WORLD WAR II

General Overviews

N - R

Nagy, Alex. "Word Wars at Home: U.S. Response to World War II Propaganda." Journalism Quarterly 67, no. 1 (1990): 207-213.

Calder: "A discussion of censorship during the War."

Newark, Tim. The True Story of America's Secret Alliance with the Mob in World War II. New York: Zenith, 2007.

Freedman, FA 86.5 (Sep.-Oct. 2007), says that the book's subtitle "promises more conspiracy than is delivered." The author does "provide a fascinating account of the interface between crime and politics in Italy and the United States and the minor impact this had on the war's conduct."

Overy, Richard. "Strategic Intelligence and the Outbreak of the Second World War." War in History 5, no. 4 (1998): 451-480.

Paz, Maria Emilia. Strategy, Security, and Spies: Mexico and the U.S. as Allies in World War II. University Park, PA: Penn State University Press, 1997.

Kolb, H-PCAACA, H-Net Reviews, Jun. 1998 [http://www.h-net.msu.edu], finds this a "compelling and unique analysis." The book includes chapters on "Axis Intelligence Activities in Mexico" and "U.S. Counterintelligence in Mexico," which represent an "extremely valuable syntheses of German and Japanese intelligence operations and espionage networks. Based on declassified primary documents [in Mexico and the United States], these chapters add immeasurably to earlier treatments." The reviewer notes that it would have been useful to have had similar treatment for the Italian components of the wartime intelligence picture.

For Randell, I&NS 14.3, the author has produced "a well-researched, highly detailed and carefully analyzed account of the strategic aspects of the Mexico-United States bilateral relationship during World War II." Nevertheless, "[t]here is little here on actual intelligence or spy activity." Valero, IJI&C 13.1, calls this "an enlightening and well-crafted account" that fills "several major gaps in the literature on the history of intelligence and U.S.-Mexico relations.... Maria Paz has effectively examined the diplomatic, military, economic, cultural, and intelligence dimensions of the U.S.-Mexico wartime alliance."

This work also gets a highly positive review ("important work," "outstanding research," "important new insights," and "delight to read") from Schuler, Hispanic American Historical Review, Aug. 1999.

Persico, Joseph E. Roosevelt's Secret War: FDR and World War II Espionage. New York, Random House, 2001.

The Publishers Weekly reviewer, 16 Jul. 2001, says that Persico blends "anecdotes, speculations and documented facts into an exciting story of collecting and transmitting information in wartime.... [E]xamples are rife throughout the book, showing how Roosevelt's use of intelligence decisively shaped the war and helped define the peace that followed."

For Waller, IJI&C 15.4, the author "presents a most interesting new dimension to President Franklin D. Roosevelt's wartime administration." Persico "chronicles fascinating, little-known World War II intelligence operations in which Roosevelt took special interest." This is a "fascinating and well-researched" work. Kruh, Cryptologia 26.2, finds that "Persico provides a candid examination of Roosevelt's approach to intelligence.... This is an important book that provides much information on the key personalities who met with FDR and the issues they had to face."

Goulden, Intelligencer 13.1, sees Persico's work as "sprightly written and well sourced"; the author "provides an entertaining read." To Paseman, Intelligencer 13.1, this is "a book of substantial merit and importance.... Particularly useful and interesting are the accounts of the unusual spy networks that Roosevelt employed both to gather intelligence and influence events." The reviewer's only complaint is that "the footnotes are handled ... [in] a very unworkable way."

According to Ehrman, Studies 46.2 (2002), the author "provides a straightforward narrative of how FDR viewed and used intelligence.... None of what Persico relates is new or controversial.... The book also is padded and overly long -- Persico at times wanders off onto extended tangents, although his fluid prose makes for an easy read. The main value of Roosevelt's Secret War is that it provides a good introduction and overview of the subject."

Piekalkiewicz, Janusz. Secret Agents, Spies and Saboteurs: Famous Undercover Missions of World War II. Newton Abbot, UK: David & Charles, 1973. New York: Morrow: 1973.

Constantinides finds that this illustrated work proves the author's "talent for and experience in effective visual presentation." The work also contains a "very valuable essay" on the Czechs' agent A-54 (Paul Thümmel), which was even earlier than the Moravec account in Master of Spies.

Price, David H. Anthropological Intelligence: The Deployment and Neglect of American Anthropology in the Second World War. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008.

Peake, Studies 54.4 (Dec. 2010), and Intelligencer 18.2 (Winter-Spring 2011), finds that the author discusses uses of anthropology "that were legitimate in his view and notes occasions in which anthropological considerations should have been, but were not, taken into account, for example, the decision to drop the atomic bomb." At times the book "becomes encumbered by the jargon of social science." However, "despite the author's unconcealed biases, the role and value of anthropology in intelligence work is evident."

Reader's Digest. Editors.

1. Secrets and Spies: Behind-the-Scenes Stories of World War II. 2 vols. Pleasantville, NY: Reader's Digest, 1963. [Petersen]

2. Secrets and Stories of the War: A Selection of Articles and Book Condensations in Which the Reader's Digest Records the Second World War. 2 vols. Pleasantville, NY: Reader's Digest, 1963. [Petersen]

Reynolds, Nicholas. "Ernest Hemingway, Wartime Spy." Studies in Intelligence 56, no. 2 (Jun. 2012): 1-14. [https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/vol.-56-no.-2/pdfs/Reynolds-Hemingway%20A%20Dubious%20Spy.pdf]

"[A]s an auxiliary spy ... [Hemingway] more than once demonstrated willingness to take risks and work hard, but in the end, no matter what others had in mind for him, Hemingway made his own way through the war and, for the most part, did not produce much."

Rogers, James T., and Graham Yost, eds. The Shadow War: Espionage and World War II. New York: Facts on File, 1991.

Surveillant 2.5 says that this book "[p]rovides clear compelling accounts of American, British, German, and Japanese espionage and counterespionage organizations, their missions, their successes and failures.... Carefully researched."

Rohwer, Jürgen. Chronology of the War at Sea -- 1939-1945: The Naval History of World War II. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2005.

According to Kruh, Cryptologia 30.2 (Apr. 2006), this is "a massive ... updating and expansion" of an earlier work. It is a "superb reference book" that is "an essential tool for every historian and serious enthusiast concerned" with World War II.

Ross, Graham. "Allied Diplomacy in the Second World War." British Journal of International Studies 1, no. 3 (1975): 283-292.

Rout, Leslie B., Jr., and John F. Bratzel. Shadow War: German Espionage and United States Counterespionage in Latin America During World War II. Frederick, MD: University Publications of America, 1986.

Haglund, I&NS 4.3, finds that the authors have provided excessive detail ("almost numbing") in this "definitive study" of the "wartime German-American undercover rivalry" in Mexico, Brazil, Chile, and Argentina. The work "could use a bit more analysis and synthesis."

Rowan, Richard W. Spy Secrets. New York: Buse, 1946. [Petersen]

Russell, Francis. The Secret War. Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Books, 1981.

Petersen: "Intelligence, secret weapons, covert action, propaganda, deception in World War II."

 

Return to WWII General Table of Contents