When you talk about World War II do you mention dates, battles, names of planes, ship and vehicles or do you talk about the people? From the politicians who decided that war was relevant to the populace that backed up their decisions to the military leaders who vigorously endorsed such conflicts. This first list will start the process that will focus on books written about the people both instigators and participants.
From the individual service men like Audie Murphy or C.J. Sheddon to the Generals such as Dwight D. Eisenhower or Montgomery, to the non-combatants as Franklin Delanor Roosevelt or Winston Churchill an understanding of war, in this case World War II, require an in-depth look at such men. Their decisions decided the life or death of countless people.
Now the names mentioned above impress that only Anglo-Saxon allies are referenced. Far from the truth. As my spreadsheets of books grew it became necessary to sub-divide the biographical categories for proper cross referencing. In other words too many books with too many historical people from too many countries. This is just the first of many list that I have planned to give you an opportunity to find what interest you. Even though many of the titles will be memoirs or biographies the collection would not be as complete without some mention of the collective books. My definition of the collective books are the ones that though they display a well-known historical figure in the title they really shed light on the tertiary figures. Just a couple of examples are Eisenhower’s Lieutenant’s by Russell Weigley or Churchilll & the Generals by Barrie Pitt.
The American Politicians:
Franklin D. Roosevelt American Foreign Policy, 1932-1945
by Robert Dalleck, 688 pages
F.D.R.’s undeclared war, 1939-1941
by T.R. Fehrenbach, 344 pages
Some other books that may be of interest, though their World War II referencing may be limited, are Luscious D. Clay: An American Life by Jean Edward Smith, Sly and Able: A Political Biography of James Byrnes by David Robertson, or Present at the Creation: My Years in the State Department by Dean Atchison. Plus there are other books about FDR that cover , in some aspects, the times during World War II from esteemed authors as Arthur Schlesinger, Alan Brinkley or James McGregor Burns.