World War II
The Essential Reference Guide
by Priscilla Roberts, Editor
August 2012, 411pp, 7x10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-61069-101-7
$108, £84, 94€, A148
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-102-4
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

World War II was an extended and complicated conflict that had repercussions for every part of the globe, involved millions of soldiers, and impacted untold numbers of civilians. Over half a century later, this worldwide conflict remains a topic of grave significance that deserves careful study and consideration.

In this book an internationally renowned team of historians provides comprehensive coverage of all major campaigns and theaters of World War II, synthesizing the tremendous breadth and depth of source materials on this global conflict. It includes primary-source documents created by both famous leaders and average citizens.

World War II: The Essential Reference Guide provides a comprehensive overview of the major events, campaigns, battles, personalities, and issues of World War II, supplemented by a selection of primary-source documents. Comprising essays written by leading international scholars that introduce non-specialist readers to all the major theaters of the war, this volume covers the entire span—both geographically and chronologically—of this far-reaching conflict.

A selection of official and personal documents conveys the emotionally charged tenor of the period and the tremendous psychological impact of the war on those involved in it, both directly and indirectly. The book includes scholarly essays on enduring dilemmas of World War II, such as whether the United States justified in dropping the atomic bomb on Japan, as well as comprehensive essays on the causes, course, and consequences of the war.


  • Introductory essays examine the causes, course, and consequences of the war
  • A bibliography includes recently published books as well as movies and electronic media
  • A comprehensive chronology clarifies the order of historical events
Priscilla Roberts, PhD, is associate professor of history at the University of Hong Kong, where she has taught since the 1980s. She read history as an undergraduate at King's College, University of Cambridge, UK, where she also studied for her doctorate. She specializes in 20th-century international history, with a special emphasis on Anglo-American relations and Asian-American relations. Her published works include ABC-CLIO's The Cold War: A Student Encyclopedia and The Encyclopedia of the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A Political, Social, and Military History; Window on the Forbidden City: The Beijing Diaries of David Bruce, 1973–1974; and Behind the Bamboo Curtain: China, Vietnam, and the World Beyond Asia.


"As a quick reference with solid overviews of the war's major battles and campaigns (including the Holocaust), its major combatants' military organizations, and political and military leaders of central importance, this volume does an admirable job. . . . For general readers and undergraduates, this is a useful source."—Choice, February 1, 2013

"This is an excellent one-volume compendium to World War II. . . . Overall, this is a good general introduction to the war for those who need the basics."—ARBA, January 1, 2013

"Those looking for an overview of major issues, events, and persons in WWII will appreciate this clear and succinct volume, which is recommended for most libraries."—Booklist, December 1, 2012
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