World War II
The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection [5 volumes]
by Spencer C. Tucker, Editor
September 2016, 2471pp, 8 1/2x11
5 volumes, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-85109-968-9
$601, £463, 523€, A824
eBook Available: 978-1-85109-969-6
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

World War II caused dramatic shifts in the social, cultural, and political landscapes of America, Asia, and Europe beyond the direct fallout of tens of millions of lost lives.

With more than 1,700 cross-referenced entries covering every aspect of World War II, the events and developments of the era, and myriad related subjects as well as a documents volume, this is the most comprehensive reference work available on the war.

This encyclopedia represents a single source of authoritative information on World War II that provides accessible coverage of the causes, course, and consequences of the war. Its introductory overview essays and cross-referenced A–Z entries explain how various sources of friction culminated in a second worldwide conflict, document the events of the war and why individual battles were won and lost, and identify numerous ways the war has permanently changed the world. The coverage addresses the individuals, campaigns, battles, key weapons systems, strategic decisions, and technological developments of the conflict, as well as the diplomatic, economic, and cultural aspects of World War II.

The five-volume set provides comprehensive information that gives readers insight into the reasons for the war’s direction and outcome. Readers will understand the motivations behind Japan’s decision to attack the United States, appreciate how the concentration of German military resources on the Eastern Front affected the war’s outcome, understand the major strategic decisions of the war and the factors behind them, grasp how the Second Sino-Japanese War contributed to the start of World War II, and see the direct impact of new military technology on the outcomes of the battles during the conflict. The lengthy documents volume represents a valuable repository of additional information for student research.


  • Provides a clear understanding of the causes of World War II, reaching back to World War I and the role of the Western democracies in its origin
  • Examines home front developments in major countries during the war, such as race and gender relations in the United States
  • Recognizes the important roles played by women in the war and describes how the United States mobilized its economy and citizenry for total war
  • Discusses the Holocaust and establishes responsibility for this genocide
  • Details the changing attitudes toward the war as expressed in film and literature
Spencer C. Tucker retired in 2003 after 36 years of university teaching, the last six as holder of the John Biggs Chair in Military History at the Virginia Military Institute. He is currently Senior Fellow in Military History for ABC-CLIO Publishing. He has written or edited 57 books or encyclopedias treating military and naval history, a number of which have won important awards. Among his works is the five-volume set World War I: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection.


2016 Editors' Choice—Booklist, January 1, 2017


"This exhaustive encyclopedia is highly recommended for public and academic libraries . . . especially where there is interest in military history."—Booklist, Starred Review, November 7, 2016

"This reference work is the definitive work on the subject of World War II; it should be included in any reference collection from high school up through university libraries."—ARBA, November 11, 2016

"The essays—well written and researched and easy to read—make up an excellent resource for beginning scholars of history and political science. . . . Summing Up: Recommended. High school, community college, and beginning undergraduate students; general readers."—Choice, March 1, 2017
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