1/31/14

Five for Friday 27: More World War 2 Books

Several months ago, I posted a list of my favorite World War 2 books. I then added an update of some of my recent World War 2 reads. Here is another update, with the latest five World War 2 books that I have read (in alphabetical order):
  • The Guns at Last Light by Rick Atkinson: A masterpiece and a fitting capstone for his Liberation Trilogy. Of the 100 or World War 2 books that I have read, this easy is in my top five. This comes on the heels of my reading of Max Hastings' Inferno, another top fiver (I highlighted Inferno in my last World War 2 book post). The Guns at Last Light is excellent in every respect.
  • Leningrad: State of Siege by Michael Jones: Culled from interviews and private journals, this book is one of the heartbreaking books that I have read. Jones does a masterful job of painting daily life and death in Leningrad during the siege. While the fate of Soviet soldiers is touched upon, most of Jones' attention is on the average citizen of Leningrad during this terrible time. It is a well-told and moving history. 
  • The Retreat: Hitler's First Defeat by Michael Jones: A decent book, but not anywhere near as good as Jones' Leningrad work.
  • Russia's War: A History of the Soviet Effort: 1941-1945 by Richard Overy: Overy's work was one of the first in English to be published after the opening of the former Soviet archives and history vaults. It is important in that regard, but it has been overshadowed by more recent research and published works. It is still a short, readable history of the Eastern Front after the German invasion of the Soviet Union.
  • The Siege of Leningrad: 900 Days of Terror by David Glantz: I am a big fan of David Glantz's works, but this one left me cold. Not one of my favorites.
With the exception of The Guns at Last Light, all of my recent WW2 reading has been focused on the Eastern Front. I have been using the bibliography in Max Hastings' Inferno as my "to read" list, which is mainly focused on first person experiences of the war. I have been making lots of purchases of used books but haven't really delved into them yet.

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