Biography books of the Allied leaders – European Theater

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:

Democrat and Diplomat: Life of William Dodd
by Robert Dalleck, 336 pages
(Dodd was Ambassador to Germany before WW II)

The Juggler: FDR as Wartime Statesman
by Warren Kimball, 320 Pages

Roosevelt and the Isolationist 1932-1945
by Wayne S. Cole, 698 pages

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

Commander-in-Chief: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, His Lieutenants, and their war
by Eric Larrabee, 723 pages

The Greatest of Friends: F.D.R. & Churchill 1941-1945
by Keith Alldritt, 224 pages

Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of Friendship
by Jon Meacham, 490 pages

One Christmas in Washington: Roosevelt …. Churchill
by David Jay Bercuson, 320 pages

FDR and the Soviet Union: Presidents battle Foreign Policy
by Mary E. Glantz, 264 pages

Threshold of War: Franklin Delano Roosevelt American entry in WW II
by Waldo Heinrichs, 302 pages

Forged in War: Roosevelt, Churchill & the Second World War
by Warren F. Kimball, 432 pages

Churchill and Roosevelt at War
by Keith Sainsbury, 235 pages

Roosevelt and Churchill: Men of Secrets
by David Stafford, 384 pages

FDR goes to War: How Expanded Executive Powers … Wartime America
by Burton W. Folsom, 384 pages

FDR: A History (volume 5 out of 5 volume set) The War President, 1940-1943
by Kenneth S. Davis, 864 pages

Lindbergh vs Roosevelt: The Rivalry that Divided America
by James P.Duffy, 270 pages

Charles A. Lindbergh and the battle against American intervention in WW II
by Wayne S. Cole, 298 pages

Senator Gerald P. Nye and American Foreign Relations
by Wayne S. Cole, 293 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.


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What titles are you looking for?

I thought it might be a good idea to ask you, the reader, what list of books would interest you? To find that one title or author to give you closure in your library or to open up some new area of learning. Even though my collection of books is far from complete, and in fact due to the volume of material out there, will never be complete I thought it would be nice to ask you “what titles are you looking for”?  To save some time while you ponder book titles I will tell you that there are some subjects on the “I will never look for book list”.  A few of those book list subjects are Vampires, Romance novels, Teen melodramas, comics and books on specific religions to name just a few. So if you decide that the four subjects picked by me indiscriminately are too narrow a choice then please add your subject,  keeping in mind the never look book list.

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Why I Started?

Before continuing posting more enumerating bibliographies, or relative facsimiles, I felt an explanation was necessary on the  reason why I was listing book titles and authors and starting this blog.  Well a few years ago access to my extensive library became limited due to unforeseen personal adversity. This lack of access to my books was dramatic as I had always displayed my collection and often would pull a volume off the shelves as my interest directed. Well, with my reading material not readily accessible and the purchase of new volumes out of the question, again due too personal hardship,  I turned to the next available mass collection of fiction and non-fiction titles, the public library.

Cover of

Cover via Amazon

I started spending more time at the public library and local bookstores imagining which titles to read, or at a later date, add to my boxed away collection. It was during one of these visits at the local library that I discovered a book about airborne operations during World War Two and an author I had never heard of. So I checked out  “The First Men In” by Ed Ruggero and went home to read, enjoy and learn. It was than that the obvious hit me. What other titles of this subject have I missed and are there any list about Airborne Operations during World War Two and where could I find them? (Yes, my thinking was small, but at the time this is where my interest was focused).

So out of curiosity I started an online search through my local library network. By using authors I knew and cross referencing titles already owned I started getting cross referenced hits on new titles and new authors. Well, taking these new names I continued the search on Amazon, Google, and Yahoo which led me to book resellers such as Barnes & Noble, Abe books and others where I continued to collect book information.

Well you can guess I was ecstatic about these new possible reads. So I put together a simple spreadsheet and started physically filling in my printed spreadsheets. Still thinking small, I started collecting the basic information about World War Two Airborne Operation books. As expected this fed to other World War Two titles. The First were on operations in the European Theater  such as D-Day,  which led to the Battle of the Bulge, then Hitler, the Eastern Front,… you get the point. But this is not where it ended because this cross-referenced to World War One then other American wars such as Vietnam and Korea. So months later I have collected over 9,000 titles, authors, ISBN numbers, brief book descriptions and the number of pages per book.

That is why, 9,000 plus titles later, is the reason that I  started this blog and why I continue to search and collect. No longer are my list for just myself. I figured there are others out there interested in history who may be looking for a good book on Pearl Harbor and may not know where to start.  My lists and this blog are here to give others a place to start. Take the titles and authors that I list and do a search through your public library and local book stores. You may find that one book on that one subject that opens a door of discovery.

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