World War II

The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War by Malcolm Gladwell - Book Review

Staff Pick Badge
The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780316296618
Availability: Click Title for IN STORE Location
Published: Little, Brown and Company - April 27th, 2021

How much of an individual's conception of what comprises moral behavior must be sacrificed during the human cataclysm of war? Gladwell approaches this difficult question by contrasting two very different schools of thought pertaining to the air bombings over Germany and Japan during the Second World War. So-called precision bombing, sporadically aided by the newly developed Norden bombsight, helped to minimize civilian casualties. The carpet bombing that indiscriminately destroyed large swaths of enemy territory also took a terrible toll on the populace but, it was argued, would shorten the war. By turns, fascinating, vastly informative, and horrifying. The author is neither preaching nor accusing, largely leaving it up to the reader to decide if notions of good and bad can even be applied in wartime. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves


The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson - Book Review

Staff Pick Badge
The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz Cover Image
$32.00
ISBN: 9780385348713
Availability: Click Title for IN STORE Location
Published: Crown - February 25th, 2020

Larson’s day-by-day account of the Battle of Britain is a masterpiece of historical literature. Told with vivid prose and impressively comprehensive research, The Splendid and the Vile drops you helplessly onto the streets of London in 1940, at the height of one of the most consequential and heroic moments of the war. You will see the swarms of bombers crossing the light of the full moon, hear the dreadful wail of the air raid siren, smell the smoke of a thousand incendiary bombs, and feel the rumble of the war growing closer and closer to home. Most magnificent of all, though, is the reminder that against the backdrop of death and destruction, life must go on: babies are born, couples are wed, and hope kindles anew beneath the rubble. ~ Reviewed by Digby Baker-Porazinski


The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War by Malcolm Gladwell - Book Review

Staff Pick Badge
The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780316296618
Availability: Click Title for IN STORE Location
Published: Little, Brown and Company - April 27th, 2021

This is Gladwell's first foray into straight historical expose, yet his trademark incisive revelation of unexpected truths is on full display. I was mortified, actually, physically revolted by the truths revealed here. Gladwell's editorial self-control is commendable- his thematic elements regarding the beginnings of the Air Force in the years immediately before and then during WWII draw the reader into these “founding aviators” abiding goal to use aerial combat as a significant force towards the benefit of all, including combatants; ie. to shorten wars and lessen overall casualties through the use of targeted aerial assault. What actually happened, in spite of these goals, will stay with me forever, Hirosihma and Nagasaki perhaps not being the worst violence ever inflicted on an enemy by the U.S. Military. ~ Reviewed by Jon Fine


1941: The Year Germany Lost the War: The Year Germany Lost the War by Andrew Nagorski - Book Review

Staff Pick Badge
1941: The Year Germany Lost the War: The Year Germany Lost the War Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781501181139
Availability: Click Title for IN STORE Location
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 4th, 2020

Hitler's Nazi regime was at the height of its powers, poised to solidify it's hold on Europe, and possibly defeat Great Britain. And yet at this pivotal moment, Hitler ignored a history he clearly understood, and opened up another front in the war by invading the Soviet Union. Ego certainly came to play in decisions made, and fear to tell the Fuhrer anything but what he wanted to hear led Germany down the road to defeat. Equally fascinating is the way that ego stood in the way of Stalin's willingness to accept the fact that Hitler intended to invade his country. Nagorski provides detailed information on all of the major players in this drama, as well as the lesser known figures who played roles behind the scenes. ~ Reviewed by Allen Boulet


An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-1943, Volume One of the Liberation Trilogy by Rick Atkinson - Book Review

Staff Pick Badge
An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-1943, Volume One of the Liberation Trilogy Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780805087246
Availability: Click Title for IN STORE Location
Published: Holt Paperbacks - May 15th, 2007

Goodbye, Hunger Games. Step aside Lord of the Rings. There’s a new trilogy in town. An Army at Dawn is the first entry in Rick Atkinson’s triad of books detailing America’s involvement in World War II, and though it is non-fiction, this work is packed with enough political intrigue and explosive twists to make Catching Fire quake in its boots. Atkinson brings the sights, sounds, and figures of the North African campaign to vivid life in this truly impressive work about a theater of war that has been unjustly ignored by most- myself included. If you have even a passing interest in history, I could not recommend this enough. ~ Reviewed by Patrick Molluso


Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II by Robert Matzen - Book Review

Staff Pick Badge
Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II Cover Image
By Robert Matzen, Luca Dotti (Foreword by)
$27.95
ISBN: 9781732273535
Availability: IN WAREHOUSE - Usually Ships in 1-5 Business Days
Published: GoodKnight Books - April 15th, 2019

My primary question before opening this book was how substantive it was actually going to be. I'm embarrassed to admit this now because Dutch Girl is nothing if not rich with history. To learn in depth of the Dutch people's colossal suffering during the war and how significant a battle ground The Netherlands became, most specifically as regards the areas of Velp and Arnhem where Audrey and her mother and grandparents resided, is a darkly meaningful experience. The famed book and movie "A Bridge Too Far" is based on the Allied/German battle for the bridge at Arnhem.
Audrey and her family were there in the thick of it, hunkered down in their basement, all but starving to death. Audrey's various efforts of assistance to her fellow citizens and the resistance during the war and the long term effect of Audrey's teen-year survival experience on her entire life including her life-long devotion to children's humanitarian causes and her subsequent death at an early age- there is so much here for Audrey fans and history buffs alike.
Like all great histories or biographies, Matzen's work, despite its potentially narrow focus, succeeds masterfully in shining a broad light on the human experience itself. Highly recommended. ~ Reviewed by Jon Fine


Pages

Subscribe to RSS - World War II