1944I have said it before and I will say it again, I can’t get enough of books about World War II. In his latest book, 1944: FDR and the Year That Changed History, author Jay Winik distills the great conflict into a compelling narrative by focusing on one pivotal year and it is fantastic.

About 1944: FDR and the Year That Changed History by Jay Winik: “Jay Winik brings to life in ‘gripping’ detail (The New York Times Book Review) the year 1944, which determined the outcome of World War II and put more pressure than any other on an ailing yet determined President Roosevelt. 1944 was a year that could have stymied the Allies and cemented Hitler’s waning power. Instead, it saved those democracies—but with a fateful cost. Now, in a ‘complex history rendered with great color and sympathy’ (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), Jay Winik captures the epic images and extraordinary history “with cinematic force” (Time). 1944 witnessed a series of titanic events: FDR at the pinnacle of his wartime leadership as well as his reelection, the unprecedented D-Day invasion, the liberation of Paris, and the tumultuous conferences that finally shaped the coming peace. But millions of lives were at stake as President Roosevelt learned about Hitler’s Final Solution. Just as the Allies were landing in Normandy, the Nazis were accelerating the killing of millions of European Jews. Winik shows how escalating pressures fell on an infirm Roosevelt, who faced a momentous decision. Was winning the war the best way to rescue the Jews? Or would it get in the way of defeating Hitler? In a year when even the most audacious undertakings were within the world’s reach, one challenge—saving Europe’s Jews—seemed to remain beyond Roosevelt’s grasp.”

It is an interesting thing about history and books about history – we tend to look at it things in total, as in an entire administration (or career) of a president, or a whole era in time. When you drill down to smaller time frames you can really learn more about what was going at the time which sometimes gets lost in the bigger picture. With 1944: FDR and the Year That Changed History, Mr. Winik allows us to see with great detail all that was happening in this challenging and most historic year.

1944: FDR and the Year That Changed History by Jay Winik is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.