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Editor's Choice Awards for 2007
Since 2000 we've been bestowing our annual Editor's Choice Awards on favorites from WWII-related books published in the preceding year, awards sometimes known with humor and affection as the "Stonies." We peruse, read, and review quite a few books each year, and during that time we separate a little wheat from a great deal of chaff. The Stonies allow us to select and acknowledge the titles we rate as the most important new releases of the year.
Mind you, these awards are in their own way just as subjective and imperfect as any other method of honoring books. We can only read so many books in twelve months, and we have our own tastes and preferences about specific topics and about what makes a good book. Buthey!this is our website, so we get to have a little fun once in awhile.
The year 2007, in our opinion, found the military book publishing industry in a bit of a slump. Compared to recent years, there seemed to be fewer new titles andmost notablyfewer top quality new books. The best books still proved to be top of the line, but there weren't so many of them.
When we choose the annual Stonies, we never aim for a particular number of top books. This year, after reading a full load of new titles, we found four that met our criteria and deserved our highest honor.
Without further ado, the Stone & Stone Editor's Choice Awards for non-fiction books about World War II published in 2007, the Stonies, in alphabetical order by author:
||Anonymous, translated by Steven Bullard. Japanese Army Operations in the South Pacific Area: New Britain and Papua Campaigns, 1942-43. Canberra, ACT: Australian War Memorial, 2007.
This English translation of extracts from two volumes of the Japanese official history series proves to be an excellent account of the war from the other side of the hill, packed with details not found elsewhere.
||Atkinson, Rick. The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2007.
Able to write circles around most purveyors of military history, Atkinson avoids a nitty-gritty chronicle of battalions maneuvering and battling in favor of a deftly composed, kaleidoscopic version of the war in Italy sprinkled with catchy flourishes and telling details.
||Silverstone, Paul H. The Navy of World War II, 1922-1947. New York: Routledge, 2007.
The best resource on USN warships during World War II: Dates launched and commissioned, key specifications, and brief historical sketches for hundreds of vessels.
||Tooze, Adam. The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy. New York: Viking Penguin, 2007.
An absolutely brilliant book that transcends economics and shines new light on the underpinnings of the Third Reich and the Nazi war effort.
In addition to this year's winners, here is a list of the Honorable Mentions for 2007. Not quite the Stonies, but very good indeed:
- Douglas, W.A.B., Roger Sarty, and Michael Whitby et al. Official Operational History of the RCN, volume II, part 2: A Blue Water Navy. St Catharines, ONT: Vanwell Publishing Ltd, 2007
- Jones, Michael K. Stalingrad: How the Red Army Survived the German Onslaught. Havertown, PA: Casemate, 2007
- Lorant, Jean-Yves and Richard Goyat. JG 300: A Chronicle of a Fighter Geschwader in the Battle for Germany, volume 2: September 1944 - May 1945. Hamilton, MT: Eagle Editions, Ltd, 2007
- Miller, Edward S. Bankrupting the Enemy: The U.S. Financial Siege of Japan before Pearl Harbor. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2007
- O'Hara, Vincent P. The U.S. Navy against the Axis: Surface Combat, 1941-1945. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2007
- Stein, Marcel. Field Marshal von Manstein, a Portrait: The Janus Head. Solihull, UK: Helion & Company, 2007
- Zuehlke, Mark. Terrible Victory: First Canadian Army and the Scheldt Estuary Campaign: September 13 - November 6, 1944. Vancouver, BC: Douglas & McIntyre, 2007
Our warm congratulations and thanks go out to the authors, editors, publishers, and booksellers who brought us these primo titles of 2007, as well as all the other great new books that arrived last year to enrich and enliven the body of Second World War literature.
Now we start searching for the best new books of 2008!
Previous Editor's Choice winners:
Editor's Choice for 1999
Editor's Choice for 2000
Editor's Choice for 2001
Editor's Choice for 2002
Editor's Choice for 2003
Editor's Choice for 2004
Editor's Choice for 2005
Editor's Choice for 2006
Reviewed 6 January 2008
Copyright © 2007 by Bill Stone
May not be reproduced in any form without written permission of Stone & Stone