World War II

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June 2018


The Accidental President: Harry S. Truman and the Four Months that Changed the World by A.J. Baime

DB 89835

Read by Lou Harpenau. Reading time: 14 hours, 25 minutes.

An account of Truman's first four months as president during the climax of World War II. Discusses his involvement in the founding of the United Nations, the Potsdam Conference, the Manhattan Project, the Nazi surrender, and the decision to bomb Japan. 2017.


All the Gallant Men: An American Sailor’s Firsthand Account of Pearl Harbor by Donald Stratton

DB 87007

Read by David Hartley-Margolin. Reading time: 6 hours, 36 minutes.

One of five living survivors from aboard the USS Arizona during the Pearl Harbor surprise attack in 1941, Donald Stratton recounts his harrowing escape from the burning ship amid enemy fire, his ultimate recovery, and his determination to return to the fight. Violence. 2016.


Ardennes 1944: The Battle of the Bulge by Anthony Beevor

DB 83317

Read by Sean Barrett. Reading time: 14 hours, 37 minutes.

LP 30467; 809 pages.

Historian and author of D-Day (DB 70368) and Stalingrad (DB 53544) recounts Hitler's final efforts to split the Allies in the snow-covered forests and gorges of the Ardennes in Belgium. He describes the battle, which finally broke the Wehrmacht. Unrated. 2015.


The Arsenal of Democracy: FDR, Detroit, and an Epic Quest to Arm America at War by A.J. Baime


Read by Michael P. Donovan. Reading time: 13 hours, 55 minutes.

Narrative of how Ford Motor Company went from making automobiles to producing the airplanes that would mean the difference between winning and losing World War II. 2014.


Big Science: Ernest Lawrence and the Invention that Launched the Military-Industrial Complex by Michael A. Hiltzik

DB 83034

Read by Bill Burton. Reading time: 18 hours, 19 minutes.

Author of Dealers of Lightning (DB 50127) and Colossus (DB 72792) profiles Ernest O. Lawrence (1901-1958) who won the 1939 Nobel Prize for Physics for his invention of the cyclotron. Details the influence of the cyclotron on the development of scientific research into the twenty-first century, including the atomic bomb. 2015.


Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning by Timothy Snyder

DB 83346

Read by Peter Johnson. Reading time: 19 hours, 17 minutes.

Using a variety of sources, including previously lost testimonies from Jewish survivors, the author recounts this period of mass murder as an event closer and more comprehensible--and therefore all the more terrifying--than many think. Snyder contends it is absolutely vital that we learn from the lessons of the Holocaust. Violence. 2015.


Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich by Norman Ohler

DB 88733

Read by Doug Ramsdell. Reading time: 10 hours, 22 minutes.

Examination of the use of drugs during the rule of the Nazi Party. Discusses Hitler's personal physician, Theodor Morell; the impact of drug use in the military on specific operations; and more. Translated from the original 2015 German edition. Bestseller.  2017.


The Book Thieves: The Nazi Looting of Europe’s Libraries and the Race to Return a Literary Inheritance by Anders Rydell

DB 89536

Read by Kaleo Griffith. Reading time: 12 hours, 50 minutes.

An account of the pillaging of Europe's libraries, bookstores, and personal book collections by the Nazis during World War II. Discusses how a small team of librarians has begun the task of identifying these books and returning them to the families of their original rightful owners. Translated from Swedish. 2015.


Born Survivors: Three Young Mothers and Their Extraordinary Story of Courage, Defiance, and Hope by Wendy Holden

DB 84867

Read by Patricia Kilgarriff. Reading time: 13 hours, 34 minutes.

Account of three women sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp while pregnant. Rachel, Priska, and Anka all conceal their condition. They are worked and starved nearly to death, living in daily fear of their pregnancies being detected. Then, they are sent to the Mauthausen camp, a hellish seventeen-day train journey away. Violence. 2015.


The Bravest Guy: A True Story of Overcoming Seemingly Impossible Odds by Harry E. Wedewer


Read by Michael Lowndes. Reading time: 6 hours, 15 minutes.

As a U.S. Army infantryman in World War II, Don Wedewer was twice wounded in four days. On both occasions, he was left for dead. Now he was a double amputee and blind with seemingly no hope for the future. Yet through extraordinary determination and persistence, this highly decorated combat veteran overcame seemingly impossible odds to become a state and national leader in providing opportunities for those with vision loss. Don Wedewer was a Director of Florida's Division of Blind Services 1974-1989. Strong language and violence. 2016.


Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers Who Helped Win World War II by Liza Mundy

DB 89397

Read by Erin Bennett. Reading time: 14 hours, 4 minutes.

LP 33096; 620 pages.

An account of the work of the thousands of women who served as codebreakers in the US during World War II. Discusses the ramifications of their work for the war and in the larger field of cryptanalysis. Unrated. 2017.


The Darkest Hour: How Churchill Brought England Back from the Brink by Anthony McCarten

DB 90313

Read by Bill Burton. Reading time: 7 hours, 40 minutes.

The author examines the period following Winston Churchill's ascendancy to the office of Prime Minister in the midst of World War II. Discusses the many challenges he faced, the work he performed, and the legacy he left. 2017.


Do the Birds Still Sing in Hell?: He Escaped Over 200 Times from a Notorious German Prison Camp To See the Girl He Loved: This is the Incredible Story of Horace Greasley by Horace Greasley

DB 84594

Read by Gregory Maupin. Reading time: 9 hours, 2 minutes.

An autobiographical account of Horace "Jim" Greasley's experiences during World War II, particularly after he was taken prisoner in 1940 and incarcerated in a prison camp in Poland. He began a love affair with a German interpreter, escaping to meet with her more than two hundred times. Violence and some strong language. 2013.


Dunkirk: The History behind the Major Motion Picture by Joshua Levine

DB 89222

Read by J.P. Linton. Reading time: 14 hours, 9 minutes.

An account of the 1940 rescue of over 300,000 Allied troops trapped at the French port of Dunkirk through a seaborne evacuation. Includes interviews with veterans and survivors, and is told from the viewpoints of land, sea, and air. Some violence. Bestseller.  2017.


The Fleet at Flood Tide: America at Total War in the Pacific, 1944-1945 by Homes D. Hornfischer

DB 86270

Read by Pete Larkin. Reading time: 23 hours, 18 minutes.

Historian implements primary sources and personal accounts from both Americans and Japanese to provide a narrative of the climactic end stage of the Pacific War. Focuses on the American invasion of the Mariana Islands in the summer of 1944 and the events triggered by that attack. Unrated. 2016.


The Hundred Day Winter War: Finland’s Gallant Stand Against the Soviet Army by Gordon F. Sander

DB 86102

Read by Ken Kliban. Reading time: 18 hours, 32 minutes.

A narrative recounting of the Russian invasion of Finland in November 1939. Discusses military, political, and cultural contexts of the attack and draws on interviews with both Finnish and Russian veterans of the war. Some violence. 2013.


Indestructible: One Man’s Rescue Mission that Changed the Course of World War II by John R. Bruning

DB 86171

Read by Brian Troxell. Reading time: 17 hours, 52 minutes.

Bard College professor Buruma uses his Dutch father's experiences as a forced laborer in Nazi Berlin to highlight the worldwide changes that followed the end of World War II in 1945. Discusses liberation, starvation, ruin, and the desire for revenge. Violence and some strong language. 2013


Into the Lion’s Mouth: The True Story of Dusko Popov: World War II Spy, Patriot, and the Real-life Inspiration for James Bond by John R. Bruning

DB 86678

Read by Barry Bernson. Reading time: 12 hours, 20 minutes.

The life of Dusko Popov, a Serbian playboy who eventually came to serve the Abwehr, MI5, MI6, and the FBI as a spy. Discusses his entanglements with espionage, murder, assassins, and lovers, as well as his role as the inspiration for the fictional James Bond. Some violence and some descriptions of sex. 2016.


Last Hope Island: Britain, Occupied Europe, and the Brotherhood that Helped Turn the Tide of War by Lynne Olson

DB 88310

Read by Arthur Morey. Reading time: 18 hours, 49 minutes.

An account of how Britain became the base of operations for the exiled leaders of Europe during the struggle to reclaim the continent from Hitler. The governments and armed forces of Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Norway, Czechoslovakia, and Poland all escaped there to continue the fight, as did the self-appointed leader of free France. 2017.


Les Parisiennes: How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved, and Died under Nazi Occupation by Anne Sebba

DB 86732

Read by Polly Stone. Reading time: 17 hours.

An examination of life for the female population of Paris during the years of Nazi occupation. Discusses their daily interactions with the German conquerors, their collaboration and resistance, and their frequent life-and-death decisions. Includes profiles of spies, foreigners, mothers, mistresses, fashion designers, and more. Some violence. 2016.


My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Black Woman Discovers Her Family’s Nazi Past by Jennifer Teege

DB 84550

Read by Marsha Rehns. Reading time: 7 hours, 10 minutes.

A German Nigerian woman recounts learning that her grandfather was Amon Goeth, the brutal Nazi commandant depicted in Thomas Keneally's Schindler's List (DB 20835). Teege details how she grappled with her family's past. Journalist Sellmair supplies historical context in an interwoven narrative. Originally published in German. Bestseller.  2013.


The Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust by Edith Hahn-Beer

DB 81216

Read by Kerry Dukin. Reading time:  9 hours, 31 minutes.

Beer recalls growing up Jewish in 1920s Austria, running afoul of the Gestapo, and being sent to a slave-labor camp. Once released, she disappeared into Germany and, reinventing herself as a German nursing student, married a Nazi officer--all the while on the Gestapo's "wanted" list. 2015.


No Better Friend: One Man, One Dog, and Their Extraordinary Story of Courage and Survival in WWII by Robert Weintraub

DB 87733

Read by Dan Woren. Reading time: 14 hours, 44 minutes.

Flight technician Frank Williams and purebred pointer Judy met in a World War II internment camp. Judy repeatedly risked her life for the prisoners, forming a particular bond with Frank. After being rescued, Frank brought Judy home, and she became the war's only official canine POW. Unrated. 2015.


The Perfect Horse: The Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped By the Nazis by Elizabeth Letts

DB 85593

Read by Paul Boehmer. Reading time: 12 hours, 49 minutes.

LP 30978; 598 pages.

The true story of the rescue of priceless pedigree horses during World War II from a Nazi program designed to engineer a master race of the finest purebred horses. American soldiers planned and executed a mission to kidnap the horses and smuggle them away. Strong language. 2016.


Rescue at Los Banos: The Most Daring Prison Camp Raid of World War II by Bruce B. Henderson

DB 85900

Read by Michael Scherer. Reading time: 11 hours, 5 minutes.

Explains how, as Allied victory in the Pacific drew near in 1945, the treatment of Allied POWs grew more sadistic, with most not expected to survive much longer without rescue. Consequently, General Douglas MacArthur ordered a dangerous rescue mission to the prison camp at Los Baños in the Philippines. Some violence. 2015.


Rogue Heroes: The History of the SAS, Britain’s Secret Special Forces Unit that Sabotaged the Nazis and Changed the Nature of the War by Ben Macintyre

DB 86597

Read by Ben Macintyre. Reading time: 13 hours, 3 minutes.

LP 30811; 565 pages.

A recounting of the story of Britain's World War Two secret force, the Special Air Service (SAS). The brainchild of young aristocrat David Stirling, the SAS parachuted behind enemy lines to face the Nazis, first in Africa and then on the Continent. Violence and strong language. 2016.


The Secret War: Spies, Ciphers, and Guerillas 1939-1945 by Max Hastings

DB 86688

Read by Kerry Dunkin. Reading time: 31 hours, 46 minutes.

Author of Retribution (DB 66833) and Catastrophe 1914 (DB 78009) examines the use of spycraft and guerrilla warfare during World War II. Discusses individual countries' intelligence programs, major personalities, technology, and specific programs considered and implemented. Considers the impact of these programs on the outcome of the war. 2016.


To Hell and Back: Europe 1914-1949 by Ian Kershaw

DB 84242

Read by Ken Kliban. Reading time: 24 hours, 55 minutes.

Author of Hitler, 1889-1936 (DB 51683) and Hitler, 1936-1945 (DB 51684) profiles the political, social, and cultural upheavals in Europe from 1914 to 1949. Examines prominent personalities and day-to-day life, and places events in historical context. Discusses the impact of two world wars on the populace. 2015.


The Train to Crystal City: FDR's Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and America's Only Family Internment Camp During World War II by Jan Jarboe

DB 81065

Read by Patrick Downer. Reading time: 15 hours, 23 minutes.

LP 30471; 657 pages.

Author of Lady Bird (DB 49783) examines the history of the Crystal City internment camp, which operated between 1942 and 1948 and housed families of Japanese, German, and Italian descent, many American-born, who had been decreed dangerous enemy aliens. Describes life at the camp and repatriation to foreign countries. 2015.


The Women who Flew for Hitler by Clare Mulley

DB 89482

Read by Kerry Dunkin. Reading time: 18 hours, 3 minutes.

A dual biography of Hanna Reitsch and Melitta von Stauffenberg, who both served as pilots for the Third Reich. Discusses the context of surrounding world events and the differing trajectories of the two women's careers. Recounts how Hanna attempted to save Hitler's life in 1945, even as Melitta covertly supported an assassination attempt. 2017.