Good WWII books

Discussion in 'Entertainment, Culture, and Sports' started by Connemara, Feb 3, 2010.

  1. Connemara

    Connemara [URL='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jST2Sv63WQ']

    Messages:
    39,489
    Likes Received:
    1,724
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Specifically, I'd like to read general political history and Third Reich history. But recommendations of anything pertaining to WWII, as long as they are well-done, are welcome.
     


  2. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    41,574
    Likes Received:
    2,814
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Location:
    In Hiding
    Shirer.

    /thread.
     


  3. why

    why Senior member

    Messages:
    9,735
    Likes Received:
    405
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007


  4. Svenn

    Svenn Senior member

    Messages:
    1,716
    Likes Received:
    45
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    I haven't read a novel for leisure cover to cover since high school, this being the last one. An absolutely amazing tale of endurance of a brave Norwegian hiding from the barbaric Kraut:

    [​IMG]
     


  5. Michigan Planner

    Michigan Planner Senior member

    Messages:
    3,089
    Likes Received:
    1,091
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Location:
    Detroit-ish
    I read Guadalcanal Diary a few years back and it was pretty good. Of course, it deals with the Pacific Theatre and has little theory in it, but a great book nonetheless.
     


  6. w.mj

    w.mj Senior member

    Messages:
    303
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    For history of the Third Reich, Richard Evans wrote a trilogy that covers the NSDAP and wartime Germany from 1919-1945. I read the first volume in one sitting; I couldn't put it down.

    For general works about the war, Eugene Sledge wrote a book called "With the Old Breed" which is his memoir about life as a Marine in the Pacific islands campaign. It has all the touching traits of first-hand experience, but Mr. Sledge later became a professor, so it avoids the cloying quality that is so common to memoirs.

    Finally, for broadly cultural history, I'd recommend "Wartime" by Paul Fussell. He also wrote a book called "The Great War and Modern Memory", which is about WWI, but may be the definitive work on how societies incorporate war into their consciousnesses.
     


  7. Rod

    Rod Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Location:
    Philadelphia/Brasilia
    I second "With the Old Breed." Great book. From a more general perspective I would have to say that John Keegan's "The Second World War" is, in my opinion, the definitive account of the war. Absolute must read for anyone interested in the subject.
     


  8. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

    Messages:
    20,605
    Likes Received:
    390
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Location:
    greater chicago
    For history of the Third Reich, Richard Evans wrote a trilogy that covers the NSDAP and wartime Germany from 1919-1945. I read the first volume in one sitting; I couldn't put it down.


    Finally, for broadly cultural history, I'd recommend "Wartime" by Paul Fussell. He also wrote a book called "The Great War and Modern Memory", which is about WWI, but may be the definitive work on how societies incorporate war into their consciousnesses.



    exactly what I was going to recomend, plus I would suggest John Keegan - wwii and churchill, as well as his book on war and intellegence (that has a few good chapters on wwii) I would also read slaughterhouse 5 and catch 22 to see how people of that generation, who fought in the war, see the surreal side of the war
     


  9. Connemara

    Connemara [URL='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jST2Sv63WQ']

    Messages:
    39,489
    Likes Received:
    1,724
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    For history of the Third Reich, Richard Evans wrote a trilogy that covers the NSDAP and wartime Germany from 1919-1945. I read the first volume in one sitting; I couldn't put it down. For general works about the war, Eugene Sledge wrote a book called "With the Old Breed" which is his memoir about life as a Marine in the Pacific islands campaign. It has all the touching traits of first-hand experience, but Mr. Sledge later became a professor, so it avoids the cloying quality that is so common to memoirs. Finally, for broadly cultural history, I'd recommend "Wartime" by Paul Fussell. He also wrote a book called "The Great War and Modern Memory", which is about WWI, but may be the definitive work on how societies incorporate war into their consciousnesses.
    "Great War and Modern Memory" is one of my favorite books. I didn't know Fussell wrote on WWII! Thanks for the recommendations.
     


  10. denning

    denning Senior member

    Messages:
    1,292
    Likes Received:
    167
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    I am currently reading Volume I: The Gathering Storm, of Churchill's 6 volume Second World War series. If it's good enough for a Nobel Prize, I'm willing to give it a whirl. Incidentally, I am enjoying it quite a bit.
     


  11. romafan

    romafan Senior member

    Messages:
    8,975
    Likes Received:
    510
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    Although Hemingway apparently thought him to be a putz, I liked James Jones' Pacific theatre triology (From Here to Eternity, Thin Red Line, Whistle). I read these in college and remember enjoying them tremendously, although I was taken aback by some of the foxhole shennanigans... [​IMG]
     


  12. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    41,574
    Likes Received:
    2,814
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Location:
    In Hiding
    I am currently reading Volume I: The Gathering Storm, of Churchill's 6 volume Second World War series. If it's good enough for a Nobel Prize, I'm willing to give it a whirl. Incidentally, I am enjoying it quite a bit.

    Fabulous book, but looooooooong. And biased. But I don't care about that.
     


  13. denning

    denning Senior member

    Messages:
    1,292
    Likes Received:
    167
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    Fabulous book, but looooooooong. And biased. But I don't care about that.

    +1

    I can only take about 20 pages or so at a time before my brain turns to mush.
     


  14. rach2jlc

    rach2jlc Prof. Fabulous Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    14,795
    Likes Received:
    807
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
    Location:
    Monaco
    ^The one-volume abridgment that Churchill made published as "Memoirs of the Second World War" was enough for me, and has a decent epilogue on the post-war years (IIRC). It's still about 1100 pages, but definitely more managable than six vol's.

    Other than that, John Dower's Pacific-war based books "War Without Mercy" and "Embracing Defeat" are quite good.
     


  15. EnglishGent

    EnglishGent Senior member

    Messages:
    629
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    Somewhere in my own mind
    +1 on the abridged version
     


Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by