poorly led army gradually becomes a superb fighting force. Central to the tale are the extraordinary but fallible commanders who come to dominate the battlefield: Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, Montgomery, and Rommel. Brilliantly researched, rich with new material and vivid insights, Atkinson's narrative provides the definitive history of the war in North Africa. less...
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The Katyn Order: A Novel by Douglas W. Jacobson
Amazon Says: The German war machine is in retreat as the Russians advance. In Warsaw, Resistance fighters rise up against their Nazi occupiers, but the Germans retaliate, ruthlessly leveli more...
Amazon Says: The German war machine is in retreat as the Russians advance. In Warsaw, Resistance fighters rise up against their Nazi occupiers, but the Germans retaliate, ruthlessly leveling the once-beautiful city. American Adam Nowak has been dropped into Poland by British intelligence as an assassin and Resistance fighter. During the Warsaw Uprising he meets Natalia, a covert operative who has lost everything—just as he has. Amid the Allied power struggle left by Germany’s defeat, Adam and Natalia join in a desperate hunt for the 1940 Soviet order authorizing the murders of 20,000 Polish army officers and civilians. If they can find the Katyn Order before the Russians do, they just might change the fate of Poland. less...
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Amazon Says: The war between Nazi Germany and Stalin's Soviet Union that raged between 1941 and 1945 was unprecedented in the scale of the destruction that it wrought and the deep scars th more...
Amazon Says: The war between Nazi Germany and Stalin's Soviet Union that raged between 1941 and 1945 was unprecedented in the scale of the destruction that it wrought and the deep scars that it left behind. The invasion of the Soviet Union was the conflict that Hitler had always ultimately planned for in his dream of creating a 'Thousand Year Reich'. From the beginning it was a struggle for survival, conducted with great bitterness and savagery by opponents who knew that defeat meant the destruction of everything they stood for. By 1945 a huge swathe of Europe between Berlin and Moscow had been reduced to a devastated wasteland in which whole societies had been erased from the face of the earth. Over 26 million Soviets and between four and five million Germans lay dead. The eventual victory of the Red Army transformed the Soviet Union into one of the world's two superpowers. It also saw the complete destruction of Hitler's megalomaniac vision for the East, the division of the German Reich, and the Soviet domination of Eastern Europe for a generation. Enriched by a wealth of eye-witness testimony from both the Soviet and the German sides, Operation Barbarossa paints a masterly overview of these momentous four years and their human consequences - one that is both gripping and deeply moving. less...
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Amazon Says: A groundbreaking history that considers the attack on Pearl Harbor from the Japanese perspective and is certain to revolutionize how we think of the war in the Pacific. When more...
Amazon Says: A groundbreaking history that considers the attack on Pearl Harbor from the Japanese perspective and is certain to revolutionize how we think of the war in the Pacific. When Japan launched hostilities against the United States in 1941, argues Eri Hotta, its leaders, in large part, understood they were entering a war they were almost certain to lose. Drawing on material little known to Western readers, and barely explored in depth in Japan itself, Hotta poses an essential question: Why did these men—military men, civilian politicians, diplomats, the emperor—put their country and its citizens so unnecessarily in harm’s way? Introducing us to the doubters, schemers, and would-be patriots who led their nation into this conflagration, Hotta brilliantly shows us a Japan rarely glimpsed—eager to avoid war but fraught with tensions with the West, blinded by reckless militarism couched in traditional notions of pride and honor, tempted by the gambler’s dream of scoring the biggest win against impossible odds and nearly escaping disaster before it finally proved inevitable. In an intimate account of the increasingly heated debates and doomed diplomatic overtures preceding Pearl Harbor, Hotta reveals just how divided Japan’s leaders were, right up to (and, in fact, beyond) their eleventh-hour decision to attack. We see a ruling cadre rich in regional ambition and hubris: many of the same leaders seeking to avoid war with the United States continued to adamantly advocate Asian expansionism, hoping to advance, or at least maintain, the occupation of China that began in 1931, unable to end the second Sino-Japanese War and unwilling to acknowledge Washington’s hardening disapproval of their continental incursions. Even as Japanese diplomats continued to negotiate with the Roosevelt administration, Matsuoka Yosuke, the egomaniacal foreign minister who relished paying court to both Stalin and Hitler, and his facile supporters cemented Japan’s place in the fascist alliance with Germany and Italy—unaware (or unconcerned) that in so doing they destroyed the nation’s bona fides with the West. We see a dysfunctional political system in which military leaders reported to both the civilian government and the emperor, creating a structure that facilitated intrigues and stoked a jingoistic rivalry between Japan’s army and navy. Roles are recast and blame reexamined as Hotta analyzes the actions and motivations of the hawks and skeptics among Japan’s elite. Emperor Hirohito and General Hideki Tojo are newly appraised as we discover how the two men fumbled for a way to avoid war before finally acceding to it. Hotta peels back seventy years of historical mythologizing—both Japanese and Western—to expose all-too-human Japanese leaders torn by doubt in the months preceding the attack, more concerned with saving face than saving lives, finally drawn into war as much by incompetence and lack of political will as by bellicosity. An essential book for any student of the Second World War, this compelling reassessment will forever change the way we remember those days of infamy.  less...
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Amazon Says: #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE • Hailed as the top nonfiction book of the year by Time magazine • Winner of the Los Angeles more...
Amazon Says: #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE • Hailed as the top nonfiction book of the year by Time magazine • Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for biography and the Indies Choice Adult Nonfiction Book of the Year award On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War. The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown. Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will. In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit. Telling an unforgettable story of a man’s journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit. Praise for Unbroken   “Extraordinarily moving . . . a powerfully drawn survival epic.”—The Wall Street Journal   “[A] one-in-a-billion story . . . designed to wrench from self-respecting critics all the blurby adjectives we normally try to avoid: It is amazing, unforgettable, gripping, harrowing, chilling, and inspiring.”—New York   “Staggering . . . mesmerizing . . . Hillenbrand’s writing is so ferociously cinematic, the events she describes so incredible, you don’t dare take your eyes off the page.”—People   “A meticulous, soaring and beautifully written account of an extraordinary life.”—The Washington Post   “Ambitious and powerful . . . a startling narrative and an inspirational book.”—The New York Times Book Review   “Marvelous . . . Unbroken is wonderful twice over, for the tale it tells and for the way it’s told. . . . It manages maximum velocity with no loss of subtlety.”—Newsweek   “Moving and, yes, inspirational . . . [Laura] Hillenbrand’s unforgettable book . . . deserve[s] pride of place alongside the best works of literature that chart the complications and the hard-won triumphs of so-called ordinary Americans and their extraordinary time.”—Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air   “Hillenbrand . . . tells [this] story with cool elegance but at a thrilling sprinter’s pace.”—Time “Unbroken is too much book to hope for: a hellride of a story in the grip of the one writer who can handle it.”—Christopher McDougall, author of Born to Run less...
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Ghosts of Bungo Suido by P. T. Deutermann
Amazon Says: A thrilling WWII adventure set in a submarine in the Pacific, by the Boyd Award-winning author of Pacific Glory In late 1944, America’s naval forces face what seems an in more...
Amazon Says: A thrilling WWII adventure set in a submarine in the Pacific, by the Boyd Award-winning author of Pacific Glory In late 1944, America’s naval forces face what seems an insurmountable threat from Japan: immense Yamato-class battleships, which dwarf every other ship at sea.  Built in secrecy, these ships seem invincible, and lay waste to any challengers. American military intelligence knows of two such ships, but there is rumored to be a third, a newly-built aircraft carrier, ready to launch from Japan’s heavily-defended and mined Inland Sea. Such a ship would threaten U.S. Pacific forces, allow Japan to launch air attacks against the U.S. mainland, and change the course of the war. No American submarine has penetrated the Inland Sea; five boats and their crews have perished in the Bungo Suido strait. Lieutenant Commander Gar Hammond—an aggressive, attacking leader with a reckless streak—is now captain of a new submarine. Hammond may be the navy’s only hope to locate and stop the Japanese super-ship before it launches . . . if it even exists. P.T. Deutermann’s previous World War II adventure, Pacific Glory, won acclaim from readers and reviewers, and was honored with the W. Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction, administered by the American Library Association. In Ghosts of Bungo Suido, Deutermann presents another sweeping, action-filled WWII novel, based on a true event from the Pacific theater. A Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction Book of 2013 less...
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REAL CRUEL SEA, THE by Richard Woodman
Amazon Says: For the British, the Battle of the Atlantic was a fight for survival. They depended on the safe transit of hundreds of convoys of merchant ships laden with food, raw materials more...
Amazon Says: For the British, the Battle of the Atlantic was a fight for survival. They depended on the safe transit of hundreds of convoys of merchant ships laden with food, raw materials and munitions from America to feed the country and to keep the war effort going, and they had to export manufactured goods to pay for it all. So Britain's merchant navy, a disparate collection of private vessels, became the country's lifeline, while its seamen, officially non-combatants, bravely endured the onslaught of the German U-boat offensive until Allied superiority overwhelmed the enemy.In this important, moving and exciting book, drawing extensively on firsthand sources, the acclaimed maritime historian Richard Woodman establishes the importance of the British and Allied merchant fleets in the struggle against Germany. less...
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The Emperor of Lies: A Novel by Steve Sem-Sandberg
Amazon Says: Winner of the August Prize, Sweden’s most important literary awardA Globe and Mail Best Books of the Year 2011 TitleTo be published in more than twenty-five languagesA major more...
Amazon Says: Winner of the August Prize, Sweden’s most important literary awardA Globe and Mail Best Books of the Year 2011 TitleTo be published in more than twenty-five languagesA major international literary event “This is real literature. A great work of fiction.” —Per Svensson, Dagens NyheterIn February 1940, the Nazis established what would become the second-largest Jewish ghetto, in the Polish city of Lódz. The leader they appointed was Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, a sixty-three-year-old Jewish businessman and orphanage director—and the elusive, authoritarian power sustaining the ghetto’s very existence.A haunting, profoundly challenging novel, The Emperor of Lies chronicles the tale of Rumkowski’s monarchical rule over a quarter-million Jews for the next four and a half years. Driven by a titanic ambition, he sought to transform the ghetto into a productive industrial complex and strove to make it—and himself—indispensable to the Nazi regime. These compromises would have extraordinary consequences not only for Rumkowski but for everyone living in the ghetto. Drawing on the detailed records of life in Lódz, Steve Sem-Sandberg, in a masterful feat of literary imagination and empathy, captures the full panorama of human resilience and probes deeply into the nature of evil. Through the dramatic narrative, he asks the most difficult questions: Was Rumkowski a ruthless opportunist, an accessory to the Nazi regime motivated by a lust for power? Or was he a pragmatist who managed to save Jewish lives through his collaboration policies? How did the inhabitants of the ghetto survive in such extreme circumstances? A critically acclaimed breakout bestseller in Sweden, The Emperor of Lies introduces a writer of great significance to American readers. The archives detail daily life in the Lodz ghetto, under the reign of Rumkowki, but it takes a writer with Sem-Sandberg’s singular talent to help us understand the truth of this chilling history. less...
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Amazon Says: Why exactly did the Nazis burn the Hebrew Bible everywhere in Germany on November 9, 1938? The perplexing event has not been adequately accounted for by historians in their la more...
Amazon Says: Why exactly did the Nazis burn the Hebrew Bible everywhere in Germany on November 9, 1938? The perplexing event has not been adequately accounted for by historians in their large-scale assessments of how and why the Holocaust occurred. In this gripping new analysis, Alon Confino draws on an array of archives across three continents to propose a penetrating new assessment of one of the central moral problems of the twentieth century. To a surprising extent, Confino demonstrates, the mass murder of Jews during the war years was powerfully anticipated in the culture of the prewar years.   The author shifts his focus away from the debates over what the Germans did or did not know about the Holocaust and explores instead how Germans came to conceive of the idea of a Germany without Jews. He traces the stories the Nazis told themselves—where they came from and where they were heading—and how those stories led to the conclusion that Jews must be eradicated in order for the new Nazi civilization to arise. The creation of this new empire required that Jews and Judaism be erased from Christian history, and this was the inspiration—and justification—for Kristallnacht. As Germans imagined a future world without Jews, persecution and extermination became imaginable, and even justifiable. less...
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Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith
Amazon Says: Read Sherri L. Smith's posts on the Penguin Blog Ida Mae Jones dreams of flight. Her daddy was a pilot and being black didn’t stop him from fulfilling his dreams more...
Amazon Says: Read Sherri L. Smith's posts on the Penguin Blog Ida Mae Jones dreams of flight. Her daddy was a pilot and being black didn’t stop him from fulfilling his dreams. But her daddy’s gone now, and being a woman, and being black, are two strikes against her. When America enters the war with Germany and Japan, the Army creates the WASP, the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots—and Ida suddenly sees a way to fly as well as do something significant to help her brother stationed in the Pacific. But even the WASP won’t accept her as a black woman, forcing Ida Mae to make a difficult choice of “passing,” of pretending to be white to be accepted into the program. Hiding one’s racial heritage, denying one’s family, denying one’s self is a heavy burden. And while Ida Mae chases her dream, she must also decide who it is she really wants to be. less...
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The Soldier's Wife by Margaret Leroy
Amazon Says: A novel full of grand passion and intensity, The Soldier's Wife asks "What would you do for your family?", "What should you do for a stranger?", and "What would you do for lov more...
Amazon Says: A novel full of grand passion and intensity, The Soldier's Wife asks "What would you do for your family?", "What should you do for a stranger?", and "What would you do for love?" As World War II draws closer and closer to Guernsey, Vivienne de la Mare knows that there will be sacrifices to be made. Not just for herself, but for her two young daughters and for her mother-in-law, for whom she cares while her husband is away fighting. What she does not expect is that she will fall in love with one of the enigmatic German soldiers who take up residence in the house next door to her home. As their relationship intensifies, so do the pressures on Vivienne. Food and resources grow scant, and the restrictions placed upon the residents of the island grow with each passing week. Though Vivienne knows the perils of her love affair with Gunther, she believes that she can keep their relationship--and her family--safe. But when she becomes aware of the full brutality of the Occupation, she must decide if she is willing to risk her personal happiness for the life of a stranger. Includes a reading group guide for book clubs. less...
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Amazon Says: The incredible true story of the World War II spies, including Patrick Leigh Fermor and John Pendlebury, who fought to save Crete and block Hitler's march to the East. more...
Amazon Says: The incredible true story of the World War II spies, including Patrick Leigh Fermor and John Pendlebury, who fought to save Crete and block Hitler's march to the East. In the bleakest years of World War II, when it appeared that nothing could slow the German army, Hitler set his sights on the Mediterranean island of Crete, the ideal staging ground for German domination of the Middle East. But German command had not counted on the eccentric band of British intelligence officers who would stand in their way, conducting audacious sabotage operations in the very shadow of the Nazi occupation force.    The Ariadne Objective tells the remarkable story of the secret war on Crete from the perspective of these amateur soldiers – scholars, archaeologists, writers – who found themselves serving as spies in Crete because, as one of them put it, they had made “the obsolete choice of Greek at school”: Patrick Leigh Fermor, a Byronic figure and future travel-writing luminary who as a teenager had walked across Europe in the midst of Hitler's rise to power; John Pendlebury, a swashbuckling archaeologist with a glass eye and a swordstick, who had been legendary archeologist Arthur Evans's assistant at Knossos before the war;  Xan Fielding, a writer who would later produce the English translations of books like Bridge over the River Kwai and Planet of the Apes; and Sandy Rendel, a future Times of London reporter, who prided himself on a disguise that left him looking more ragged and fierce than the Cretan mountaineers he fought alongside.    Infiltrated into occupied Crete, these British gentleman spies teamed with Cretan partisans to carry out a cunning plan to disrupt Nazi maneuvers, culminating in a daring, high-risk plot to abduct the island’s German commander. In this thrilling untold story of World War II, Wes Davis offers a brilliant portrait of a group of legends in the making, against the backdrop of one of the war’s most exotic locales. less...
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Amazon Says: An American heiress turned resistance hero, Muriel Gardiner was an electrifying woman who impressed everyone she met with her beauty, intelligence, and powerful personality. H more...
Amazon Says: An American heiress turned resistance hero, Muriel Gardiner was an electrifying woman who impressed everyone she met with her beauty, intelligence, and powerful personality. Her adventurous life led her from Chicago’s high society to a Viennese medical school, from Sigmund Freud’s inner circle to the Austrian underground. Over the years, she saved countless Jews and anti-fascists, providing shelter and documents ensuring their escape. This remarkable woman’s life as a legend of the Austrian Resistance was captured in the movie Julia with Vanessa Redgrave and remains an inspiration to all those who believe that one individual can change the world. Gardiner’s astonishing story is told here for the first time in all its variety and unanticipated twists and turns. less...
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Resistance: Book 1 by Carla Jablonski
Amazon Says: Fighting on a secret front of World War II Paul and Marie’s bucolic French country town is almost untouched by the ravages of WWII, but the siblings still live in the shado more...
Amazon Says: Fighting on a secret front of World War II Paul and Marie’s bucolic French country town is almost untouched by the ravages of WWII, but the siblings still live in the shadow of war. Their father is a Prisoner of War, kept hostage by the Germans. When their friend Henri’s parents disappear and Henri goes into hiding because of his Jewish ancestry, Paul and Marie realize they must take a stand. But how can they convince the French Resistance that even children can help in their fight against injustice?  Resistance is the first voulme of a triology written by acclaimed teen author Carla Jablonski and illustrated by Leland Purvis. less...
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Amazon Says: The exciting history of a small group of British and American scientists who, during World War II, developed the new field of operational research to turn back the tide of Ger more...
Amazon Says: The exciting history of a small group of British and American scientists who, during World War II, developed the new field of operational research to turn back the tide of German submarines—revolutionizing the way wars are waged and won. In March 1941, after a year of unbroken and devastating U-boat onslaughts, the British War Cabinet decided to try a new strategy in the foundering naval campaign. To do so, they hired an intensely private, bohemian physicist who was also an ardent socialist. Patrick Blackett was a former navy officer and future winner of the Nobel Prize; he is little remembered today, but he and his fellow scientists did as much to win the war against Nazi Germany as almost anyone else. As director of the World War II antisubmarine effort, Blackett used little more than simple mathematics and probability theory—and a steadfast belief in the utility of science—to save the campaign against the U-boat. Employing these insights in unconventional ways, from the washing of mess hall dishes to the color of bomber wings, the Allies went on to win essential victories against Hitler’s Germany. Here is the story of these civilian intellectuals who helped to change the nature of twentieth-century warfare. Throughout, Stephen Budiansky describes how scientists became intimately involved with what had once been the distinct province of military commanders—convincing disbelieving military brass to trust the solutions suggested by their analysis. Budiansky shows that these men above all retained the belief that operational research, and a scientific mentality, could change the world. It’s a belief that has come to fruition with the spread of their tenets to the business and military worlds, and it started in the Battle of the Atlantic, in an attempt to outfight the Germans, but most of all to outwit them.  less...
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Amazon Says: In the fall of 1940, as German bombers flew over London and with America not yet at war, a small team of British scientists on orders from Winston Churchill carried out a dari more...
Amazon Says: In the fall of 1940, as German bombers flew over London and with America not yet at war, a small team of British scientists on orders from Winston Churchill carried out a daring trans-atlantic mission. The British unveiled their most valuable military secret in a clandestine meeting with American nuclear physicists at the Tuxedo Park mansion of a mysterious Wall Street tycoon, Alfred Lee Loomis. Powerful, handsome, and enormously wealthy, Loomis had for years led a double life, spending his days brokering huge deals and his weekends working with the world's leading scientists in his deluxe private laboratory that was hidden in a massive stone castle. In this dramatic account of a hitherto unexplored but crucial story of the war, Jennet Conant traces one of the world's most extraordinary careers and scientific enterprises. She describes Loomis' phenomenal rise to become one of the Wall Street legends of the go-go twenties. He foresaw the stock market crash of 1929 in time to protect his vast holdings, making a fortune while other bankers were losing their shirts. He rode out the Depression years in high style, and indulged in the hobbies of the fabulously rich. He raced his own America's Cup yacht against the Vanderbilts and Astors, and purchased Hilton Head Island in South Carolina as his private game reserve. Conant writes about the glamour and privilege of his charmed circle as well as Loomis' marriage to a beautiful but depressive wife, whom he sent away for repeated hospitalizations while he pursued a covert affair with his protege's young wife. His bitter divorce scandalized New York society and drove Loomis into near seclusion in East Hampton. At the height of hisinfluence on Wall Street, Loomis abruptly retired and devoted himself purely to science. He turned his Tuxedo Park laboratory into the meeting place for the most visionary minds of the twentieth century: Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, James Franck, Niels Bohr, and Enrico Fermi. With England threatened by invasion, he joined Vannevar Bush, Karl Compton, and the author's grandfather, Harvard president James B. Conant, in mobilizing civilian scientists to defeat Nazi Germany, and personally bankrolled pioneering research into the radar detection systems that ultimately changed the course of World War II. Together with his friend Ernest Lawrence, the Nobel Prize-winning atom smasher, Loomis established a top-secret wartime laboratory at MIT and recruited the most famous names in physics. Through his close ties to his cousin Henry Stimson, who was secretary of war, Loomis was able to push FDR to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to create the advanced radar systems that defeated the German Air Force and deadly U-boats, and then to build the first atomic bomb. One of the greatest scientific generals of World War II, Loomis' legacy exists not only in the development of radar but also in his critical role in speeding the day of victory. less...
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Amazon Says: Now a New York Times Bestseller! THE GIRLS OF ATOMIC CITY AT THE HEIGHT OF WORLD WAR II, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was home to 75,000 residents, cons more...
Amazon Says: Now a New York Times Bestseller! THE GIRLS OF ATOMIC CITY AT THE HEIGHT OF WORLD WAR II, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was home to 75,000 residents, consuming more electricity than New York City. But to most of the world, the town did not exist. Thousands of civilians--many of them young women from small towns across the South--were recruited to this secret city, enticed by solid wages and the promise of war-ending work. Kept very much in the dark, few would ever guess the true nature of the tasks they performed each day in the hulking factories in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains. That is, until the end of the war--when Oak Ridge's secret was revealed. Drawing on the voices of the women who lived it--women who are now in their eighties and nineties-- The Girls of Atomic City rescues a remarkable, forgotten chapter of American history from obscurity. Denise Kiernan captures the spirit of the times through these women: their pluck, their desire to contribute, and their enduring courage. Combining the grand-scale human drama of The Worst Hard Time with the intimate biography and often troubling science of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, The Girls of Atomic City is a lasting and important addition to our country's history. As heard on National Public Radio's Weekend Edition. One of Goodreads' Most Popular Books of March 2013. One of Amazon's Editors' Picks for Best Books of the Month (History) One of Amazon's Editors' Picks for Best Books of the Month (Nonfiction) One of Amazon's Big Spring Books (History) less...
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Amazon Says: Wednesday, December 10, 1941“Hitler speaks to Reichstag tomorrow. We just heard the first casualty lists over the radio. . . . Lots of boys from Michigan and Illinois. Oh my more...
Amazon Says: Wednesday, December 10, 1941“Hitler speaks to Reichstag tomorrow. We just heard the first casualty lists over the radio. . . . Lots of boys from Michigan and Illinois. Oh my God! . . . Life goes on though. We read our books in the library and eat lunch, bridge, etc. Phy. Sci. and Calculus. Darn Descartes. Reading Walt Whitman now.” This diary of a smart, astute, and funny teenager provides a fascinating record of what an everyday American girl felt and thought during the Depression and the lead-up to World War II. Young Chicagoan Joan Wehlen describes her daily life growing up in the city and ruminates about the impending war, daily headlines, and major touchstones of the era—FDR’s radio addresses, the Lindbergh kidnapping, Goodbye Mr. Chips and Citizen Kane, Churchill and Hitler, war work and Red Cross meetings. Included are Joan’s charming doodles of her latest dress or haircut reflective of the era. Home Front Girl is not only an entertaining and delightful read but an important primary source—a vivid account of a real American girl’s lived experiences. less...
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Amazon Says: Erik Larson has been widely acclaimed as a master of narrative non-fiction, and in his new book, the bestselling author of Devil in the White City turns his hand to a remarka more...
Amazon Says: Erik Larson has been widely acclaimed as a master of narrative non-fiction, and in his new book, the bestselling author of Devil in the White City turns his hand to a remarkable story set during Hitler’s rise to power.   The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history.   A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha. At first Martha is entranced by the parties and pomp, and the handsome young men of the Third Reich with their infectious enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence. Enamored of the “New Germany,” she has one affair after another, including with the suprisingly honorable first chief of the Gestapo, Rudolf Diels. But as evidence of Jewish persecution mounts, confirmed by chilling first-person testimony, her father telegraphs his concerns to a largely indifferent State Department back home. Dodd watches with alarm as Jews are attacked, the press is censored, and drafts of frightening new laws begin to circulate. As that first year unfolds and the shadows deepen, the Dodds experience days full of excitement, intrigue, romance--and ultimately, horror, when a climactic spasm of violence and murder reveals Hitler’s true character and ruthless ambition.   Suffused with the tense atmosphere of the period, and with unforgettable portraits of the bizarre Göring and the expectedly charming--yet wholly sinister--Goebbels, In the Garden of Beasts lends a stunning, eyewitness perspective on events as they unfold in real time, revealing an era of surprising nuance and complexity. The result is a dazzling, addictively readable work that speaks volumes about why the world did not recognize the grave threat posed by Hitler until Berlin, and Europe, were awash in blood and terror. “Larson is a marvelous writer...superb at creating characters with a few short strokes.”—New York Times Book Review    less...
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Amazon Says: Based on years of archival research and interviews with the last surviving aides and Roosevelt family members, Nigel Hamilton offers a definitive account of FDR’s masterful more...
Amazon Says: Based on years of archival research and interviews with the last surviving aides and Roosevelt family members, Nigel Hamilton offers a definitive account of FDR’s masterful—and underappreciated—command of the Allied war effort. Hamilton takes readers inside FDR’s White House Oval Study—his personal command center—and into the meetings where he battled with Churchill about strategy and tactics and overrode the near mutinies of his own generals and secretary of war.  Time and again, FDR was proven right and his allies and generals were wrong. When the generals wanted to attack the Nazi-fortified coast of France, FDR knew the Allied forces weren’t ready. When Churchill insisted his Far East colonies were loyal and would resist the Japanese, Roosevelt knew it was a fantasy. As Hamilton’s account reaches its climax with the Torch landings in North Africa in late 1942, the tide of war turns in the Allies’ favor and FDR’s genius for psychology and military affairs is clear. This intimate, sweeping look at a great president in history’s greatest conflict is must reading. less...
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Amazon Says: Thanks for the Memories destroys the historical myth that young men and women went about the business of war and stayed on the straight and narrow path. Rather, World War II more...
Amazon Says: Thanks for the Memories destroys the historical myth that young men and women went about the business of war and stayed on the straight and narrow path. Rather, World War II provided new opportunities for sexual experimentation, for hasty marriages, for flourishing prostitution--and for love connections that have stood the test of time. Young men in the military, far away from family and home, did things they might never have done. Young women, many of whom went to work for the first time, experienced a freedom and independence most women had never known. Because of the war, courtships were cut short, couples married more quickly than normal, and husbands and wives were often separated for several years. Despite attempts to get back to normal after the war and the apparent togetherness of the 1950s, World War II had set change in motion, heralding the second wave of the women's liberation movement. The collective consciousness of World War II revolved around the virtues of bravery, sacrifice, and commitment. Members of The Greatest Generation toed political and social lines in hopes of winning the war. They fell into lockstep, asking very few questions, and breaking few social and sexual mores. Or did they? In fact, World War II was--like all wars--a time of sexual experimentation and a general loosening of morals. It was a time of conflicting emotions and conflicting messages, a time of great sacrifice, and a time of discovery, when some groups, especially woman, experienced a relaxing of bonds that had kept them in check. Thanks For The Memories: Love, Sex, and World War II  is the true story of how the World War II generation responded to the passions of war, and how those passions changed their lives-and the relationships between the sexes-forever. But this book is more than that. As Jane Mersky Leder writes, Thanks for the Memories opens the hearts and memories of a generation that is dying, by one estimate, at the rate of more than 1,000 a day. It exposes the sexual and romantic escapades of The Greatest Generation and underscores how those four war years revolutionized relationships (including those between gays), and how it helped set the stage for the second wave of the women's liberation movement. Many who never thought their stories mattered, Leder writes, now feel the pull of limited time, and the importance of leaving an accurate account for their children and grandchildren of what it was like to be a young man or young woman during World War II. This is their collective story. less...
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