Labels are very much a part of our national consciousness in the United States. Edith Sheffer points out in her 2018 bookAsperger's Children: The Origins of Autism in Nazi Vienna that other societies have also felt drawn to labels. While it seems strange to think of something so accepted as autism through the lens of Nazism, she does a good job of pointing out the importance of recognizing where diagnoses originate. Historical context can explain a great deal about vocabulary and methods, which we might otherwise never consider. For example, Hans Asperger was very intent that his concept about of high functioning individuals be considered a separate idea. However, as time has passed, his original wording has been adjusted, and his connection to period concepts such as Gemüt has been removed. (Gemüt was a concept which, "within Nazi child psychiatry, came to signify the metaphysical capacity for social bonds" .) The book itself is not incredibly lengthy, but there are quotes from those who survived the child euthanasia centers, like Spiegelgrund. Children were sent to these centers for a variety of reasons, and a lack of Gemüt could be one of them. Overall, this is a book which would interest anyone who has a wish to study the nature of autism or its history as a diagnosis, as well as those who are studying the way the Nazi regime affected the medical profession in the areas it controlled. At the beginning her book, she writes "it is a cautionary tale in service of neurodiversity -- revealing the extent to which diagnoses can be shaped by social and political forces, how difficult those may be to perceive, and how hard they may be to combat" (16). She then reiterates this idea at the end by stating: "The history of Asperger and autism should underscore the ethics of respecting every child's mind, and treating those minds with care -- showing how a society can shape a diagnosis" (248).
The Battle of Midway by Craig Symonds invites the reader to view the famous World War II battle from various perspectives, including not only the Japanese, but also the various groups within the United States Armed Forces who played a part in it. Written in 2011, the book draws information from manuscript sources, interviews, official records, primary sources, and other academic material. It also includes images and easy to read maps throughout, which makes understanding the battle layout much easier. The book is broken into chapters which serve different purposes. At the beginning, they each help explain various players and aspects of the situation which led up to the battle itself. Once the battle begins, however, the chapters are given time increments to cover, which allows for a more point by point interpretation of what was happening, where. This book would be a great read for anyone interested in the way the American and Japanese navies faced off against one another during World War II, although a basic understanding of the war overall would be beneficial before jumping directly into this focused title. The writing is easy to read, and the author includes footnotes at the bottom of the page when he wants to include an interesting aside.
A History of the Baltic States (Andres Kasekamp), published in 2010, gives a basic, broad overview of the three nations which make up the Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. While none of these nations are very large, in comparison to some of their neighbors, including Russia, they are remarkedly different from one another. Each has a distinct language and set of dialects, which were preserved until quite recently as part of society. However, these three states have known overthrow and foreign rule a number of times, each with their own level of societal destruction and economic trouble. This title breaks the history of these states into time periods, focusing on eras which had a marked importance to the Baltic peoples. This includes a medieval period, the time under Tsarist rule, Nazi occupation, and, most recently, the time of Soviet control. Due to the fact that so much information is being shared in just under 200 pages, this is obviously not an all-encompassing history of the Baltic area. However, it does a fairly good job of explaining some of the points of historical interest, which helped to shape the people who live there. This would be a good book for anyone who is looking for an introduction to the area, or who is looking into the different time periods of Northern Europe. Something else to keep in mind is that these three nations have had extensive interaction with outside nations over the centuries. Their national identities are very important, and, now that they are independent of Soviet control, are becoming more visible. This work, written in 2010, clearly doesn't have the most up to date information when considering their current situation. But, so much of what happens in our day is influenced by past interactions.
Life: World War 2 : History's Greatest Conflict in Pictures by Richard B. Stolley
Call Number: D743.2 .L487 2001
Publication Date: 2001-10-31
World War II: Primary Sources by Barbara C. Bigelow (Compiled by); Christine Slovey (Editor)
Call Number: D743.7 .W94 2000
Publication Date: 1999-11-08
D-Day - June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II by Stephen E. Ambrose
Call Number: D756.5.N6 A455 1994
Publication Date: 1994-06-06
Killing the Rising Sun by Bill O'Reilly; Martin Dugard
Call Number: D767 .O74 2016
Publication Date: 2016-09-13
Shockwave by Stephen Walker
Call Number: D767.25.H6 W35 2005
Publication Date: 2005-07-26
Glory in Their Spirit by Sandra M. Bolzenius
Call Number: D769.39 .B65 2018
Publication Date: 2018-04-17
Indianapolis by Lynn Vincent; Sara Vladic
Call Number: D774.I5 V56 2018
Publication Date: 2018-07-10
The Battle of Midway by Craig L. Symonds
Call Number: D774.M5 S93 2011
Publication Date: 2011-10-05
Flyboys by James Bradley
Call Number: D804.J3 B73 2003
Publication Date: 2003-09-30
World War II: Opposing Viewpoints by William Dudley (Editor)
Call Number: D810.P85 U68 1997
Publication Date: 1997-01-01
The Secret War by Max Hastings
Call Number: D810.S7 H365 2017
Publication Date: 2017-05-09
Madame Fourcade's Secret War by Lynne Olson
Call Number: D810.S8 O4765 2019
Publication Date: 2019-03-05
Uprooting Community by Selfa A. Chew
Call Number: F1392.J3 S65 2015
Publication Date: 2015-10-22
Asperger's Children: The Origins of Austism in Nazi Vienna by Edith Sheffer
Along with the nonfiction titles and resources included above, here are classic pieces of literature which took place during the period in question:
The chronicles of Narnia by Lewis, C.S.
Call Number: JUV LEW
Publication Date: 2005
Aslan, the noble lion, and the royal leaders of Narnia struggle against the magical forces of evil.
Atonement by Ian McEwan
Call Number: PR6063.C4 A88 2001
Publication Date: 2007-11-06
On a summer day in 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis witnesses a moment’s flirtation between her older sister, Cecilia, and Robbie Turner, the son of a servant. But Briony’s incomplete grasp of adult motives and her precocious imagination bring about a crime that will change all their lives, a crime whose repercussions Atonement follows through the chaos and carnage of World War II and into the close of the twentieth century.
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller; Christopher Buckley (Introduction by)
Call Number: PS3558.E476 C3 2011
Publication Date: 2011-04-05
Set in Italy during World War II, this is the story of the incomparable, malingering bombardier, Yossarian, a hero who is furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. But his real problem is not the enemy--it is his own army, which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. Yet if Yossarian makes any attempt to excuse himself from the perilous missions he's assigned, he'll be in violation of Catch-22, a hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule: a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes a formal request to be removed from duty, he is proven sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved.
Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally
Call Number: PR9619.3.K46 S3 1993
Publication Date: 1993-12-01
A stunning novel based on the true story of how German war profiteer and factory director Oskar Schindler came to save more Jews from the gas chambers than any other single person during World War II. In this milestone of Holocaust literature, Thomas Keneally, author of Daughter of Mars, uses the actual testimony of the Schindlerjuden--Schindler's Jews--to brilliantly portray the courage and cunning of a good man in the midst of unspeakable evil.
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Call Number: PS3572.O5 S6 2009
Publication Date: 1999-01-12
Slaughterhouse-Five, an American classic, is one of the world's great antiwar books. Centering on the infamous World War II firebombing of Dresden, the novel is the result of what Kurt Vonnegut described as a twenty-three-year struggle to write a book about what he had witnessed as an American prisoner of war. It combines historical fiction, science fiction, autobiography, and satire in an account of the life of Billy Pilgrim, a barber's son turned draftee turned optometrist turned alien abductee. As Vonnegut had, Billy experiences the destruction of Dresden as a POW. Unlike Vonnegut, he experiences time travel, or coming "unstuck in time."
The Tin Drum by Günter Grass; Breon Mitchell (Translator); Steidl Verlag (Other Primary Creator)
Call Number: PT2613.R338 B5513 2009
Publication Date: 2010-04-08
The autobiography of thirty-year-old Oskar Matzerath who has lived through the long Nazi nightmare and who, as the novel begins, is being held in a mental institution. Willfully stunting his growth at three feet for many years, wielding his tin drum and piercing scream as anarchistic weapons, he provides a profound yet hilarious perspective on both German history and the human condition in the modern world.
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn; Yevgeny Yevtushenko (Introduction by); Eric Bogosian (Afterword by)
Call Number: PG3488.O4 O3313 2009
Publication Date: 2009-08-04
In the madness of World War II, a dutiful Russian soldier is wrongfully convicted of treason and sentenced to ten years in a Siberian labor camp. So begins this masterpiece of modern Russian fiction, a harrowing account of a man who has conceded to all things evil with dignity and strength. First published in 1962, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is considered one of the most significant works ever to emerge from Soviet Russia. Illuminating a dark chapter in Russian history, it is at once a graphic picture of work camp life and a moving tribute to man's will to prevail over relentless dehumanization.