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Recommendations? > World War II -America's Role

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message 1: by Felina (new)

Felina I found a thread for post WWII but not during. Let me know if I'm wrong.

I'm looking for WWII books that focus around Americas role in the war. Either informational or historical fiction. Maybe something about Pearl Harbor or something that gives insight into the political decisions that stayed America from joining the fight at first then the decision to drop the A bombs.

Any suggestions?


message 2: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Taylor (jatta97) | 2 comments On point: The Golden Age, Gore Vidal

It is a broader scope than you are looking for but the start of the book addresses entry into the war and progresses through the post war years.


message 3: by Maude (new)

Maude | 752 comments The First Complete One-Volume History: Delivered From Evil: The Saga of World War II by Robert Leckie. It does address the hesitancy of Roosevelt entering the war, page 186.....See page 829 for A-Bomb information. Hope this helps.


message 4: by Elena (last edited Apr 25, 2010 02:30PM) (new)

Elena | 12 comments In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors. I have a couple of friends that have read and say it is very good. The Indianapolis delivered critical part for the atomic bomb in Pearl Harbor.


message 5: by Felina (new)

Felina Thank you for the suggestions. They all look very interesting.


message 6: by Christy B (new)

Christy B (runaway84) I'm currently reading Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour, which is very good, so far. It's about the Americans who fought for the aide of their country to help Great Britain.


message 7: by Felina (new)

Felina Thanks Christy. That sounds really good.


message 8: by Maude (new)

Maude | 752 comments Christy, I really like Lynne Olson's books. I will have to get Citizens of London. She has also written The Murrow Boys, Pioneers on the Front Lines of Broadcast Journalism, and Troublesome Young Men, The rebels who brought Churchill to Power and Helped Save England - both excellent. Also, A Question of Honor, The Kosciuazko Squadron: Forgotten Heroes of World War II (the Polish fliers played a crucial role during the Battle of Britain). I haven't read that one yet.


message 9: by Kristi (last edited Aug 12, 2010 08:12AM) (new)

Kristi (kristicoleman) | 116 comments I'd like to add:


The Winds of War by Herman Wouk
War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk
Night by Elie Wiesel
The True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy

They are not all about America's role, but they are all WWII books...hope that's ok..


message 10: by Felina (new)

Felina Thats awesome. Thanks Kristi!


message 11: by LemonLinda (new)

LemonLinda (lwilliamson0423) | 678 comments Also from Wouk - specifically about the U.S. involvement in the Pacific during WWII is The Caine Mutiny. I have it but have not yet read it but I have heard good things about it.


message 12: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristicoleman) | 116 comments That one looks great too Linda! Thanks, it's on my wishlist now!


message 13: by Kate (new)

Kate Quinn | 544 comments Once An Eagle by Anton Myrer. One of the the best books about war ever written, in my opinion. It follows the life and career of a boy who enlists in the army shortly before WWI, wins the Medal of Honor and a field promotion in the trenches, and stays in the army all the way through World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. He is a two-star general in the Pacific during WWII, and that section has a particular immediacy because the author himself fought in the Pacific - and there is a lot on the whens and whys of Pearl Harbor and how America entered the war, and the people who wanted the war to keep going because it was good for careers.

Can't recommend this book highly enough. It's fiction, but assigned reading at military academies because it's so good.

Also - Goodbye, Darkness: A Memoir of the Pacific War by William Manchester; the memoir of a soldier who fought through most of the Pacific; by turns thoughtful, funny, and wrenching; and Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II's Greatest Rescue Mission which follows the truly Hollywood rescue of the Bataan Death March survivors.


message 14: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristicoleman) | 116 comments I have been doing a lot of reading about Germany and WWII, but after watching "Pearl Harbor" (I know it wasn't well recieved Critically, but I liked it...) I wanted to expand my reading to include the Pacific. I have been looking for more Pacific front books! Thanks for the great recommendation Kate, I'm adding them to my Wish List right now!

I am reading Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History right now, and I would recommend it too, again, not about America, but WWII.


message 15: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn (seeford) | 28 comments I recommend you read The Postmistress. I just read it last month and it's quite good.

It's about several things, including small town relationships, but primarily it's about some specific Americans who voluntarily go over to Europe to volunteer during the Blitz (before the US gets involved/before Pearl Harbor), including a doctor who wants a redeeming purpose and a journalist who is trying to make the war real to Americans. It looks at the plight of Jews who were told to leave their countries by a certain deadline, but who could find no country to take them in (or transportation to get there.) It looks at how Americans felt very insulated from the war in Europe - the "it's over there, not affecting us" mentality. (A sad echo of the situation for many Americans today, actually.)
Very engrossing, I highly recommend it!


message 16: by Donna (new)

Donna | 35 comments Two books I've read recently might be of interest.

Zoo Station set in Berlin just as the Nazi come to power. The protaganist is a British/American journalist and he gets drawn into the espionage of the time.

Tallgrass is set in Colorado just after Pearl Harbor and tells the story of the relationship between the local community and Japanese interment camp residents.


message 17: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristicoleman) | 116 comments Donna, I live in Colorado, so Tallgrass will be really interesting to read! Actually, my family and I went camping last weekend, and we were discussing that there was a Japanese Internment camp up in the Mtns near where we were camped...we just didn't know exactly where. I am jetting to B&N today at lunch to pick up Infinite Jest and I am going to get Tallgrass too! Thanks for the recommendation!


message 18: by K.P. (new)

K.P. Vorenberg | 16 comments I see that Once an Eagle has already been mentioned here -- it is one of the very best! Jack Higgins wrote a fair number of novels dealing with WWII and they are worth reading as well.


message 19: by Phair (new)

Phair (sphair) | 46 comments It's not about America's decision to enter the war but a non-fiction title that I always wanted to read about the WWII homefront response once we were in it is Once Upon a Town: The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen by Bob Greene.


message 20: by K.P. (new)

K.P. Vorenberg | 16 comments Just remembered another very interesting book -- Los Alamos by Joseph Kanon. Although it revolves around the Manhattan Project, it is also a mystery.


message 22: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristicoleman) | 116 comments Chris, I added these both to my reminder list! Great finds!

I went to B&N yesterday and picked up Tallgrass and Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10. I know Lone Survivor isn't a WWII book, but I was really interested in the SpecOps story, and just reading the back was tugging me to put down everything else and read it, it promises to be pretty good.

KP, I have a friend who grew up in Los Alamos, moved here to work for 4 years and just moved back there to build nuclear containment stuff (??)...he says it's a beautiful place to live. I'd be interested to read this book for that reason alone, but it sounds really interesting in it's own right as well!


message 23: by Donna (new)

Donna | 35 comments I've added Los Alamos to my TBR list. I had a wonderful visit there and Santa Fe a few years ago and this sounds very interesting.


message 24: by Kristi (last edited Aug 16, 2010 07:28PM) (new)

Kristi (kristicoleman) | 116 comments Chris wrote: "There's always Jeff Shaara too:

The Rising Tide: A Novel of World War II
No Less Than Victory: A Novel of World War II"


Chris, Do you see any similarity between the two books you recommended and:

The Winds of War
War and Remembrance

the two series seem to have a similar goal of telling about an overview of what happened in the entire war. Am I mistaken?


message 25: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristicoleman) | 116 comments OK, I just found this book. It looks really good, but also sad. It's about the 3rd Marine War Dog Platoon and the dogs and men. I have it on my wish list!

Always Faithful: A Memoir of the Marine Dogs of WWII


message 26: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristicoleman) | 116 comments I just picked it up at the Library...man, that's gonna be a tear jerker! I was sniffling from just reading the fly leaf! I also picked up The Greatest Generation, thumbed through it, and it looks like a lot of great stories from people that actually fought in WWII. This weekend it going to be so FUN!!


message 27: by Kate (new)

Kate Quinn | 544 comments Kristi wrote: "OK, I just found this book. It looks really good, but also sad. It's about the 3rd Marine War Dog Platoon and the dogs and men. I have it on my wish list!

[book:Always Faithful: A Memoir of t..."


I think this is a book I may skip because I can't stand animal deaths in fiction . . . however, a good marine dog story: The Bataan Death March survivors who ended up in a prison camp in Cabanatuan (these were rescued in a better-than-Hollywood real life raid, detailed in Ghost Soldiers) had some pets. The men were so starved and undernourished that most pets eventually ended up in the cooking pot, with one exception: a bulldog kept by the contingent of Marines. The dog survived the camp, was rescued, and lived to a fine old age after the war. It was understood that anybody who tried to eat the bulldog would suffer a prolonged and ghastly death by the hands of every Marine in Cabanatuan - even the most starving man didn't dare.


message 28: by Kristi (last edited Aug 20, 2010 03:05PM) (new)

Kristi (kristicoleman) | 116 comments Kate, Always Faithful is Non-Fiction if I understand it correctly...I usually can't stand the death of animals in books, but I am so intrigued by the book I'm still going to try and read it.

I ordered Ghost Soldiers from Powells.com last weekend, now I really can't wait for it to get here! Thanks for the teaser, even though you probably didn't mean it that way.


message 29: by Kate (new)

Kate Quinn | 544 comments Fiction or non-fiction - can't stand animal deaths!


message 30: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristicoleman) | 116 comments Kate, I bet you would like the other book I got at the Library today! I got Tom Brokaw's The Greatest Generation! It's Stories about people who fought in and supported (nurses for example) WWII. I was thumbing through it and there were some amazing stories!


message 31: by Phair (new)

Phair (sphair) | 46 comments While this has nothing to do with America's part in the war, all these mentions of WWII internment camps and prison camps made me think of a BBC TV series that aired here in the US in the '80s (?) called Tenko about the Japanese prison camp for European civilian women captured in fall of Singapore. Talk about fascinating and gut wrenching drama. Pretty sure there was a book 'cause I recall having that title in the Large Print collection but it might have been a novelization of the series. Wonder if the series ever came out on DVD...


message 32: by Heikki (new)

Heikki (heikkihietala) Hmmm... I enjoyed quite a few WW2 books before writing my own. I like aviation war books, or for some odd reason, the US Marines.

For example, "No Bended Knee", the memoir of Merrill B. Twining is a fantastic description of the shoestring operation that took Guadalcanal. As for single soldiers, you can't beat "MARINE - the Life of Chesty Puller". That's one Marine that describes the whole organization.

On fiction, then, there's the many books of Martin Caidin, such as "Whip".

Still, I think there's many memoirs that read as fast as fiction, and there's the added value of remembering that hey.... this happened ferreal.


message 33: by Kristi (last edited Aug 22, 2010 09:48AM) (new)

Kristi (kristicoleman) | 116 comments I finished Always Faithful: A Memoir of the Marine Dogs of WWII last night, and to tell you the truth I didn't get overly sad until the last page of the Epilogue. For me, I expected the dogs to die in the war, but the stuff in the Epilogue was kind of disturbing. Oh, and always keep your pets up to date on their Heart-worm meds...just saying. Over all I think it was an amazing book! Really good.

Ok, off to read the rest of Tallgrass have a good Sunday!


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