cover image WORLD WAR II ON THE WEB: A Guide to the Very Best Sites

WORLD WAR II ON THE WEB: A Guide to the Very Best Sites

J. Douglas Smith, Richard Jensen, . . SR Books, $23.95 (224pp) ISBN 978-0-8420-5021-0

Part of the Very Best Sites series, this reference guide rates those containing WWII primary source material. Each chapter, covering a particular subtopic (theaters, leaders, soldiers' recollections, women and African-Americans who served, the Holocaust, etc.), begins with cursory introductory material, continues with capsule site reviews and ends with a suggested reading list. Smith, who teaches at Occidental College in Los Angeles, and Jensen, professor emeritus of history at the University of Illinois, emphasize America's participation, more recently produced material (possibly because it may be more readily available) and, generally, the familiar. "Unit Histories," for example, caters to the current popularity of some subject matter (such as the 506th Parachute Infantry, on which the Band of Brothers miniseries was based), but leaves out a number of important forces. Smith manages a Web site devoted to reviewing academic books, and the reviews here have a pleasant fluency. The obvious highly changeable nature of cyberspace, acknowledged in the introductions, means readers should expect regular updates. (Dec.)