History Books on the Causes of World War II

In summary: by George H. Nash, is an important contribution to the historiography of the Second World War and deserves to be read by anyone interested in the topic.”“A magisterial work of synthesis and interpretation that will be of great value to students of American history and international relations.”“Nash has written a rich and insightful book that will be of great value to students of American history and international relations.”“This book is an important contribution to the historiography of the Second World War and deserves to be read by anyone interested in the topic.”“Nash’s book is an important and insightful addition to the historiography of
  • #1
Hi, I'm a bit of a history nerd, and especially when it comes to World War II. I was wondering if you guys knew of any good books written about the events that led to World War II. Or if you just have a favorite book about World War II if it's your thing also. And when I say history book I mean a book like The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich where it is analytical on a large scale, not so much a book about regular people, say soldiers. Though of course biographies can often shed light on history too.

Science news on Phys.org
  • #2
See bibliographies and reading assignments in these classes:

CAS HI 289/IR 349 History of International Relations, 1900-1945


HI 472/IR 472: History of Modern War

I highly recommend David Fromkin's book: A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East

More from Fromkin
An Unsettling Settlement: The 1922 Middle East Peace Agreement Seen Today (Video)

Possibly this book - Keith Eubank, World War II: Roots and Causes (Problems in European Civilization (DC Heath))

See also - William Dodd: The U.S. Ambassador In Hitler's Berlin

Several years ago, I heard a discussion about Hitler's Minders, a group of German industrialists and political figures, who apparently facilitated the development of Hilter's programs. I thought there might be a book about it, but I can't find any reference.

See also - German Industry and the Third Reich: Fifty Years of Forgetting and Remembering

To better understand the history of the 20th century, one has to look back into the 19th century, and really further back (since human history is a continuum of conflict).

Perhaps a good starting point is - The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War (19 July 1870 – 10 May 1871), was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franco-Prussian_War

But then one could go back to the Napoleonic Wars, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleonic_Wars,
or the Seven Years' War - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Years'_War
or the Hundred Years' War - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hundred_Years'_War

or the history of the Middle/Dark Ages, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_Ages, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_warfare
War in the Middle Ages (covering 10 centuries) - https://www.amazon.com/dp/0631144692/?tag=pfamazon01-20

or the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire, or Greek Empire, or Byzantine Empire,

. . . .
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #3
Here's something new and shocking to some:

Freedom Betrayed: Herbert Hoover's Secret History of the Second World War and Its Aftermath
Editor: George H. Nash
ISBN: 978-0-8179-1234-5
Pub Date: November 07, 2011
Product Format: Cloth
Availability: In stock.
Price: $49.95

The culmination of an extraordinary literary project that Herbert Hoover launched during World War II, his "magnum opus"—at last published nearly fifty years after its completion—offers a revisionist reexamination of the war and its cold war aftermath and a sweeping indictment of the "lost statesmanship" of Franklin Roosevelt. Freedom Betrayed: Herbert Hoover's Secret History of the Second World War and Its Aftermath originated as a volume of Hoover's memoirs, a book initially focused on his battle against President Roosevelt's foreign policies before Pearl Harbor. As time went on, however, Hoover widened his scope to include Roosevelt's foreign policies during the war, as well as the war's consequences: the expansion of the Soviet empire at war's end and the eruption of the cold war against the Communists.

On issue after issue, Hoover raises crucial questions that continue to be debated to this day. Did Franklin Roosevelt deceitfully maneuver the United States into an undeclared and unconstitutional naval war with Germany in 1941? Did he unnecessarily appease Joseph Stalin at the pivotal Tehran conference in 1943? Did communist agents and sympathizers in the White House, Department of State, and Department of the Treasury play a malign role in some of America's wartime decisions? Hoover raises numerous arguments that challenge us to think again about our past. Whether or not one ultimately accepts his arguments, the exercise of confronting them will be worthwhile to all.

Herbert Hoover (1874–1964) was president of the United States from 1929 to 1933. An internationally acclaimed humanitarian, he was the author of more than thirty books and founder of the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace.

George H. Nash is a historian, lecturer, and authority on the life of Herbert Hoover. His publications include three volumes of a definitive, scholarly biography of Hoover and the monograph Herbert Hoover and Stanford University, as well as numerous articles in scholarly and popular journals. A specialist in twentieth-century political and intellectual history, Nash is also the author of The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America since 1945 and Reappraising the Right: The Past and Future of American Conservatism. A graduate of Amherst College and holder of a PhD in history from Harvard University, he received the Richard M. Weaver Prize for Scholarly Letters in 2008. He lives in South Hadley, Massachusetts.


“The work, edited by historian George Nash, is an extended excoriation of the man who defeated Hoover’s reelection bid, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and his foreign policy... the words will be jarring to many who today regard World War II in uniformly heroic terms.”
—TIM FERGUSON, Forbes. Read the full review here.

“A remarkably well-researched, heavily footnoted revisionist history… seems destined to become one of the key historical documents of the mid-20th century, challenging many long-accepted interpretations of events.”
—JAMES E. PERSON JR., The Washington Times. Read the full review here.

“Freedom Betrayed is a searing indictment of FDR and the men around him as politicians who lied prodigiously about their desire to keep America out of war, even as they took one deliberate step after another to take us into war.”
—PAT BUCHANAN, "Did FDR Provoke Pearl Harbor?", Townhall.com. Read the full review here.

“In its sharp dissent from the conventional understanding of the mid-twentieth century, Herbert Hoover's book succeeds in bringing that history back to life and in forcing us to think about it in ways that will surely be unfamiliar to many.”
—TOM BETHELL, "Revisionist History That Matters", The American Spectator. Read the full review here.

“Freedom Betrayed is the work of a serious student of history, and is heavily researched and footnoted. Its publication is a monumental moment in the history of presidential writings, and Nash deserves credit for his persistence and dedication in shaping it.”
—GERALD J. RUSSELLO, "Herbert Hoover, Revisionist", The University Bookman. Read the full review here.


“What an amazing historical find! Historian George H. Nash, the dean of Herbert Hoover studies, has brought forth a very rare manuscript in Freedom Betrayed. Here is Hoover unplugged, delineating on everything from the ‘lost statesmanship’ of FDR to the Korean War. A truly invaluable work of presidential history. Highly recommended.”
—DOUGLAS BRINKLEY is professor of history at Rice University and editor of The Reagan Diaries.

“Finally, after waiting for close to half a century, we now have Hoover’s massive and impassioned account of American foreign policy from 1933 to the early 1950s. Thanks to the efforts of George H. Nash, there exists an unparalleled picture of Hoover’s world view, one long shared by many conservatives. Nash’s thorough and perceptive introduction shows why he remains America’s leading Hoover scholar.”
—JUSTUS D. DOENECKE, author of Storm on the Horizon: The Challenge to American Intervention, 1939–1941

“A forcefully argued and well documented alternative to, and critique of, the conventional liberal historical narrative of America’s road to war and its war aims. Even readers comfortable with the established account will find themselves thinking that on some points the accepted history should be reconsidered and perhaps revised.”
—JOHN EARL HAYNES, author of Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America

“Freedom Betrayed offers vivid proof of William Faulkner’s famous dictum that “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” For those who might think that history has settled the mantle of consensus around the events of the World War II era, Hoover’s iconoclastic narrative will come as an unsettling reminder that much controversy remains. By turns quirky and astute, in prose that is often acerbic and unfailingly provocative, Hoover opens some old wounds and inflicts a few new ones of his own, while assembling a passionate case for the tragic errors of Franklin Roosevelt’s diplomacy. Not all readers will be convinced, but Freedom Betrayed is must-read for anyone interested in the most consequential upheaval of the twentieth century.”
—DAVID M. KENNEDY is professor of history emeritus at Stanford University and the author of Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929–1945.

“Herbert Hoover’s Freedom Betrayed is a bracing work of historical revisionism that takes aim at U.S. foreign policy under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Part memoir and part diplomatic history, Hoover's magnum opus seeks to expose the “lost statesmanship” that, in Hoover’s eyes, needlessly drew the United States into the Second World War and, in the aftermath, facilitated the rise to global power of its ideological rival, the Soviet Union. Freedom Betrayed, as George Nash asserts in his astute and authoritative introduction, resembles a prosecutor’s brief against Roosevelt—and against Winston Churchill as well— at the bar of history. Thanks to Nash’s impressive feat of reconstruction, Hoover’s “thunderbolt” now strikes—nearly a half-century after it was readied. The former president’s interpretation of the conduct and consequences of the Second World War will not entirely persuade most readers. Yet, as Nash testifies, like the best kind of revisionist history, Freedom Betrayed “challenges us to think afresh about our past.”
—BERTRAND M. PATENAUDE, author of A Wealth of Ideas: Revelations from the Hoover Institution Archives

“Nearly fifty years after his death, Herbert Hoover returns as the ultimate revisionist historian, prosecuting his heavily documented indictment of US foreign policy before, during, and after the Second World War. Brilliantly edited by George Nash, Freedom Betrayed is as passionate as it is provocative. Many no doubt will dispute Hoover’s strategic vision. But few can dispute the historical significance of this unique volume, published even as Americans of the twenty-first century debate their moral and military obligations.”
—RICHARD NORTON SMITH is a presidential historian and author, former director of several presidential libraries, and current scholar-in-residence at George Mason University.

Respectfully submitted,
  • #4

Related to History Books on the Causes of World War II

1. What are the main causes of World War II?

The main causes of World War II were the rise of totalitarian regimes in Germany, Italy, and Japan, the failure of appeasement policies by Western nations, and the aggression of these regimes in expanding their territories through military conquests.

2. How did the Treaty of Versailles contribute to the outbreak of World War II?

The Treaty of Versailles, which ended World War I, imposed heavy reparations on Germany and weakened its military and economic power. This created resentment and a desire for revenge among the German people, which was exploited by Hitler and the Nazi party in their rise to power.

3. Did the Great Depression play a role in causing World War II?

Yes, the Great Depression of the 1930s had a significant impact on the world economy and contributed to the rise of extremist and nationalist ideologies, such as fascism and Nazism, in many countries. It also weakened the ability of Western nations to respond to aggressive actions by totalitarian regimes.

4. What role did alliances play in the start of World War II?

Alliances played a crucial role in the start of World War II. The signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between Germany and the Soviet Union, as well as the formation of the Axis powers between Germany, Italy, and Japan, created a dangerous web of alliances and made it more difficult for other nations to intervene and prevent the outbreak of war.

5. How did the failure of appeasement policies contribute to the start of World War II?

The failure of appeasement policies, which aimed to avoid conflict by giving in to the demands of aggressive nations, only further emboldened totalitarian regimes. This was evident in the appeasement of Hitler's demands for territory in the Munich Agreement, which ultimately failed to prevent the outbreak of war. It also weakened the credibility and deterrence of Western nations, making it easier for Hitler and other aggressors to pursue their expansionist goals.

Similar threads

  • Art, Music, History, and Linguistics
  • Art, Music, History, and Linguistics
  • Art, Music, History, and Linguistics
  • Art, Music, History, and Linguistics
  • Science and Math Textbooks
  • General Discussion
  • General Discussion
  • Art, Music, History, and Linguistics