"Shows us, in disturbing but illuminating detail, how violence and cruelty register on the psyche. This beautifully written book makes us reckon anew with the deep costs of war."--Eva Hoffman.
Manned almost entirely by reservists, the USS Abercrombie (DE343) and her sister ships did the dirty work of the Pacific War. They escorted convoys, chased submarines, picked up downed pilots, and led the landing craft to the invasion beaches, yet they received little credit and less glory. This book is a stirring tribute to their heroic efforts, written by a naval officer who served in the Abercrombie during the war and later became a best-selling author. First published in 1984, it has long been acclaimed for presenting a view of the navy as the sailors actually saw it--the joys and pains, the humor and gravity, the successes and defeats.
Ed Stafford provides an authentic, day-by-day account of life on board DE343, from the Battle of Leyte Gulf and picket duty against kamikazes at Okinawa to the signing of the peace treaty in Tokyo Harbor. To create an accurate picture he consulted ship logs and after-action reports and interviewed members of the crew. Although the book focuses on events in a particular warship, it tells the story of every small ship and their valiant crews that rose to the challenge and fought with everything they had until the war was won.
Winner of both the National Book Award for Arts and Letters and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism, Paul Fussell's The Great War and Modern Memory was one of the most original and gripping volumes ever written about the First World War. Frank Kermode, in The New York Times Book Review, hailed it as "an important contribution to our understanding of how we came to make World War I part of our minds," and Lionel Trilling called it simply "one of the most deeply moving books I have read in a long time." In its panaramic scope and poetic intensity, it illuminated a war that changed a generation and revolutionized the way we see the world.Now, in Wartime, Fussell turns to the Second World War, the conflict he himself fought in, to weave a narrative that is both more intensely personal and more wide-ranging. Whereas his former book focused primarily on literary figures, on the image of the Great War in literature, here Fussell examines the immediate impact of the war on common soldiers and civilians. He describes the psychological and emotional atmosphere of World War II. He analyzes the euphemisms people needed to deal with unacceptable reality (the early belief, for instance, that the war could be won by "precision bombing," that is, by long distance); he describes the abnormally intense frustration of desire and some of the means by which desire was satisfied; and, most important, he emphasizes the damage the war did to intellect, discrimination, honesty, individuality, complexity, ambiguity and wit. Of course, no Fussell book would be complete without some serious discussion of the literature of the time. He examines, for instance, how the great privations of wartime (when oranges would be raffled off as valued prizes) resulted in roccoco prose styles that dwelt longingly on lavish dinners, and how the "high-mindedness" of the era and the almost pathological need to "accentuate the positive" led to the downfall of the acerbic H.L. Mencken and the ascent of E.B. White. He also offers astute commentary on Edmund Wilson's argument with Archibald MacLeish, Cyril Connolly's Horizon magazine, the war poetry of Randall Jarrell and Louis Simpson, and many other aspects of the wartime literary world. Fussell conveys the essence of that wartime as no other writer before him. For the past fifty years, the Allied War has been sanitized and romanticized almost beyond recognition by "the sentimental, the loony patriotic, the ignorant, and the bloodthirsty." Americans, he says, have never understood what the Second World War was really like. In this stunning volume, he offers such an understanding.
Despite all that has already been written on Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Joseph Persico has uncovered a hitherto overlooked dimension of FDR's wartime leadership: his involvement in intelligence and espionage operations.Roosevelt's Secret War is crowded with remarkable revelations:
-FDR wanted to bomb Tokyo before Pearl Harbor
-A defector from Hitler's inner circle reported directly to the Oval Office
-Roosevelt knew before any other world leader of Hitler's plan to invade Russia
-Roosevelt and Churchill concealed a disaster costing hundreds of British soldiers' lives in order to protect Ultra, the British codebreaking secret
-An unwitting Japanese diplomat provided the President with a direct pipeline into Hitler's councils Roosevelt's Secret War also describes how much FDR had been told--before the Holocaust--about the coming fate of Europe's Jews. And Persico also provides a definitive answer to the perennial question Did FDR know in advance about the attack on Pearl Harbor? By temperament and character, no American president was better suited for secret warfare than FDR. He manipulated, compartmentalized, dissembled, and misled, demonstrating a spymaster's talent for intrigue. He once remarked, "I never let my right hand know what my left hand does." Not only did Roosevelt create America's first central intelligence agency, the OSS, under "Wild Bill" Donovan, but he ran spy rings directly from the Oval Office, enlisting well-placed socialite friends. FDR was also spied against. Roosevelt's Secret War presents evidence that the Soviet Union had a source inside the Roosevelt White House; that British agents fed FDR total fabrications to draw the United States into war; and that Roosevelt, by yielding to Churchill's demand that British scientists be allowed to work on the Manhattan Project, enabled the secrets of the bomb to be stolen. And these are only a few of the scores of revelations in this constantly surprising story of Roosevelt's hidden role in World War II.
This brilliant collection of German and Allied eyewitness accounts presents useful insights into the failures and successes of both sides and shows why the battle for Normandy developed into such a long and bitter struggle.
Lucie Aubrac (1912-2007), of Catholic and peasant background, was teaching history in a Lyon girls' school and newly married to Raymond, a Jewish engineer, when World War II broke out and divided France. The couple, living in the Vichy zone, soon joined the Resistance movement in opposition to the Nazis and their collaborators. Outwitting the Gestapo is Lucie's harrowing account of her participation in the Resistance: of the months when, though pregnant, she planned and took part in raids to free comrades--including her husband, under Nazi death sentence--from the prisons of Klaus Barbie, the infamous Butcher of Lyon. Her book is also the basis for the 1997 French movie, Lucie Aubrac, which was released in the United States in 1999. Purchase the audio edition.
Critical acclaim for Sisters in the Resistance"Often moving . . . always fascinating . . . women in the FrenchResistance is a key subject. Margaret Weitz has gathered personaltestimonies . . . and set them in an intelligible context thathelps us understand how all French people--men andwomen--experienced the Nazi occupation." --Robert Paxton, MellonProfessor of Social Sciences, Columbia University, and author ofVichy France: Old Guard and New Order, 1940-1944. "Compulsive reading . . . a valuable book which vividly portraysthe intricacies of resistance within France, written in an easy butserious style." --Times Literary Supplement (London). "An absolutely stunning and compelling chronicle of dauntlesscourage and unflagging patriotism." --Booklist. " Margaret Collins Weitz's] well-researched, thoughtful study. . .has filled a gap in the history of World War II." --PublishersWeekly. "Balancing absorbing narrative and astute analysis, MargaretCollins Weitz has integrated the unsung achievements of women intothe history of the French Resistance." --Carole Fink, Professor ofHistory, The Ohio State University, and author of Marc Bloch: ALife in History. "Fifty years after the end of World War II, Sisters in theResistance renders homage to the courageous women of the FrenchResistance. It is high time for their contributions to be fullyacknowledged, and fortunate indeed that they have found such asympathetic, scholarly, and lucid chronicler in Margaret CollinsWeitz." --Marilyn Yalom, author of Blood Sisters: The FrenchRevolution in Women's Memory.
Provides an account of how, shortly before World War II, a heroic Naval officer named Swede Momsen led the efforts to save thirty-three men trapped in a sunken submarine.
On April 21, 1945, the twelve-member crew of the Black Cat set off on one of the last air missions in the European theater of World War II. Ten never came back. This is the story of that crew--where they came from, how they trained, what it was like to fly a B-24 through enemy flak, and who was waiting for them to come home.Historian Thomas Childers, nephew of the Black Cat's radio operator, has reconstructed the lives and tragic deaths of these men through their letters home and through in-depth interviews, both with their families and with German villagers who lived near the crash site. In so doing he unearths confusion about the exact number of crash survivors and ugly rumors of their fate at the hands of the German villagers. His search to determine what really happened leads him to the crash site outside of Regensburg to lay the mystery to rest.In the tradition of Young Men and Fire, Wings of Morning is history as commemoration-an evocation of people and events that brings to life a story of love, loss, and a family's quest for truth.