World War II comes alive through the public records and private accounts of the day
We have long relied on historians to sift through the debris of the past and piece together narratives to shape our understanding of events. But it is in the letters, diaries, speeches, song lyrics, newspaper articles, and government papers that history truly comes alive.
Eminent historian Douglas Brinkley has carefully chosen the critical documents that bring to life the days of the war from the first Allied counteroffensive to V-J Day. His selections span the momentous, such as Eisenhower’s address to the troops in preparation for D-Day or Hirohito’s surrender on Japanese radio, to the intimate and the obscure. Readers will find one of Tokyo Rose’s broadcasts, letters from soldiers on the eve of battle, Ernie Pyle’s dispatches from Sicily, and Truman’s diary entries in which he wrestles with the decision to drop the A-bomb.
Each primary document is accompanied by a relevant piece of New York Times reporting from the period and original text explaining the historical significance of the event in the war’s progress. News photos and other images add a strong visual component to this vivid re-creation of history.