Packed with photos (color and black-and-white), maps, personal stories, and concise, readable descriptions of the major events of World War II, bestselling author Stephen E. Ambrose's The Good Fight
is a stunning resource for students of history. Though this horrific war has been written about innumerable times over the last half-century, this chronicle for young readers (14 and older) is one of the most vivid, insightful, and straightforward perspectives around. Ambrose pulls no punches. In the first paragraph of his introduction, he reminds us that "more people were killed, more houses, apartment buildings, factories, bridges, and other works of man were destroyed than ever before or since." From Hitler's rise to power to Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor to the air war over Europe to the War Crimes Trials, the major events of the war are thoughtfully examined and depicted.
Each chapter features one of the most important campaigns, players, situations, or battles, with a full-page, often chilling photograph covering half the two-page spread and inset photos on the narrative page as well. Quick Facts boxes appear in every chapter to highlight interesting and relevant details. Large campaign and battlefield maps are interspersed throughout. Readers will come away with a painfully real sense of what life was like in the 1930s and '40s for the soldiers, families, women workers (Rosie the Riveter is included, of course), heroes, and victims of this most devastating, cruel war. (Ages 14 and older) --Emilie Coulter
From Publishers Weekly
Veteran adult historian Ambrose (D-Day June 6, 1944; Citizen Soldiers) hits the mark with this patriotic photo-survey of America's involvement in WWII. His highly visual and textually concise approach make clear the giant scope of a war that truly spanned the world. The author covers a great deal of factual information by breaking down the events into digestible sections of one to two spreads each (the D-Day invasion, photos of the concentration camps, and the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki each have two spreads). Topics vary from the origins of the war in both Germany and Japan to Japanese-American relocation camps to the Manhattan Project and women in the work force, always keeping an eye to the human side of war and sacrifice. Carefully selected quotes reinforce the individual's experience, such as Major Richard Winters's reaction when his troops liberated concentration camp prisoners at Dachau: "Now I know why I am here." Ambrose also points out the irony that the U.S. battled a racist Hitler with a segregated army, and effectively argues that the exemplary performance of African-American troops paved the way for integration in the army and, eventually, for the civil rights movement. Haunting and powerful full-page and inset photographs bring each subject to life, including Joe Rosenthal's famous flag-raising after the battle of Iwo Jima. Because of the brevity, some issues such as Russia's temporary alliance with Germany are not discussed. The format succeeds in allowing Ambrose to flash back and forth between events around the globe, creating a heartpounding urgency. Ages 9-up.
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