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The World War II Bookshelf: 50 Must-Read Books

James F. Dunnigan

ISBN 0806526092
Publish Date 5/1/2004
Format Hardcover
Categories Citadel, Reference, World Wars
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The Finest Books On The War That Changed The World

Renowned military analyst and author James F. Dunnigan presents a comprehensive survey of the fifty most important books written about the epic conflict of our times in The World War II Bookshelf. These books provide invaluable insight into the scope of the war, the theaters of operation (Europe, the Middle East, and Russia, and the Pacific), and new technology in the fields of communications, media, security, and special operations; they create a clear picture of the immense mobilization of U.S. Forces, the legendary leaders and everyday heroes, and the strategy and tactics employed in the largest, bloodiest, and most complex war ever fought. The World War II Bookshelf provides in-depth analysis and perceptive readings of such classic texts as:

  • The American Soldier By Samuel Stouffer

  • The Second World War by Winston Churchill

  • Guadalcanal by Richard B. Frank

  • Stilwell And The American Experience In China, 1911–45 by Barbara W. Tuchman

  • The Pacific War, 1931–1945 by Saburo Ienaga

These and forty-five more books create an unparalleled resource for any military library, and a must-read for everyone interested in increasing their knowledge of modern history.

Praise for the work of James F. Dunnigan:

“Clear, direct analysis.” —Larry Bond

“Informative and entertaining, but sobering... first rate.” —The New York Times

“Detail as copious as the American public’s fascination with war is fervent.” —The Washington Post

“Statistics and logistics, projections and prophecies are all part of Dunnigan’s stock-in-trade.” —Booklist

“Fascinating fact after fact.” —Library Journal

Unlike any conflict before or since, World War II was a truly worldwide war, with dozens of nations participating in significant battles in virtually every corner of the globe. In this definitive guide, military analyst James F. Dunnigan chooses fifty titles out of the many thousands of books published on the subject as being the most worthy of a place in your library. He includes incisive commentary on such important volumes as General George S. Patton Jr.’s classic tome War As I Knew It—a personal and brutally honest narrative of the famed leader’s march across Western Europe—and Studs Terkel’s acclaimed oral history A Good War, with its riveting day-to-day accounts of the fighting men of many nations.

The books Dunnigan chooses offer powerful and moving journeys into the heart of battle. Go behind the scenes with The Wizard War: British Scientific Intelligence, 1939–1945 by R. V. Jones, and witness the terror and tragedy of civilians caught up in war’s savagery in Russia at War by Alexander Werth. The selections cover the gamut of conflict—in the air, on land, and beneath the waves—and location, from Samuel Eliot Morison’s The Two-Ocean War: A Short History of the United States Navy in the Second World War to The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer, as well as the causes of the war and the personalities who dominated the efforts on both sides.

Dunnigan’s essays are candid and controversial, sure to spur discussion and further investigation into a world in flames. More than half a century after the war’s end, these books bear powerful witness to the conflict that changed the future of our world.

James F. Dunnigan is the author of more than twenty books on military subjects, including The Perfect Soldier: Special Operations, Commandos, and the Future of U.S. Warfare. He has been a consultant to the State Department, the CIA, and the Army War College, and is a respected military analyst and frequent on-air commentator for Fox and NBC news, covering both the Gulf War and the war in Afghanistan. His Web site,, receives some two million hits per month. He lives in New York.

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