"Crusade in Europe" by Dwight Eisenhower
One-paragraph review: Everyone knows at least a little bit about the "what" and "when" of World War II. But for those interested a first-hand account of the most important "whys", at least in the European theater, there cannot be a better book than "Crusade in Europe" by Dwight Eisenhower. From his perch as Supreme Allied Commander, Eisenhower was the motive force behind the decisions that were made along the way to a decisive victory on the part of the Allied forces. And what decisions they were: Eisenhower's memoir manages to convey -- with apparent transparency and honesty -- the reasoning behind key decisions, like why a ground war had to be fought in North Africa, why an invasion through Italy was rejected, and why it took so long to build up to D-Day. As a commentary on one of the most epic events of the 20th Century, "Crusade in Europe" is vivid and profoundly useful in rounding out a better understanding of why that world-changing event turned out as it did.
Verdict: Strongly recommended for anyone interested in history, war strategy, or leadership