March 25, 2024

November 1942

by Peter Englund

A fascinating group biography of the critical month in World War II, where the group is, basically, everyone. Englund describes details from the daily life of a fascinating range of people: a German junior officer stationed near Leningrad, an Italian junior officer adrift in the North African desert, a Liberty Ship under construction in Savannah, an Australian prisoner of war, an Auschwitz inmate, a Jewish family in Shanghai, a Malaysian sailor whose freighter has been sunk and who is adrift in the South Pacific. A few of the group are famous, but weren’t famous then: Sophie Scholl, Albert Camus. Most remain obscure. No one had a good month.