Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Rise of Nazi Power

Andrew Nagorski (2012)

“Nagorski illustrates the Third Reich through the eyes of journalists reporting from Germany from 1921 until 1941. His thought-provoking angle on Hitler encourages the reader to study his footnotes; his reference material is my de facto reading list.”

With Wings Like Eagles: A History of The Battle Of Britain

Michael Korda (2009)

“Without Britons’ aerial defense of their land, we could all be speaking the Führer’s German instead of the King’s English. To show how that didn’t happen, Korda unravels the ins and outs as England developed, maintained, and won a cage-fight death match. Nearly impossible to put down.”

The Greatest Battle: Stalin, Hitler, and the Desperate Struggle for Moscow That Changed the Course of World War II

Andrew Nagorski (2008)

“A detailed account of Hitler’s drive for—and near success at—Moscow. Ah, that pesky Russian winter, and Hitler’s insistence that his generals press on no matter what. A real showcase of how batty he and Stalin actually were!”

Auschwitz: A Doctor’s Eyewitness Account

Miklós Nyiszli (1960)

“An inside view of horror. Forced to serve as a pathologist for Josef Mengele, the so-called ‘Angel of Death,’ Doctor Nyiszli survived 12 months in the camp by focusing on science. A brutal book, but a must for the historian and those fascinated with how far human evil can go.”

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany

William Shirer (1955)

“Shirer was one of the first journalists to call ‘bullshit’ on Hitler. This masterpiece chronicles the awful arc from the Beer Hall Putsch to the Nuremberg Trials, based on firsthand observation, masterful excavation in the mountain of recovered Nazi Party documents, and the diaries of party leaders and military honchos.”

Michael “Duff” McKagan earned fame for his 12 years as bassist with Guns N’ Roses but also gained regard for his columns for Seattle Weekly, ESPN.com, and Playboy.com, and his book It’s So Easy (And Other Lies). McKagan’s other musical affiliations include Loaded, Velvet Revolver, The Fartz, Jane’s Addiction, Neurotic Outsiders, and 10 Minute Warning. He also cofounded the wealth management firm Meridian Rock, and participates in the Heroes Project for military families.


Originally published in the December 2013 issue of World War II. To subscribe, click here.