Sunday, July 15, 2007

Best books about major decisions of World War II

Ian Kershaw, whose books include a two-volume biography of Adolf Hitler and Fateful Choices: Ten Decisions That Changed the World, 1940-1941, selected a five best "books about major decisions of World War II" list for Opinion Journal.

One title on the list:

Closing the Ring by Winston S. Churchill (Houghton Mifflin, 1951)

In this fifth volume of Winston Churchill's six-volume "The Second World War," he describes how tensions arose between Britain and the U.S. in 1943 as the Western Allies faced difficult decisions about an invasion of German-occupied western Europe. Stalin was pressing hard for a "second front," but there were evident dangers for the forces advancing through Italy if troops had to be withdrawn too early to support a landing in France. The British prime minister takes us behind his desk as he tells the story of "Operation Overlord," relating his dealings with Roosevelt and Stalin in the year before D-Day. The book lacks some of the drama of earlier volumes in Churchill's history, but it still makes compelling reading. Of course, as he later acknowledged, Churchill was not just making history but writing it, too, to cement his own reputation for posterity.

Read about all the titles on Kershaw's list.

--Marshal Zeringue