World War II: The Unseen Visual History draws on a unique and rich trove of historical images and artifacts of World War II, collected in Caen, France, one of the cities devastated by that pivotal conflict. In the form of a concise historical atlas—replete with full-color maps; rare color photographs; period artwork; timelines; and reproductions of fascinating letters, documents, and historical objects—this beautiful, cutting-edge history offers a completely new overview of the modern era’s most destructive war, with visual material previously unavailable to a U.S. audience.
Each brief section of World War II guides readers through a specific aspect of the war—such as the Nazi invasion of the USSR, the Holocaust, and the Japanese assault on Nanking—through timelines, short image captions, explanatory sidebars, annotated maps, and a carefully assembled selection of archival graphics. This compact narrative takes in the full scope of the wartime experience from the rise of Nazism, the invasion of France, the Battle of Britain, and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor through the Normandy landings and the Allied defeat of Germany and Japan. A true global history, the book also covers broader themes and experiences, including life under occupation, aerial bombing and nuclear weapons, war crimes and postwar trials, and the role of the war in anticolonial movements in Africa and Asia.