WASHINGTON (Aug. 28, 2012)—EYEWITNESS TO WORLD WAR II: Unforgettable Stories and Photographs from History’s Greatest Conflict (National Geographic Books; 978-1-4262-0970-3; on sale Oct. 30, 2012; $40 hardcover) brings to life the epic strife of World War ll. As the Greatest Generation passes on, we lose the opportunity to hear firsthand the tales of sacrifice, heroic moments and devastating battles. However, through EYEWITNESS TO WORLD WAR II, edited by Neil Kagan and narrated by Stephen Hyslop, National Geographic ensures that the stories of this time are never lost.
EYEWITNESS TO WORLD WAR II takes a comprehensive look at the entire history of World War II — from the key events leading to the clash to the final moments of the war. This book includes words and thoughts of those who lived during this historic time — both on the front lines and the home front. There are personal writings from Roosevelt and Patton, excerpts from soldiers’ letters and journal entries from the battlefield, words from women serving in the military, reports by war correspondents and even the musings of Hitler. Photographs and maps bring into sharp focus moments of triumph, defeat and heartache, while they detail military movements, decisive battles, daily life as well as the horrors of war. Together, the individual accounts, riveting visual testimony by frontline war photographers — in many never-before-seen images — and maps tell the story of World War ll in startling intimacy.
The book begins with the causes of World War II, when Hitler invaded Poland, and provides snapshots of the state of China, Spain, Italy and other countries, which allows readers to contextualize the geopolitical realities of the world just prior to the war. The next six chapters follow the war action around the world, from Pearl Harbor to the Bataan Peninsula, from North Africa to Normandy. These chapters are filled with information about weaponry, equipment and tactics. Throughout EYEWITNESS TO WORLD WAR II, the text highlights the stories of such individuals as Takeo Yoshikawa, a Japanese spy and naval officer sent undercover as a young consular official, who provided intelligence on the U.S. Navy and its fleet and helped plot the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
“This book focuses on the trials, prayers, and sacrifices of Americans in World War ll, while providing a global overview of that great conflict, from the rise of Nazi Germany to the fall of Imperial Japan,” writes historian and author Hugh Ambrose in the book’s introduction. “It reminds us of the vital role Americans played on the world stage when they joined with their allies on distant shores to uphold freedom and democracy.”
EYEWITNESS TO WORLD WAR II brings readers closer than ever before to the greatest challenge a generation of Americans had ever faced. Incredible, first-person stories, moments of heroism, arresting rare imagery and rich maps bring the entire history of World War II into sharp focus. This deeply moving book will delight history lovers and World War II buffs.
About the Narrator and Editor
Narrator Stephen Hyslop’s many books include “Great Empires,” “Eyewitness to the Civil War,” “Bound for Santa Fe: The Road to New Mexico and the American Conquest” and “Chroniclers of Indian Life.”
Editor Neil Kagan heads Kagan & Associates, a firm specializing in innovative illustrated books. During his career at Time-Life Books, he spearheaded multiple historic series and has produced “Eyewitness to the Civil War” and “Atlas of the Civil War” for National Geographic.
About National Geographic Books
National Geographic Books is a global publisher of 125 new books annually in Adult and Children’s combined, as well as a publisher of digital content and services with more than 50 partners who translate our books.
The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society’s mission is to inspire people to care about the planet. It reaches more than 400 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and other magazines; National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; music; radio; films; books; DVDs; maps; school publishing programs; live events; interactive media; merchandise; and travel programs. For more information on National Geographic Books, visit facebook.com/NatGeoBooks and nationalgeographic.com/books.