Non-Fiction--Glusman to Grunden
Glusman, John A. Conduct Under Fire: Four American Doctors and Their Fight for Life as Prisoners of the Japanese (Viking, 2005).
The fierce, bloody battles of Bataan and Corregidor in the Philippines are legendary in the annals of World War II. Those who survived faced the horrors of life as prisoners of the Japanese. In Conduct Under Fire, John A. Glusman chronicles these events through the eyes of his father, Murray, and three fellow navy doctors captured on Corregidor in May 1942. Here are the dramatic stories of the fall of Bataan, the siege of “the Rock,” and the daily struggles to tend the sick, wounded, and dying during some of the heaviest bombardments of World War II. Here also is the desperate war doctors and corpsmen waged against disease and starvation amid an enemy that viewed surrender as a disgrace. To survive, the POWs functioned as a family. But the ties that bind couldn’t protect them from a ruthless counteroffensive waged by American submarines or from the B-29 raids that burned Japan’s major cities to the ground. Based on extensive interviews with American, British, Australian, and Japanese veterans, as well as diaries, letters, and war crimes testimony, this is a harrowing account of a brutal clash of cultures, of a race war that escalated into total war.
Goldhagen, Daniel Jonah. Hitler's Willing Executioners (Abacus New edition, 1997).
This groundbreaking international bestseller lays to rest many myths about the Holocaust: that Germans were ignorant of the mass destruction of Jews, that the killers were all SS men, and that those who slaughtered Jews did so reluctantly. Hitler's Willing Executioners provides conclusive evidence that the extermination of European Jewry engaged the energies and enthusiasm of tens of thousands of ordinary Germans. Goldhagen reconstructs the climate of "eliminationist anti-Semitism" that made Hitler's pursuit of his genocidal goals possible and the radical persecution of the Jews during the 1930s popular. Drawing on a wealth of unused archival materials, principally the testimony of the killers themselves, Goldhagen takes us into the killing fields where Germans voluntarily hunted Jews like animals, tortured them wantonly, and then posed cheerfully for snapshots with their victims. From mobile killing units, to the camps, to the death marches, Goldhagen shows how ordinary Germans, nurtured in a society where Jews were seen as unalterable evil and dangerous, willingly followed their beliefs to their logical conclusion.
Goodrick-Clarke, Nicholas. The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and Their Influence on Nazi Ideology (New York University Press, 1993).
This book traces the intellectual roots of Nazism back to a number of influential occult and millenarian sects in the Hapsburg Empire during its warning years.
Grant, Myrna. Vanya: A True Story (Charisma House, 1975).
This is a true story of Ivan (Vanya) Moiseyev, a soldier in the Soviet Red Army who was ruthlessly persecuted and incarcerated for his faith.
Grant, R.G. Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Raintree, 1998).
This work describes the causes and horrible effects of the 1945 bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Grass, Gunter. Peeling the Onion (Harcourt, 2007).
In this extraordinary memoir, Nobel Prize–winning author Gunter Grass remembers his early life, from his boyhood in a cramped two-room apartment in Danzig through the late 1950s, when The Tin Drum was published. During the Second World War, Grass volunteered for the submarine corps at the age of fifteen but was rejected; two years later, in 1944, he was instead drafted into the Waffen-SS. Taken prisoner by American forces as he was recovering from shrapnel wounds, he spent the final weeks of the war in an American POW camp. After the war, Grass resolved to become an artist and moved with his first wife to Paris, where he began to write the novel that would make him famous.
Grass, Gunter. My Century (Harvest Books, 2000).
In a work of great originality, Germany's most eminent writer examines the victories and terrors of the twentieth century, a period of astounding change for mankind. Great events and seemingly trivial occurrences, technical developments and scientific achievements, war and disasters, and new beginnings, all unfold to display our century in its glory and grimness. A rich and lively display of Grass's extraordinary imagination, the 100 interlinked stories in this volume-one for each year from 1900 to 1999-present a historical and social portrait for the millennium, a tale of our times in all its grandeur and all its horror.
Groom, Winston. 1942: The Year That Tried Men's Souls (Grove Press, 2006).
From the author of Forrest Gump and A Storm in Flanders comes a riveting chronicle of America's most critical hour. On December 6, 1941, an unexpected attack on American territory pulled an unprepared country into a terrifying new brand of warfare. Novelist and popular historian Winston Groom vividly re-creates the story of America's first year in World War II. To the generation of Americans who lived through it, the Second World War was the defining event of the twentieth century, and the defining events of that war were played out in the year 1942. This account covers the Allies' relentless defeats as the Axis overran most of Europe, North Africa, and the Far East. But midyear the tide began to turn. America finally went on the offensive in the Pacific, and in the west the British defeated Rommel's panzer divisions at El Alamein while the U.S. Army began to push the Germans out of North Africa. By the year's end, the smell of victory was in the air. 1942, told with Groom's accomplished storyteller's eye, allows us into the admirals' strategy rooms, onto the battle fronts, and into the heart of a nation at war.
Gross, Jan. Fear: Anti-Semitism in Poland After Auschwitz (Random House, 2006).
Poland suffered an exceedingly brutal Nazi occupation during the Second World War. Close to five million Polish citizens lost their lives as a result. More than half the casualties were Polish Jews. Thus, the second largest Jewish community in the world–only American Jewry numbered more than the three and a half million Polish Jews at the time–was wiped out. Over 90 percent of its members were killed in the Holocaust. And yet, despite this unprecedented calamity that affected both Jews and non-Jews, Jewish Holocaust survivors returning to their hometowns in Poland after the war experienced widespread hostility, including murder, at the hands of their neighbors. The bloodiest peacetime pogrom in twentieth-century Europe took place in the Polish town of Kielce one year after the war ended, on July 4, 1946.
Jan Gross’s Fear attempts to answer a perplexing question: How was anti-Semitism possible in Poland after the war? At the center of his investigation is a detailed reconstruction of the Kielce pogrom and the reactions it evoked in various milieus of Polish society. How did the Polish Catholic Church, Communist party workers, and intellectuals respond to the spectacle of Jews being murdered by their fellow citizens in a country that had just been liberated from a five-year Nazi occupation?
Gross argues that the anti-Semitism displayed in Poland in the war’s aftermath cannot be understood simply as a continuation of prewar attitudes. Rather, it developed in the context of the Holocaust and the Communist takeover: Anti-Semitism eventually became a common currency between the Communist regime and a society in which many had joined in the Nazi campaign of plunder and murder–and for whom the Jewish survivors were a standing reproach.
Grossjohann, Georg. Five Years, Four Fronts: The War Years of Georg Grossjohann (Aberjona Press, 1999).
Five Years, Four Fronts, is a wartime memoir of a professional German soldier who rose from sergeant to major during WWII, commanding infantry units from platoon to regiment. Includes unusually candid recollections of not only combat, but of professional and personal relations with superiors, peers, and subordinates alike during combat duty on four fronts across Europe. 26 original photos, 27 original maps, appendices, notes, index.
Gross, Leonard. The Last Jews in Berlin (Carroll & Graf, 1999).
In February 1943, four thousand Jews went underground in Berlin. By the end of the war, all but a few hundred of them had died in bombing raids or, more commonly, in death camps. This is the real-life story of some of the few of them - a young mother, a scholar and his countess lover, a black-market jeweler, a fashion designer, a Zionist, an opera-loving merchant, a teen-age orphan - who resourcefully, boldly, defiantly, luckily survived.
In hiding or in masquerade, by their wits and sometimes with the aid of conscience-stricken German gentiles, they survived. They survived the constant threat of discovery by the Nazi authorities or by the sinister handful of turncoat Jewish "catchers" who would send them to the gas chambers. They survived to tell this tale, which reads like a thriller and triumphs like a miracle.
Grossman, Vasily. A Writer at War: A Soviet Journalist with the Red Army, 1941-1945 (Vintage, 2007).
When the Germans invaded Russia in 1941, Vasily Grossman became a special correspondent for the Red Star, the Soviet Army's newspaper, and reported from the frontlines of the war. A Writer at War depicts in vivid detail the crushing conditions on the Eastern Front, and the lives and deaths of soldiers and civilians alike. Witnessing some of the most savage fighting of the war, Grossman saw firsthand the repeated early defeats of the Red Army, the brutal street fighting in Stalingrad, the Battle of Kursk (the largest tank engagement in history), the defense of Moscow, the battles in Ukraine, the atrocities at Treblinka, and much more. Antony Beevor and Luba Vinogradova have taken Grossman's raw notebooks, and fashioned them into a gripping narrative providing one of the most even-handed descriptions—at once unflinching and sensitive—we have ever had of what Grossman called “the ruthless truth of war.”
Groves, Leslie R. Now It Can Be Told: The Story of the Manhattan Project (Da Capo Press, New edition, 1983).
Groves's astuteness is most clearly demonstrated in that, in spite of every contraindication from the military security division whose value and function he supported and even overestimated, he selected Oppenheimer as scientific director ... Oppie knew in detail the research going on in every part of the laboratory, and was as excellent at analyzing human problems as the countless technical ones. He knew how to lead without seeming to do so.
Grunden, Walter E. Secret Weapons and World War II: Japan in the Shadow of Big Science (University Press of Kansas, 2005).
The atomic bomb. Rocket-propelled bombs. Jet propulsion. Radar, by failing to develop effective programs for such "secret weapons," Japan increased the probability that it could not triumph over its more advanced enemies. While previous writers have focused primarily on strategic, military, and intelligence factors, Walter Grunden underscores the dramatic scientific and technological disparities that left Japan vulnerable and ultimately led to its defeat in World War II. Grunden's fascinating analysis of this fundamental flaw in the Japanese war effort seamlessly weaves together science, technology, and military history to provide an entirely unique look at a crucial but understudied aspect of World War II. Comparing the science and weapons programs of all the major combatants, he demonstrates that Japan's failure was nearly inevitable, given its paucity of strategic resources, an inadequate industrial base, the absence of effective centralized management to coordinate research, military hostility toward civilian scientists, and bitter inter-service rivalries. In the end, Japan could not overcome these obstacles and thus failed to make the transition to the kind of "Big Science" it needed to ward off its enemies and dominate the Far East. In making his case, Grunden provides comprehensive coverage across a range of major weapons systems, including the most persuasive explanation yet developed for Japan's failure to develop nuclear weapons. He also assesses the failure of the Japanese navy to fully appreciate the combat utility of radar, describes the largely impotent "death ray" that remained under development until the last days of the war, and traces the expansion into jet propulsion technology that came too late. Japan did, however, achieve one inauspicious success by developing biological agents capable of wreaking havoc in America's western cities. Grunden not only illuminates the program and the logic behind its success but also unflinchingly describes our own nation's complicity in the postwar cover-up of that program, raising issues that remain resonant and relevant today. Drawing extensively upon Japanese as well as English-language sources, "Secret Weapons and World War II is written with clarity and insight and a remarkable integration of sources from a diverse array of disciplines. The book makes a unique and significant contribution to the histories of World War II, Japan, science, and technology, chronicling another chapter in the endless pursuit for "ultimate" weapons.