Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

Laura Hillenbrand (2010)

“Hillenbrand is masterful in weaving one man’s story of unbelievable strength, faith, and endurance into the larger context of world events. There are many aspects of the war in the Pacific that this story brings to light that I had never contemplated before.”

Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911–45

Barbara W. Tuchman (1970)

“Barbara Tuchman has always been one of my favorite authors, and she doesn’t disappoint in her account of ‘Vinegar Joe’ Stilwell.”

Night Drop: The American Airborne Invasion of Normandy

S. L. A. Marshall (1962)

“Marshall provides a vivid account of the airborne invasion, giving the reader a sense of what it must have been like to be there and detailing the heroic actions of U.S. soldiers in France.”

In Harm’s Way: The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors

Doug Stanton (2002)

“This may well be the most underreported story of valor, courage, and sacrifice of World War II. Stanton is able to recreate the emotions of the actual events surrounding the USS Indianapolis—tragic, emotional, and inspiring all at the same time.”

Defeat into Victory: Battling Japan in Burma and India, 1942–1945

Field-Marshal Viscount Slim (1961)

“Field Marshal William Slim’s memoirs detail one of the lesser-known theaters of the war. He provides an honest account of a harrowing retreat.”

Goodbye Darkness: A Memoir of the Pacific War

William Manchester (1980)

“This is a moving memoir, and a Marine’s very honest account of his experience in the Pacific Theater.”

Darby’s Rangers: We Led the Way

William O. Darby, with William H. Baumer (1980)

“Darby and Baumer detail America’s first truly special operations force, which set the groundwork for all the others to follow. Their direct legacy continues today.”

The Forgotten Soldier

Guy Sajer (1971)

“This German soldier’s account of the Eastern Front is both poignant and disturbing—at first reading like an adventure novel, and then detailing the struggles faced in the battles against the Soviet military.”

Beyond the War- Street Without Joy: The French Debacle in Indochina, 1946–54

Bernard B. Fall (1961)

“Fall captures the difficulties of the French attempting to retain colonial control in a surging tide of Vietnamese nationalism.”

Stanley McChrystal retired in July 2010 as a four-star general in the United States Army. His last assignment was as the commander of the International Security Assistance Force and the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. He had previously served as the director of the Joint Staff and as the commander of the Joint Special Operations Command. He is currently a senior fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and the cofounder of the McChrystal Group, a leadership consulting firm. McChrystal and his wife of 35 years, Annie, live in Virginia.


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