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World War II

World War II Book List

Cover of 'Home Front to Battlefront'

Home Front to Battlefront
An Ohio Teenager in World War II
By Frank Lavin
· Foreword by Henry Kissinger

Home Front to Battlefront contributes the rich details of one soldier’s experience to the broader literature on World War II, offering insight into the wartime career of a Jewish Ohioan in the military from enlistment to training through overseas deployment via personal letters, recollections, official military history, and more.

Cover of 'Camp Life Is Paradise for Freddy'

Camp Life Is Paradise for Freddy
A Childhood in the Dutch East Indies, 1933–1946
By Fred Lanzing
· Translation by Marjolijn de Jager
· Introduction by William H. Frederick

In this lyrical but controversial memoir of his childhood in a Japanese internment camp for Dutch colonialists during World War II, Lanzing enlivens ongoing discussions of the politics of memory and the powerful—if contentious—contributions that subjective accounts make to historiography and the legacies of the past.

Cover of 'Wartime in Burma'

Wartime in Burma
A Diary, January to June 1942
By Theippan Maung Wa
· Edited by L. E. Bagshawe and Anna J. Allott

This diary, begun after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and covering the invasion of Burma up to June 1942, is a moving account of the dilemmas faced by the well-loved and prolific Burmese author Theippan Maung Wa (a pseudonym of U Sein Tin) and his family. At the time of the Japanese invasion, U Sein Tin was deputy secretary in the Ministry of Home and Defense Affairs.

Cover of 'From Submarines to Suburbs'

From Submarines to Suburbs
Selling a Better America, 1939–1959
By Cynthia Lee Henthorn

During World War II, U.S. businesses devised marketing strategies that encouraged consumers to believe their country’s wartime experience would launch a better America. Advertisements and promotional articles celebrated the immense industrial output that corporations achieved during the war.

Cover of 'Tensions of Empire'

Tensions of Empire
Japan and Southeast Asia in the Colonial and Postcolonial World
By Ken’ichi Goto
· Edited by Paul H. Kratoska

Beginning with the closing decade of European colonial rule in Southeast Asia and covering the wartime Japanese empire and its postwar disintegration, Tensions of Empire focuses on the Japanese in Southeast Asia, Indonesians in Japan, and the legacy of the war in Southeast Asia. It also examines Japanese perceptions of Southeast Asia and the lingering ambivalence toward Japanese involvement in Asia and toward the war in particular.

Cover of 'Soldiers, Airmen, Spies, and Whisperers'

Soldiers, Airmen, Spies, and Whisperers
The Gold Coast in World War II
By Nancy Ellen Lawler

The Gold Coast became important to the Allied war effort in WWII, necessitating the creation of elaborate propaganda and espionage networks, the activities of which ranged from rumor-mongering to smuggling and sabotage.

Cover of 'Japanese Empire in the Tropics'

Japanese Empire in the Tropics
Selected Documents and Reports of the Japanese Period in Sarawak, Northwest Borneo, 1941–1945
By Ooi Keat Gin

Although the Japanese interregnum was brief, its dramatic commencement and equally dramatic conclusion represented a watershed in the history of the young state of Sarawak. In recent years, there has been a groundswell of interest in the war years, culminating in an attempt at reassessment of the Japanese occupation in Southeast Asia by Western and Japanese scholars as well as by those from Southeast Asia.

Cover of 'Eight Prison Camps'

Eight Prison Camps
A Dutch Family in Japanese Java
By Dieuwke Wendelaar Bonga

Eldest daughter of eight children, the author grew up in Surakarta, Java, in what is now Indonesia. In the months following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, however, Dutch nationals were rounded up by Japanese soldiers and put in internment camps. Her father and brother were sent to separate men’s camps, leaving the author, her mother, and the five younger children in the women’s camp.

Cover of 'Seven Years Among Prisoners of War'

Seven Years Among Prisoners of War
By Chris Christiansen

Hundreds of thousands of prisoners were incarcerated in camp around the world during World War II. And individuals from all walks of life joined international organizations like the Red Cross, churches, and other religious groups to help counter the hopelessness of camp life.

Cover of 'Soldiers of Misfortune'

Soldiers of Misfortune
lvoirien Tirailleurs of World War II
By Nancy Ellen Lawler

This is a study of the African veterans of a European war. It is a story of men from the Cote d'Ivoire, many of whom had seldom traveled more than a few miles from their villages, who served France as tirailleurs (riflemen) during World War II. Thousands of them took part in the doomed attempt to hold back the armies of the Third Relch in 1940; many were to spend the rest of the war as prisoners in Germany or Occupied France.

Cover of 'The  Japanese Experience in Indonesia'

The Japanese Experience in Indonesia
Selected Memoirs of 1942-1945
By Anthony Reid
· Edited by Oki Akira

Although the wartime Japanese military administration of Indonesia was critical to the making of modern Indonesia, it remains shrouded in mystery, in part because of the systematic destruction of records following the Japanese surrender.