LEAD-UP TO WWII
1. Guilt by Association: How Deception and Self-Deceit Took America to War, Jeff Gates.
2. The Origins of the Second World War, A. J. P. Taylor, 1996.
3. President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War, 1941: A Study in Appearances and Realities, Charles A. Beard, 1968.
1. Back Door to War: The Roosevelt Foreign Policy, 1933-1941, Charles Callan Tansill, 1952. Dr. Gary North points out that “When the premier American diplomatic historian, Charles C. Tansill, said [that US officials had foreknowledge of Pearl Harbor] again in 1952 in his Back Door to War (Regnery), he, too, was shoved down the liberals’ memory hole.”
2. An appalling record of Navy Officer, Vice Admiral William Pye.
US Marines abandoned on Wake Island: Cut off after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the US Navy sends Task Force 11 Under Admiral Fletcher to relieve the Marine garrison on Wake Island. Fletcher wastes valuable time by the unnecessary frequent refueling of his destroyers. This results in his fleet arriving one day after Japanese forces invade Wake. Though his naval forces were equal to the reported Japanese ships, his superior, Vice Admiral William Pye, gets cold feet and orders the relief force to withdraw. After a heroic 15-day battle against superior forces, the Wake garrison surrenders. During the battle of Midway in June, The same Admiral Pyle ordered battleships to patrol the US coast instead of participating in the epic battle. Afterward, he was relieved of combat duty, and would never command a fleet in battle again. This would be little comfort to the 400 Marines and 100 civilians who become POWs. Several years later, 98 of the civilians imprisoned on the island would be machine-gunned to death by the occupying Japanese.
3. Not a book but a very good article on Japan and the Pacific Theater.
BATTLE OF MIDWAY, 1942
from Wikipedia. Midway, as its name suggests, is midway between the U.S. and Japan, located about 1500 miles northwest from Hawaii.
THE ATOMIC BOMB, NAGASAKI & HIROSHIMA, AUGUST 6 & AUGUST 9, 1945
1. The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb, Gar Alperovitz.
PEARL HARBOR, DECEMBER 7, 1941
1. Gary North mentions this book, The Road to Pearl Harbor: The Coming of the War Between the United States and Japan, 1950, by Herbert Feis in his talk on War Revisionism.
2. Infamy: Pearl Harbor and Its Aftermath, John Toland, 1972.
3. Pearl Harbor: The Seeds and Fruits of Infamy, Percy Greaves, Jr., 2010, The Mises Institute says that “For 70 years, Greaves’s documents have been the primary source of revisionist scholarship on Pearl Harbor. These documents were prepared under his leadership as main counsel for the Republican minority on the Joint Congressional Committee that investigated Pearl Harbor from 1945 to 1946.” Gary North points out that “He was the Republican counsel in the Pearl Harbor Hearings. The Mises Institute published it.”
4. Day of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor, Robert Stinnett Day of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor
5. Pearl Harbor: The Story of the Secret War, George Morgenstern, 1947. North sums it up: “Consider the conservatives’ account of Roosevelt’s advance warning of the Japanese attack in late 1941. When George Morgenstern wrote Pearl Harbor: The Story of a Secret War, only right-wing Devin-Adair would publish it (1947). The book was ridiculed by academic historians as being a pack of unsubstantiated opinions written by a mere journalist — and a Chicago Tribune journalist at that.”
6. Edwin P. Hoyt on Japanese conflict in WWII.
ECONOMICS OF WWII
1. The Permanent War Economy, Seymour Melman, 1976.
2. Paying for a World War: The United States Financing of World War II, Jarvis M. Morse, 1946. Here is an online copy.
1. Defend America First: Anti-War Editorials from the Saturday Evening Post, 1939-1942, Garet Garrett. A brief review.
1. The Wages of Destruction: The Making and the Breaking of the NAZI Economy, Adam Tooze, 2008.
2. Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, from Mussolini to the Politics of Change, Jonah Goldberg, 2009.
3. The Ominous Parallels: The End of Freedom in America, Leonard Peikoff, 1982. About Peikoff’s book, one subscriber writes
Buy a used copy of Leonard Peikoff’s hard-cover book, The Ominous Parallels. It is by far the best book I have ever read on the subject of Nazism and American political trends. I was so so impressed, I read it three times over the years, and benefitted from ideas that will inform my understanding for as long as I’m around.
1. The New Dealers‘ War: FDR and the War With World War II, Thomas Fleming, 2002.
2. Roosevelt and Stalin: The Failed Courtship, by Robert Nisbet.
3. President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War, 1941: A Study in Appearances and Realities, Charles A. Beard, 1968.
4. Roosevelt’s Road to Russia, George N. Crocker, 1959. This was recommend to understand the Soviet Union and U.S. alliance during WWII.
THE 3RD REICH
1. My Battle Against Hitler: Faith, Truth, and Defiance in the Shadow of the Third Reich, Dietrich von Hildebrand and John Henry Crosby, 2014. Here is a review of the book and author.
2. Shirer, Rise and Fall of the 3rd Reich.
3. Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland, Christopher R. Browning, 2017.
1. Germany Must Perish! Theodore N. Kaufman, 1933.
REVIEWS OF WWII
1. Gary North points out that “The final product of the Council on Foreign Relations’ investment of $139,000 in 1946 — a lot of money in 1946 — was the standard Establishment history of the coming of the war, written by William L. Langer and S. Everett Gleason, The Challenge to Isolation: The World Crisis of 1937-1940 and American Foreign Policy (1952). It was still the standard account two decades later. Its perspective remains dominant on campus today. Langer was a professor of history at Harvard. So was Gleason — medieval history — until he moved to Washington after Pearl Harbor, to join the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the precursor of the CIA. He later became the official historian of the State Department. Establishment enough for you? (The other standard book was Herbert Feis’s Road to Pearl Harbor (1950). He had served as the State Department’s Advisor for International Economic Affairs.) Yes, the victors always write the history books, but when the historians are actually policy-setting participants in the war, the words “court history” take on new meaning.”
1. Stalingrad: The City That Defeated the Third Reich, Jochen Hellbeck, 2015. From Bionic Mosquito:
The battle of Stalingrad–the most ferocious and lethal battle in human history–ended on February 2, 1943. With an estimated death toll of a million, the bloodletting at Stalingrad (1942-1943) far exceeded that of Verdun, one of the costliest battles of World War I.
Stalingrad. Almost six months of fighting; between the two sides, over two million combatants; of these, almost two million killed, wounded or captured. A key result of the German defeat: Germany moved significant military resources from west (i.e. where Brokaw’s generation would eventually fight a drastically weakened Germany) to east to deal with the losses and the newfound Soviet momentum.
1. Time and Eternity: The Uncolleted Writings of Malcolm Muggeridge, Malcolm Muggeridge (Author), and Nicholas Flynn (Editor). This may be a better assessment of Muggeridge. Whereas Britain’s Muggeridge was documenting the atrocities in the Soviet Union and the Ukraine, Walter Duranty was the New York Time’s Man in Moscow.
Here is the Amazon review:
Malcolm Muggeridge (1903-1990) was one of the English-speaking world s most fascinating literary figures. His writing dazzles with its prophetic insight, courage and wit. He was the first writer to reveal the true nature of Stalin s regime when in 1933 he exposed the terror famine in the Ukraine. Four decades later, Muggeridge was to make the work of Mother Teresa of Calcutta who contributed a Foreword to this book during the initial stages of its research known all over the world.
And what got this party started on the topic of Malcolm Muggeridge and the famine in the Ukraine, otherwise known as Holdomor, was this video interview of Jordan Peterson and his discussion on what leads men, good, respectable men to commit horrific acts against their fellow human beings.
And here are a few notes on the Ukraine’s Holodmor. The Communists actually demonstrated against the Ukraine’s decisoin to resist Stalin’s 5-Year Plan that forced thriving, lucrative farms into collectivization.
1928-34, Stalin’s Ukraine Holodomor. Here is one video or re-enactment with decent commentary and several linked resources. The Kulaks were wealthy independent farmers who were benefiting from hard work under the previous, pre-Stalin, agriculture system in the Ukraine. But then the Bolsheviks began to tax, harass, and beat the Kulaks into submission of Stalin’s Five-Year Plan, 1928-1932. Stalin and the Bolsheviks collectivized all farmers throughout the Soviet Union with the exception of a few. Those who would not participate were exiled. In fact, the American Communist Party used to conduct its very own assaults against Ukrainians who protested the Ukraine Holocaust at the hands of the Bolsheviks.
Eric Margolis points out:
Among these monstrous crimes, Ukraine stands out as the worst in terms of numbers. Stalin declared war on his own people. In 1932 he sent Commissars V. Molotov and Lazar Kaganovitch, and NKVD secret police chief G. Yagoda to crush the resistance of Ukrainian farmers to forced collectivization
Ukraine was sealed off. All food supplies and livestock were confiscated. NKVD death squads executed “anti-party elements.” Furious that insufficient Ukrainians were being shot, Kaganovitch “the Soviet Adolf Eichmann” set a quota of 10,000 executions a week. Eighty percent of Ukrainian intellectuals were shot.
During the bitter winter of 1932—33, 25,000 Ukrainians per day were being shot or dying of starvation and cold. Cannibalism became common. Ukraine, writes historian Robert Conquest, looked like a giant version of the future Bergan-Belsen death camp.
1. Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Harry Elmer Barnes, 1953. This is a review of one of the chapters.
2. Great Mistakes of the War, Hanson W. Baldwin. Baldwin was the principal writer for The New York Times, who covered World War II and he wrote this important book immediately after the war. Dulles recalled that on July 20, 1945, under instructions from Washington, that he went to the Potsdam Conference and reported there to Secretary [of War] Stimson on what he had learned from Tokyo–that they desired to surrender if they could retain the Emperor and their constitution as a basis for maintaining discipline and order in Japan after the devastating news of surrender became known to the Japanese people. It is documented by Alperovitz that Stimson reported this directly to Truman. Alperovitz further points out in detail the documentary proof that every top presidential civilian and military adviser, with the exception of James Byrnes, along with Prime Minister Churchill and his top British military leadership, urged Truman to revise the unconditional surrender policy so as to allow the Japanese to surrender and keep their Emperor. All this advice was given to Truman prior to the Potsdam Proclamation which occurred on July 26, 1945. This proclamation made a final demand upon Japan to surrender unconditionally or suffer drastic consequences. [from John Denson’s “The Hiroshima Lie.”]
3. Advance to Barbarism: The Development of Total Warfare from Sarajevo to Hiroshima, F.J.P. Veale, 1968.
“Johnson believed that the enforcement of American hegemony over the world constitutes a new form of global empire. Whereas traditional empires maintained control over subject peoples via colonies, since World War II the US has developed a vast system of hundreds of military bases around the world where it has strategic interests. A long-time Cold Warrior, he applauded the dissolution of the Soviet Union: “I was a cold warrior. There’s no doubt about that. I believed the Soviet Union was a genuine menace. I still think so.” At the same time, however, he experienced a political awakening after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, noting that instead of demobilizing its armed forces, the US accelerated its reliance on military solutions to problems both economic and political. The result of this militarism (as distinct from actual domestic defense) is more terrorism against the U.S. and its allies, the loss of core democratic values at home, and an eventual disaster for the American economy. Of four books he wrote on this topic, the first three are referred to as The Blowback Trilogy . . . . ” I liked Johnson’sdistinction regarding the different kinds of empire.
1. Great Wars and Great Leaders: A Libertarian Rebuttal, Ralph Raico.
ALLIED (MAINLY AMERICAN BUT FRENCH TOO) ATROCITIES AGAINST THE GERMANS
1. Other Losses, James Bacque, 1991. That first link is to a free PDF. Here is the link to Bacque’s book. Okay, so even with titles and summaries and precis, the numbers of Germans killed by Americans AFTER the war and through the Morgenthau Plan vary greatly from 1 million to 4 million. See for yourself the disparity. Here is an Amazon summary, er, review by Kirkus that claims 4 million Germans were slowly murdered in Eisenhower’s camps. Uh-oh.
Canadian writer Bacque’s shocking and controversial account of American mistreatment of four million German WW II POWs. Centering on American idol Dwight D. Eisenhower, Bacque’s indictment strikes to the heart of the American dream, charging us with much the same kind of brutality that so incenses Americans when practiced by foreigners–allowing POWs to die by the tens of thousands from disease and starvation. In a skillfully organized, meticulously documented brief (86 pages of notes and appendices), Bacque charges Eisenhower not with neglect but with setting policy- -and charges subsequent authorities with a methodical cover-up, including destruction of evidence. The narrative is strongly detailed, beginning with an old Frenchman, accompanied by Bacque, opening an ancient, dusty box to find–nothing: missing evidence. From there we have a real-life thriller, complete with security forces bullying aged witnesses. Surprises are nonstop, beginning with a damning introduction by respected military historian Ernest F. Fisher, Jr., who speaks of Eisenhower’s “fierce and obsessive hatred of…all things German.” There follows a jolting indictment of high American figures, starting at the top. The tone is set when Churchill walks out of a Big Three meeting as Roosevelt jokes with Stalin (recent perpetrator of the notorious Katyn Forest massacre) about exterminating prisoners. The point is driven home a thousand ways, most effectively in the knowledgeable analysis of Eisenhower’s management style, which allowed subordinates to carry out policy with little paper to back them up. The general who sends military aircraft to pick up oranges for breakfast while prisoners are starving is especially memorable. Even more so is the repeated British refusal to countenance the US policy in principle and detail. Explosive and deeply iconoclastic, this book is sure to enrage many. Refutations without research as painstaking as Bacque’s will lack credence. — Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
And here is the title to a video presentation of the book.
2. The Alliance: America-Europe-Japan Makers of the Post-war World, Richard J. Barnet, 1983. Dr. Gary North wrote, “We are controlling Japan’s foreign policy [not defending it militarily]. After WWII, the USA had an anti-Communist foreign policy. Japan was part of a much larger alliance. Read Richard Barnet, “The Alliance.”
The following notes and book list were assembled by David Gordon and posted at LRC on Thursday, June 6, 2019.
The dominant view of World War II is that it was the “good war.” Hitler bears exclusive responsibility for the onset of war, because he aimed to conquer Europe, if not the entire world. The United States tried to avoid entering the war but was forced into the fight by the surprise Japanese attack on the American fleet at Pearl Harbor.
The authors on this list dissent. For them, Responsibility for the war was mixed, and Roosevelt provoked Japan’s attack. Allied conduct of the war, furthermore, was characterized by grave ethical misconduct.
Alperovitz, Gar. Comprehensive study that shows dropping the atomic bombs was not needed to bring about Japanese surrender.
Baker, Nicholson Stresses the violations of the norms of civilized war in World War II, with full attention to the role of Winston Churchill.
Barnes, Harry Elmer, ed. A collection of essays by leading revisionist historians, concentrating on Franklin Roosevelt’s policies.
Beard, Charles A. Beard, one of the foremost twentieth-century American historians, argues that Roosevelt provoked the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Buchanan, Patrick J.. Argues that the British guarantee to Poland in March 1939 was a mistake, because there was no feasible means of fulfilling it.
Chamberlin, William H., A highly critical account of American policy during World War I. America failed to learn the lesson of intervention in World War I.
Crocker, George, Emphasizes the extent to which American involvement in the war led to a pro-Soviet policy.
Cowling, Maurice, A detailed study of British cabinet politics in the 1930s, countering the view that Chamberlain sought peace at any price with Hitler.
Doenecke, Justus . A detailed study of the American anti-war movement, showing the diversity of arguments used to oppose Roosevelt’s bellicose policies.
Fussell, Paul. Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War Vivid portrayal of the deleterious effects of the war on human psychology and behavior. Refutes the romanticized picture of the “good war.”
Garrett, Garet. [ed. Bruce Ramsey] . Garrett, a leading figure of the Old Right, argued that coming to the aid of the Allies would weaken America. We should concentrate on home defense.
Glaser, Kurt. A good account of the minorities problem in Czechoslovakia. Emphasizes the unrealistic policies of the Beneš government.
Greaves, Bettina, . A detailed account of Roosevelt and Pearl Harbor, based on the research of Percy Greaves.
Hoover, Herbert. A very detailed account of Roosevelt’s foreign policy by his predecessor in the White House. Based on careful documentation.
Jaksch, Wenzel, . An account of the Sudeten situation in the 1930s, critical of Czech policies under Beneš. The author was head of the Sudeten Social Democrats.
Kirschbaum, Joseph M. . An informed account of Slovak policies in the 1930s. Good on the breakup of the Czech state after the Munich Conference.
Klein, Burton H. . Argues that Germany in the 1930s did not plan for a long war. The author is a leading Chicago School economist.
Kubek, Anthony, . The first chapter, based on pioneering work by Stephen H. Johnsson, shows the influence of pro-Communist officials in pushing for US provocation of Japan before Pearl Harbor.
Mahl, Thomas E. An account of British propaganda and intelligence activities aimed at involving America on the side of Britain in the war.
Morgenstern, George. One of the first revisionist studies of Pearl Harbor and still one of the best. Highly detailed and very well written.
Neilson, Francis, . Includes a devastating analysis of Churchill’s multi-volume history of the war.
Newman, Simon British policy under Chamberlain was not based on weakness but on a long term strategy of confronting Hitler.
Raico, Ralph, . Written by a great classical liberal historian, the book includes a mordant account of Winston Churchill.
Russett, Bruce, . Argues that the prospect of an Axis dominated Europe failed to pose a sufficient threat to the United States to justify American intervention
Sanborn, Frederic, . Contains material on the US efforts to provoke a Japanese attack not readily available elsewhere. The author was a distinguished international lawyer.
Sargent, Porter, . Stresses the role of British propaganda in pushing America toward war.
Schroeder, Paul, . Contends that America foreign policy toward Japan was unduly rigid.
Schultze-Rhonhof, Gerd. . Detailed account of German foreign policy in the 1930’s, arguing that responsibility for the war does not rest exclusively on Hitler. The author is a retired German general.
Sledge, E.B. A searing personal memoir of the horrors of war.
Stinnett, Robert B. . Roosevelt deliberately sought war with Japan and denied information to the Army and Navy commanders at Pearl Harbor.
Suvorov, Viktor . Contends that Stalin was preparing to launch an invasion of Germany, but Hitler beat him to the punch.
Tansill, Charles C. Back Door to War. A comprehensive survey by one of the leading twentieth-century American diplomatic historians. Shows how Roosevelt succeeded in involving the US in war in Europe by provoking war with Japan. Contains valuable material on the European diplomatic situation in the 1930s.
Taylor, A.J. P. . Argues that World War II came about through accident and miscalculation rather than by design.
Topitsch, Ernst, . Topitisch, a philosopher sympathetic to the Vienna Circle logical positivists, contends that Stalin sought a European war and that Hitler’s invasion of Russia in 1941 preempted a Soviet attack.
Trachtenberg, Marc . The book contains a careful analysis supporting the “back door to war“ theory, i.e., that Roosevelt sought war with Japan in order to secure American entry into the war in Europe.
Veale, F. J. P. . Discusses the Allied responsibility for mass saturation bombing.