The Concise Encyclopedia of World War II
by Cathal J. Nolan
April 2010, 1322pp, 8 1/2x11
2 volumes, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-33050-6
$201, £155, 175€, A276
eBook Available: 978-0-313-36527-0
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

It was the most epic conflict in human history, consuming nearly the entire world—a war with military, political, cultural, and economic outcomes that still reverberate around the globe today. And it is a war that needs to be understood in its complete global context, not just through the eyes of an individual nation.

A comprehensive and integrated military, political, and strategic history of World War II, ranging from the daily life of conscripts and civilians to operational and strategic decision making at the highest levels.

Filled with up-to-date scholarship yet supremely manageable and accessible, The Concise Encyclopedia of World War II offers the opportunity to explore a conflict that remains a source of fascination for scholars, students, and general readers alike.

From the battlefields to the corridors of power, from the barracks to the home front, The Concise Encyclopedia of World War II provides a complete portrait of the war. Entries not only address major battles and campaigns, but political, economic, and cultural issues as well, plus brief portraits of the conflict’s commanding personalities. Its global perspective notably corrects the usual Western focus of World War II studies, incorporating a wealth of information on often underreported topics such as the Eastern Front and the Sino-Japanese War.


  • Hundreds of concise entries on all facets of World War II, ranging well beyond the typical focus on the West and on battle-to-battle recaps
  • 100 photos and 20 maps offer important information about World War II
Cathal J. Nolan is associate professor of history and executive director of the International History Institute at Boston University, Boston, MA. He is the author of numerous and award-winning books of military and diplomatic history, including ABC-CLIO’s U.S. Presidents and Foreign Policy: From 1789 to the Present.


"This two-volume reference for students and general readers was prepared by Cathal J. Nolan (history, Boston U.), and it falls into the relatively small group of encyclopedias with a single author. He explains in his preface the challenge of compressing the scope and complexity of World War II into an accessible work that offers something more than a superficial review; and he explains his decision to focus on military aspects of the war rather than life on far-reaching social or cultural issues, or the details of diplomacy. His approach is more global than is customary, with much material on often underreported topics such as the Eastern Front and the Sino-Japanese War; and he has aimed to report in an evenhanded manner without service to any particular ideological or nationalist point of view. Approximately 2,800 cross-referenced entries are arranged alphabetically. Some entries are as short as one or two lines while others occupy a few pages. Indexing is in the second volume as is an extensive bibliography, organized thematically."—Reference & Research Book News, August 1, 2010

"Nolan has brought his considerable talents and flair for economic and engaging writing to the task and produced what is certainly an impressive reference work, recommended for larger public libraries and undergraduate collections."—Booklist, September 1, 2010

"... best suited for high schools or medium-sized public libraries."—Reference & User Services Quarterly, December 1, 2010
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Accept All Cookies | Decline.