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Tom Pearson, Editor

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

WORLD WAR II FOR ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS

A list-serve I follow recently ran a list of recommendations by history professors of the best one-volume histories of WWII. I though it might interest some of our readers:

Gerhard L. Weinberg, A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II (10 recommendations)

Williamson Murray and Allen Millett, A War to be Won (5 recommendations)

Richard Overy, Why the Allies Won (4 recommendations)

H.P. Willmott, The Great Crusade: A New Complete History of the Second World War (3 recommendations)

Several posts mentioned that, while Weinberg's book is the best one-volume history of the War, its length (and expense) might make it a little daunting for undergraduates, and several suggested that Williamson and Murray or Overy might be more accessible. Williamson and Murray were also noted as offering a more operational account.

Ronald Spector, Eagle Against the Sun received four recommendations as a history of the Pacific War.

Also recommended were: Miller, Donald A., The Story of World War II- Revised, expanded, and updated from the original text by Henry Steele Commager; John Costello, The Pacific War, 1941–1945; Russell Weigley, Eisenhower's Lieutenants; Norman Davies, No Simple Victory; John Toland, The Rising Sun; Evan Mawdsley, World War II: A New History.

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