In 1945, the noted historian Henry Steele Commager, then employed by the U.S. Office of War Information, published The Story of World War II,
a comprehensive survey of a struggle still terribly fresh. Donald Miller, himself an accomplished historian, amplifies Commager's work with this substantially revised edition.
Drawing on oral histories and on the vast body of literature that followed the original edition, Miller writes vividly of the key events that shaped the progress of the war, from Dunkirk to the surrender of the Japanese government aboard the U.S.S. Missouri. Along the way, he examines the war as it played out on many fronts, incorporating the memories of women defense workers, German and Japanese combat veterans, and the ordinary Allied soldiers whom correspondent Ernie Pyle called "doggies." The text is thoroughly illustrated with period photographs, maps, and sidebars, adding both to its immediacy and its usefulness as a reference work.
Concentrating on the war through American eyes, Miller and Commager's book is far from definitive. Even so, it makes an important addition to the growing library of work devoted to the era, and readers with an interest in World War II will learn much from its pages. --Gregory McNamee
From Publishers Weekly
Historian Donald L. Miller offers The Story of World War II, an expanded and updated rewrite of Henry Steele Commager's 1945 The Story of the Second World War. Commager was a historian who taught at NYU, Columbia and Amherst; he died in 1998. Miller (Lewis Mumford: A Life) is a professor at Lafayette College and the host of PBS's A Biography of America. With new material from oral accounts, letters and memoirs to which Commager didn't have access and with the inclusion of nearly 200 b & w photographs, Miller alters the footprint but respects the integrity of his predecessor's work. Old-school, just-the-facts-Ma'am historiography is the name of this game, but the extensive, moving testimonies by veterans of their brushes with death and terror humanize and vivify the described events. Maps.
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