The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz by Jeremy Dronfield is one of the best Holocaust books I have read recently, as it is amazingly accurate and detailed with brillant footnotes while beautifully following the Kleinmann family throughout WW2 begining with the Anschluss.
‘And as for the nightmare – why, that would never end so long as life and memory lasted. The dead remained dead, the living were scarred, and their numbers and their histories would stand for all time as a memorial.’
A History of the World in 21 Women by Jenni Murrray features and highlights the contribution made some extraordinary women, some of whom I (a history buff & feminist) had heard of but many I didn’t. For example Anna Politkovskaya, an amazing Russian Journalist who was assassinated in 2006 for her human rights activism and coverage of the Second Chechen War.
It’s an interesting and educational read that inspires you to dig deeper and research the women further. I discovered Frida Kahlo and her amazing paintings.
Chernobyl – History of a Tragedy is a meticulous and thorough account of the events that lead up to the nuclear disaster on 26th April 1986, while also giving an insight to life in the Soviet Union and the secret workings of Communist Party.
‘He had already sustained 50 roentgens of radiation, twice the permissible dose. They believed that they had no choice. Sacrificing themselves and others was the only way to bring the nuclear monster under control. That task came first. Counting people and lives was secondary.’
Serhii Plokhy book follows all the key players involved such as Alexander Akimov the engineer who was on shift that night, these personal aspects give the Chernobyl disaster a human dimension. As you would expect it is full of scientific language however it is written in a way that is easy to understand by people with rudimentary knowledge of nuclear physics (like me).
The disaster at Chernobyl has recently been the basis of a hit HBO series (which I haven’t seen) but it supposed to be really good.
Check out part 1 here: https://kwnotanexpertinanything.com/2019/10/27/books-i-was-given-for-my-birthday/