ARC Review: Why We Fought: Inspiring Stories of Resisting Hitler and Defending Freedom

 


Why We Fought by Jerry Borrowman

In Why We Fought Jerry Borrowman collects seven stories of mostly non-combatant heroism during World War II. These stories feature spies, a movie star and USO performer who raised money for war bonds, a diplomat whose courage is credited with saving over 70,000 Jewish lives, captured French government officials, and two whole Army divisions made up of “ghosts”. 

This is a relatively short book at 208 pages. Each of it's stories is self-contained and pretty well told. One minor criticism is that some of the stories are broken up by bios of the players involved. These bios are set off with bolded subtitles and tend to be overly long, with information not necessarily germane to the story at hand. I couldn’t figure out if Borrowman was padding each story or trying to keep it short by doing this. For me, these blocks of text interrupted the flow, and my enjoyment of the book. 

Yet I did enjoy reading this book. It made for some relatively light reading on a couple of summer afternoons. It’s not a profound read, and I don’t think that’s the author’s intent. I think the primary audience for this book would be teenage readers who are just learning about the history of World War II and are interested in some inspirational or “human interest” stories. 

As an aside - I often wonder why books are subtitled as they are because, for many of the books that I’ve read, the subtitles don’t actually explain or describe the content of the book. But in this case the subtitle “Inspiring Stories of Resisting Hitler and Defending Freedom” is spot on. It’s the title that seems a bit off. Borrowman does a great job taking us through the seven tales he tells, but he doesn’t delve too deeply into why the people involved did what they did, and he doesn’t try to find any commonality or overriding reason why they fought, nor relate it to a “We” that is not defined anywhere in the book. 

Overall, for a summer read and a quick off-the-beaten-path World War II book I rate Why We Fought Three Stars ⭐⭐⭐. 

NOTE: This is a review of an Advanced Reviewer’s Copy. This ARC of Why We Fought was provided by NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing in exchange for a fair and unbiased review. This book will be generally available October 5, 2021.


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