close Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn
25 mins

The 9 Best World War 2 Books In The Blinkist App

The shadow of war has risen across Europe once again, and many are looking to the past for answers. You can learn the lessons of the last global conflict with these 9 best books about World War 2.
by Rob Gillham | Apr 7 2022

Best World War 2 BooksThere has never been a more crucial time to learn the lessons of history and to make sure we never face the destruction of World War 2 again. However, the sheer amount of literature on the subject can make knowing where to start a little daunting; enter Blinkist, the app that breaks down big ideas. To help you get started on your learning journey, we’ve chosen 9 of the best World War 2 books that we think everyone should read. 

The Blinkist app takes those “Eureka!” moments from great nonfiction books and breaks them down into short explainer packs. These can be as brief as 15-minutes and are available in text and audio format. The shortness of Blinkist’s explainers means that you can learn from some of the best books about World War 2 in the time it would take to make a cup of coffee. 

Blinkist is more than just history books. Blinkist’s library of nonfiction titles has over 5,000 books explained and 650 Shortcast episodes spread across 27 categories of learning, from business to biographies

“Blinkist encourages you to read more nonfiction books. The app contains cleverly written digests—called Blinks—where books are broken down into their main arguments.” – The New York Times.

Let’s look at the 9 best World War 2 books you can learn from in the Blinkist app.

1. The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt

Learn the historical events that led to the horrors of the Holocaust with this landmark work by Hannah Arendt. Starting with the rise of the nation-state in the seventeenth century, Arendt reveals the prejudices and myths that empowered the Nazism and Stalinism of the early twentieth century and led to the erosion of democracy. 

“The outstanding negative quality of the totalitarian elite is that it never stops to think about the world as it really is and never compares the lies with reality.”

― Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism


2. Bloodlands by Timothy Snyder


This book is vital reading for anyone who wants to understand the most significant lessons of World War II. In Bloodlands, author Timothy Snyder tells the tragic story of the people caught in the crossfire between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. 


3. Questions I Am Asked About The Holocaust by Hédi Fried


Questions I Am Asked About The Holocaust is a survivor’s account of the darkest moment in recent European history. Hédi Fried has spent her life educating young people about the Holocaust and answering their questions. In this book, she considers those questions one by one and tells her story that should act as a warning from history.

“As a productivity coach and a lifelong learner, I can’t tell you how happy I was to find Blinkist. If you enjoy nonfiction reading and are short on time, Blinkist will be your new favorite app.” – Karen Trepte, HuffPost.


4. The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson

Discover the truth behind one of history’s most famous leaders in this meticulously researched account of Winston Churchill’s first year in office. Beginning in 1940, he led the country through France’s surrender, the miraculous rescue at Dunkirk, and the Luftwaffe’s bombing campaigns, which killed over 44,000 Brits. 


5. Code Girls by Liza Mundy


Informed by interviews with over 20 surviving women, archived documents, and recently declassified oral histories, author Liza Mundy details the unprecedented lives of World War 2’s unsung heroes; the female code breakers in Washington, DC, and beyond. 


6. A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell


This work exposed the secrets of World War II and shed light on the shadowy world of wartime espionage and the life of one of the Allies’ most effective spies – Virginia Hall. Follow Virginia from her Maryland home to the jazz clubs of interwar Paris. Along the way, you’ll discover how she dodged Nazi agents, commanded the French resistance, and revolutionized spycraft.


“Every woman is a rebel, and usually in wild revolt against herself.”

― Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance


7. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl


This award-winning memoir details the harrowing experiences of the author and psychologist Viktor Frankl during his internment in Auschwitz during the Second World War. It offers insights into how human beings can survive unsurvivable situations, come to terms with trauma, and ultimately find meaning.

8. The Volunteer by Jack Fairweather

Learn the extraordinary story of Witold Pilecki a Polish patriot who volunteered to be sent to Auschwitz to expose the Nazi’s war crimes to the world. Not only did he bear witness to the camp’s atrocities, but he also smuggled out reports that alerted the world to the horrors of the Holocaust.


9. Killing the Rising Sun by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard

This incredible account tells the story of the Pacific theater of World War II. From the attack on Pearl Harbor to the development of the world’s first atomic bomb, this book portrays the brutality of World War II from a US perspective and describes how the war was eventually won.

Bonus: Discover History through Podcasts Too

Have you ever tried reading a book while on a treadmill, grocery shopping, or driving to work? It’s not easy (or safe). That’s why every Blinkist explainer is also in audio format. So, you can learn the habits of the world’s healthiest people while running a 10k or gain the power of a motivational speech before a major job interview.

“I use Blinkist before bed to help me unwind. I usually go to bed a little earlier to listen to a new title and relax. After 30 minutes or so, I’m fast asleep” — Julia, Team Lead, Senior Account Manager at Outbrain

Blinkist’s audio doesn’t just cover explainers for nonfiction books, as you can now enjoy the best moments from a podcast in less time with Blinkist Shortcasts. Shortcasts are condensed versions of podcast episodes crafted around their key ideas. If you finish this list of the 9 best World War II books, why not continue your learning and discover the story of the Western Front of World War II with the Blinkist Shortcast for Dan Snow’s History hit.

The Western Front: The End of the Superstar General by Dan Snow

Dan Snow’s History hit

Are you ready to learn the lessons of the past? Then, join 21 million users and download Blinkist today to get started.



Facebook Twitter Tumblr Instagram LinkedIn Flickr Email Print