940.53-940.54: World War II Experience in America (2023)

The following list contains books, published in the last 5 years, that discuss American life leading up to World War II. Books in this list will spotlight Americans who participated in the war effort and include works that discuss the various experiences of Americans between the years of 1939 and 1945.

Updated June 22, 2023
Drag items up and down to your preferred order then select the "Save Order" button.


12 seconds of silence : how a team of inventors, tinkerers, and spies took down a Nazi superweapon
Holmes, Jamie
The riveting story of the American scientists, tinkerers, and nerds who solved one of the biggest puzzles of World War II--and developed one of the most powerful weapons of the war   12 Seconds of Silence is the remarkable, lost story of how a ragtag group ...


The apocalypse factory : plutonium and the making of the atomic age
Olson, Steve
It began with plutonium, the first element ever manufactured in quantity by humans. Fearing that the Germans would be the first to weaponize the atom, the United States marshaled brilliant minds and seemingly inexhaustible bodies to find a way to create a nuclear chain reaction of inconceivable...


The bastard brigade : the true story of the renegade scientists and spies who sabotaged the Nazi atomic bomb
Kean, Sam
From New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean comes the gripping, untold story of a renegade group of scientists and spies determined to keep Adolf Hitler from obtaining the ultimate prize: a nuclear bomb.   Scientists have always kept secrets. But rarely have...


Countdown 1945 : the extraordinary story of the atomic bomb and the 116 days that changed the world
Wallace, Chris
The #1 national bestselling "riveting" (The New York Times), "propulsive" (Time) behind-the-scenes account "that reads like a tense thriller" (The Washington Post) of the 116 days leading up to the American attack on Hiroshima, by Chris Wallace, veteran journalist and...


The darkest year : the American home front 1941-1942
Klingaman, William K.
The Darkest Year is acclaimed author William K. Klingaman's narrative history of the American home front from December 7, 1941 through the end of 1942, a psychological study of the nation under the pressure of total war. For Americans on the home front, the twelve...


Fallout : the Hiroshima cover-up and the reporter who revealed it to the world
Blume, Lesley M. M.
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2020 New York Times bestselling author Lesley M.M. Blume reveals how one courageous American reporter uncovered one of the deadliest cover-ups of the 20th century--the true effects of the atom bomb--potentially saving millions of...


Faster : how a Jewish driver, an American heiress, and a legendary car beat Hitler's best
Bascomb, Neal
Winner of the Motor Press Guild Best Book of the Year Award & Dean Batchelor Award for Excellence in Automotive Journalism  For fans of The Boys in the Boat and In the Garden of Beasts, a pulse-pounding tale of triumph by an improbable team of...


The great secret : the classified World War II disaster that launched the war on cancer
Conant, Jennet
The gripping story of a chemical weapons catastrophe, the cover-up, and how one American Army doctor's discovery led to the development of the first drug to combat cancer, known today as chemotherapy. On the night of December 2, 1943, the Luftwaffe bombed a critical Allied port in...


Half American : the epic story of African Americans fighting World War II at home and abroad
Delmont, Matthew F.
. Winner of the 2023 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in Nonfiction . A New York Times Notable Book . A Best Book of the Year from TIME, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Washington Independent Review of Books, and more! The definitive history of...


Hitler's American friends : the Third Reich's supporters in the United States
Hart, Bradley W.
A book examining the strange terrain of Nazi sympathizers, nonintervention campaigners and other voices in America who advocated on behalf of Nazi Germany in the years before World War II. Americans who remember World War II reminisce about how it brought the country together....


The race of aces : WWII's elite airmen and the epic battle to become the masters of the sky
Bruning, John R.
The astonishing untold story of the WWII airmen who risked it all in the deadly race to become the greatest American fighter pilot. In 1942, America's deadliest fighter pilot, or "ace of aces" -- the legendary Eddie Rickenbacker -- offered a...


The rise of the G.I. Army 1940-1941 : the forgotten story of how America forged a powerful army before Pearl Harbor
Dickson, Paul
In September 1939, when Nazi Germany invaded Poland and initiated World War II, a strong strain of isolationism existed in Congress and across the country. The U.S. Army stood at fewer than 200,000 men--unprepared to defend the country, much less carry the fight to Europe and the Far East. And yet,...


The train to Crystal City : FDR's secret prisoner exchange program and America's only family internment camp during World War II
Russell, Jan Jarboe
The dramatic and never-before-told story of a secret FDR-approved American internment camp in Texas during World War II, where thousands of families--many US citizens--were incarcerated. From 1942 to 1948, trains delivered thousands of civilians from the United States and Latin...


The Washington war : FDR's inner circle and the politics of power that won World War II
Lacey, Jim
A Team of Rivals for World War II--the inside story of how FDR and the towering personalities around him waged war in the corridors of Washington, D.C., to secure ultimate victory on the battlefields of Europe and the Pacific.   The Washington War is the...


We hereby refuse : Japanese American resistance to wartime incarceration
Abe, Frank
"Deftly upends the compliant narrative with impeccably documented stories of resistance and rebellion ... Made urgent yet again, the trio's courageous refusals to accept the U.S.--their!--government's heinous miscarriage of justice should irrefutably embolden new generations ... Their collective...


Winter war : Hoover, Roosevelt, and the first clash over the New Deal
Rauchway, Eric
The history of the most acrimonious presidential handoff in American history -- and of the origins of twentieth-century liberalism and conservatism

Library staff! You can create and contribute to lists. Contact your catalog administrator or log in here.