Adams, Michael. The Best War Ever: America and World War II. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994. The author demythologizes the war and highlights the many contradictions between American ideals, memory, and the realities of conflict.
Ambrose, Stephen E. Band of Brothers. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001. Ambrose tells of the men in this brave unit who fought, went hungry, froze, and died, a company that took 150 percent casualties and considered the Purple Heart a badge of office.
Bennett, Michael J. When Dreams Came True: The GI Bill and the Making of Modern America. Dulles, Virginia: Potomac, 1999. Bennett describes the making of modern America by the passage of the GI Bill in 1944 and the initiative of hundreds of thousands of ambitious veterans.
Dower, John. War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War. New York: Pantheon, 1993. The author shows that the ferocity of fighting in the Pacific reflected the racial hostility between Japan and the United States.
Blum, John Morton, V Was for Victory: Politics and American Culture During World War II. New York: Marine Books, 1976. Blum examines the nation’s involvement in a war that most Americans thought necessary and righteous. He focuses on the home front and how American culture and politics affected the course of the war and how the war in turn affected Americans.
Daniel, Roger. Prisoners Without Trial: Japanese-Americans in World War II. New York: Hill and Wang, 2004 (1993). Daniel provides a concise, deft introduction to a shameful chapter in American history: the incarceration of nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II.
Goodwin , Doris Kearns. No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995. Goodwin describes how the isolationist and divided United States of 1940 was unified under the extraordinary leadership of Franklin Delano Roosevelt to become, only five years later, the preeminent economic and military power in the world.
Graebner, William. The Age of Doubt: American Thought and Culture in the 1940s. Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press Inc., 1991. The author examines American culture from a variety of perspectives, encompassing art, architecture, film, literature, music, dance, pop culture, and political and scientific thought.
Hartmann, Susan, Beyond the Home Front: American Women During the 1940s. New York: Macmillan Company, 1983. Hartmann describes and analyzes the effects of World War II on American women’s lives.
Hasegawa, Tsuyoshi, Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan. Cambridge: Belknap Press / Harvard University Press, 2006. Hasegawa rewrites the standard history of the end of World War II in the Pacific and brings to light the real reasons Japan surrendered.
Malloy, Sean. Atomic Tragedy: Henry L. Stimson and the Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb Against Japan. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2010. Malloy examines Stimson’s struggle to reconcile his responsibility for “the most terrible weapon ever known in human history” with his long-standing convictions about war and morality.
Overy, Richard. Why the Allies Won. London: Jonathan Cape, 1995. An incisive analysis of the material and political factors that assured an Allied victory over the Axis powers.
Roberts, Andrew. The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War. New York: Harper Collins, 2011. A highly readable narrative history of the global conflict that examines both military and political elements.
Sherwin, Martin, A World Destroyed: The Atomic Bomb and the Grand Alliance. New York: Knopf, 1975. A fast-paced history of how the atomic bomb affected wartime strategy and postwar relations.
Snyder, Timothy, Bloodlands: Eastern Europe Between Hitler and Stalin. New York: Basic Books, 2010. A harrowing account of the vast scale of ethnic slaughter that occurred in the run-up to and during World War II.
Published by Oxford University Press
Altschuler, Glenn C. and Stuart M. Blumin. The GI Bill: A New Deal for Veterans. The authors tell the story how an unlikely coalition emerged to shape and pass the bill and how for the first time in American history returning soldiers were not only supported, but enabled to pursue success—a revolution in America’s policy towards its veterans.
Dallek, Robert. Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy, 1932–1945. New York: Oxford University Press, 1979. A comprehensive study of the diplomacy that led up to the outbreak of war and the ways in which Roosevelt tried to shape the postwar agenda.
Kennedy, David, Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929–1945. Kennedy vividly demonstrates how the economic crisis of the 1930s was far more than a simple reaction to the alleged excesses of the 1920s.
Rotter, Andrew, Hiroshima: the World’s Bomb. 2009. Rotter tells the international story behind the development of the atom bomb, ranging from the global crises that led to the Second World War to the largely unavailing attempts to control the spread of nuclear weapons after the war had ended.
A People at War. An exhibit that highlights the contributions military personnel and civilians serving their country during World War II with documents from the National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA).
Hiroshima Remembered. A site with photographs, documents, movies, and biographies related the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
At War. The companion site to the documentary series on World War II containing photographs, video clips, interviews with veterans and civilians, document excerpts, and many other features.
Japanese Americans and the U.S. Constitution. An interactive gallery on the Japanese American internment with images, music, first person accounts, and texts. http://americanhistory.si.edu/perfectunion/experience/index.html