Changing Views of History – World War II

 In recent years, there seems to have been an increase in the number of books covering various aspects of World War II. I suspect this upsurge is due to several different factors. One is the availability of new information about previously hidden or obscure aspects of the War. Documents formerly classified are now available for scholars to peruse. Another factor is the somber reality that the generation of people who fought in the conflict are rapidly dying off. This seems to have spurred an effort to record the experiences and memories of the “Greatest Generation.”*

Earlier books were, in some cases, written by actual participants. They include works such as the iconic The Second World War series authored by Winston Churchill or This Is London by Edward R. Murrow. The Library owns copies of both items. Both were written by prominent figures who witnessed events first hand.

Many of the newer books are written by individuals who were born after World War II but nevertheless, wish to understand and document the experiences of those who fought in that conflict. This generational shift in authors has resulted in a new crop of captivating books. In some cases, these books have a different focus or offer a different interpretation of historical events. Here are a few of the more recent books on World War II:

Fighter Boys: The Battle of Britain, 1940 by Patrick Bishop

Voices of the Bulge: Untold Stories from Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge by Michael Collins and Martin King

Unbroken: A World War II Airman’s Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

Agent Garbo: The Brilliant, Eccentric Secret Agent Who Tricked Hitler and Saved D-day by Stephan Talty

 

*a term coined by Tom Brokaw

 

Chris Hu – Library Materials Services

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