Like Minds — A WWII Reading List

By now I imagine and, having done my part, fervently hope, everyone knows 2020 is the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. If not, there’s one more opportunity to catch up on the events, the issues, and the ordinary and extraordinary people who lived through the war years.

On August 30, the New York Times devoted its Book Review to books about “The Good War.” If you don’t have access, the sixteen books the Times profiled are listed here. They cover the wa(te)r-front from long lost love letters to debates about the bomb. The list of titles alone is a story of the war. I am adding them to my to-be-read list. How about you?

The Lead Up to the War

  • Poland 1939: The Outbreak of World War II, by Roger Moorhouse
  • The Rise of the GI Army, 1940-1941: The Forgotten Story of How America Forged a Powerful Army Before Pearl Harbor, by Paul Dickson
  • The Nazi Menace: Hitler, Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin, and the Road to War, by Benjamin Carter Hett

Men and Women of the War

  • Love in the Blitz:  The Long-Lost Letters of a Brilliant Young Woman to Her Beloved on the Front, by Eileen Alexander
  • We Germans, by Alexander Starritt
  • The Indomitable Florence Finch: The Untold Story of a War Widow Turned Resistance Fighter and Savior of American POWs, by Robert J. Mrazek
  • The Churchill Complex: The Curse of Being Special, From Winston and FDR to Trump and Brexit, by Ian Buruma

The Beginning of the End

  • Hitler: Downfall 1939-1945, by Volker Ullrich
  • Last Mission to Tokyo: The Extraordinary Story of the Doolittle Raiders and and Their Final Fight for Justice, by Michael Paradis
  • Twilight of the Gods: War in the Western Pacific, 1944-1945, by Ian W. Toll
  • The Great Secret: The Classified World War II Disaster That Launched the War on Cancer, by Jennet Conant

The Bomb

  • Atomic Doctors: Conscience and Complicity at the Dawn of the Nuclear Age, by James L. Nolan Jr.
  • Unconditional: The Japanese Surrender in World War II, by Marc Gallicchio
  • The Hiroshima Cover-Up and the Reporter Who Revealed it to the World, by Lesley M. M. Blume
  • The Extraordinary Story of the Atomic Bomb and th 116 Days That Changed the World, by Chris Wallace with Mitch Weiss
  • The Apocalypse Factory: Plutonium and the Making of the Atomic Age, by Steve Olson

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