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

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The struggle to combat the Nazis during World War II encompassed front lines far beyond conventional battlefields. In a panoramic and compelling account, author Jerry Borrowman shares seven largely untold stories of people who undertook extraordinary efforts at enormous personal risk to defeat the Third Reich. Some were ordinary citizens like William Sebold, a German immigr The struggle to combat the Nazis during World War II encompassed front lines far beyond conventional battlefields. In a panoramic and compelling account, author Jerry Borrowman shares seven largely untold stories of people who undertook extraordinary efforts at enormous personal risk to defeat the Third Reich. Some were ordinary citizens like William Sebold, a German immigrant and US citizen, who could have been a deadly foe, but ultimately chose the Allied cause. Coerced by the Gestapo into becoming a spy in America, he instead approached the FBI, offering to become a double agent. Among them was famous Hollywood star Marlene Dietrich, who was born in Germany but volunteered to entertain Allied troops in the European Theater of Operations and recorded radio messages designed to demoralize German soldiers. As the Nazis swept through Europe, citizens around the world faced both an individual and a national complex moral question: How do you respond to tyranny and bloodthirsty madness? These are stories of men and women who would not surrender or compromise. They resisted and fought with total commitment for freedom and democracy.


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The struggle to combat the Nazis during World War II encompassed front lines far beyond conventional battlefields. In a panoramic and compelling account, author Jerry Borrowman shares seven largely untold stories of people who undertook extraordinary efforts at enormous personal risk to defeat the Third Reich. Some were ordinary citizens like William Sebold, a German immigr The struggle to combat the Nazis during World War II encompassed front lines far beyond conventional battlefields. In a panoramic and compelling account, author Jerry Borrowman shares seven largely untold stories of people who undertook extraordinary efforts at enormous personal risk to defeat the Third Reich. Some were ordinary citizens like William Sebold, a German immigrant and US citizen, who could have been a deadly foe, but ultimately chose the Allied cause. Coerced by the Gestapo into becoming a spy in America, he instead approached the FBI, offering to become a double agent. Among them was famous Hollywood star Marlene Dietrich, who was born in Germany but volunteered to entertain Allied troops in the European Theater of Operations and recorded radio messages designed to demoralize German soldiers. As the Nazis swept through Europe, citizens around the world faced both an individual and a national complex moral question: How do you respond to tyranny and bloodthirsty madness? These are stories of men and women who would not surrender or compromise. They resisted and fought with total commitment for freedom and democracy.

30 review for Why We Fought: Inspiring Stories of Resisting Hitler and Defending Freedom

  1. 5 out of 5

    Juli

    I first saw this book just after binge watching Band of Brothers for the 5th or 6th time since it came out. I knew immediately this book would be perfect follow up reading. Why We Fought gathers seven stories of people who went above and beyond to assist the Allies during WWII. Most of the people I had never heard of before. Their stories are so interesting and definitely heroic. One story I had definitely heard before -- Marlene Dietrich. Borrowman definitely did in-depth research on all seven. I first saw this book just after binge watching Band of Brothers for the 5th or 6th time since it came out. I knew immediately this book would be perfect follow up reading. Why We Fought gathers seven stories of people who went above and beyond to assist the Allies during WWII. Most of the people I had never heard of before. Their stories are so interesting and definitely heroic. One story I had definitely heard before -- Marlene Dietrich. Borrowman definitely did in-depth research on all seven. The stories are detailed, informative and amazing! This is the first book by Jerry Borrowman that I've read. He's written several military history books and even one about Hoover Dam. I'm definitely reading more of his books. I like his writing style. Sometimes history gets bogged down in facts and gets to be like reading a textbook. Borrowman keeps the topic interesting while still be incredibly informative. **I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Shadow Mountain Publishing. All opinions expressed are entirely my own**

  2. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Cox

    FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book. These are my honest thoughts. This is a really great WWII resource. I enjoyed every chapter, because they taught me things I didn’t already know in a way that was easy to absorb the information. The author voice was great and easy to understand. Overall, this book was fascinating and absorbing. Here are my personal summaries of each chapter’s heroes: Virginia Hall, amputee spy who defied the odds as well as the Nazis. William Sebold, a do FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book. These are my honest thoughts. This is a really great WWII resource. I enjoyed every chapter, because they taught me things I didn’t already know in a way that was easy to absorb the information. The author voice was great and easy to understand. Overall, this book was fascinating and absorbing. Here are my personal summaries of each chapter’s heroes: Virginia Hall, amputee spy who defied the odds as well as the Nazis. William Sebold, a double-agent who took down several German spy rings. Marlene Dietrich, an actress with a knack for boosting morale. Juan Pujol, a writer and his make-believe spy ring fooled high-ranked Nazis. Carl Lutz, risked his life to save 72,000 Jews. The Ghost Army, diversion tactics made a huge difference. The Battle for Castle Itter, WWI veterans hold the fort. The only two of these heroes I had heard about before were Virginia Hall (from the book A Woman of No Importance, which is a biography about her) and Marlene Dietrich (as an actress; I had not heard prior to reading this book that she participated in WWII). The majority of this book was news to me, and I found myself intrigued by each new chapter’s informative content. This is the second book by this author that I have read (the other being Invisible Heroes of World War II), and I’m eager to read more. There was a note in this one that he’s also written about the Vietnam War, so I’m curious to see how he approached that one and how similar or different it might be to his presentation in the two WWII books of his that I’ve read. Content: tobacco, taverns, drunkenness, prostitutes (mentioned), alcohol, expletives, Greek goddesses mentioned, suicide, nudity

  3. 4 out of 5

    Valerity (Val)

    A new World War II book to check out. This one has very good stories and most are new to me. First is Virginia Hall. Second is William Sebold. Third is Marlene Dietrich, a well known Hollywood actress. Fourth is Juan Pujol, a double agent. Fifth is Carl Lutz, who saved 72,000 Jewish lives. Sixth is The Ghost Army which saved about 30,000 American lives. And finally, there is the story of the Battle for the Castle Itter in Austria. An amazing, fact-filled addition to my World War II knowledge. Ad A new World War II book to check out. This one has very good stories and most are new to me. First is Virginia Hall. Second is William Sebold. Third is Marlene Dietrich, a well known Hollywood actress. Fourth is Juan Pujol, a double agent. Fifth is Carl Lutz, who saved 72,000 Jewish lives. Sixth is The Ghost Army which saved about 30,000 American lives. And finally, there is the story of the Battle for the Castle Itter in Austria. An amazing, fact-filled addition to my World War II knowledge. Advance review copy was provided by Shadow Mountain.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    I have read enough books by author Jerry Borrowman to know that I am going to enjoy them. The way this author writes, draws the reader in. He does such a great job, not only telling the facts, but making them seem interesting. This book almost reads like a novel, it’s so well-written. I loved reading about the heroes in this book. They were from diverse backgrounds and countries. But each of them saw a need for them to fulfill and worked to fulfill it to the best of their ability. Each of these p I have read enough books by author Jerry Borrowman to know that I am going to enjoy them. The way this author writes, draws the reader in. He does such a great job, not only telling the facts, but making them seem interesting. This book almost reads like a novel, it’s so well-written. I loved reading about the heroes in this book. They were from diverse backgrounds and countries. But each of them saw a need for them to fulfill and worked to fulfill it to the best of their ability. Each of these people were heroes to their country and the world. Even if their story had to wait decades to be told. I loved that I learned from this book. Did you know that the actor who played Ashley Wilkes was shot down and killed during World War II? I had no idea. There was just a little section about this. But it made me want to learn more, so I Googled it. And there was a “Ghost Army” that pretended to be in certain places to trick the Germans. I had no idea. You need to read this book to learn a bit more about World War II and who the heroes of it were! I was sent a copy of Why We Fought as a gift from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jade

    Why We Fought by Jerry Borrowman is a fascinating glimpse into the lives of 7 ordinary people who became heroes during WW2. Each chapter contains the story of one of these amazing people, who they were, what they did, and why they did it. We learn about Virginia Hall, the spy who was embedded in France not once, but twice, and who was on the evil Klaus Barbie’s most wanted list, and about William Sebold and how he managed to thwart Nazi sabotage attempts on US soil. Borrowman discusses how Marle Why We Fought by Jerry Borrowman is a fascinating glimpse into the lives of 7 ordinary people who became heroes during WW2. Each chapter contains the story of one of these amazing people, who they were, what they did, and why they did it. We learn about Virginia Hall, the spy who was embedded in France not once, but twice, and who was on the evil Klaus Barbie’s most wanted list, and about William Sebold and how he managed to thwart Nazi sabotage attempts on US soil. Borrowman discusses how Marlene Dietrich helped the Allies during the war, despite being a German national herself (she was a fervent anti-Nazi), and Juan Pujol whose work as a double agent helped in the success of the landing in Normandy. And then there is Carl Lutz whose work as an ambassador in Hungary enabled him to save tens of thousands of Jewish people, despite the imminent dangers to himself. And finally we learn about the biggest British deception during WW2, the Ghost Army, and also how people from all sides ended up working together to ensure that Castle Itter, and the people imprisoned there, ended up safely in Allied hands. I really enjoyed Jerry Borrowman’s style: it draws you into the narrative, and paints these pictures of these wonderful people who went out of their way to make a difference, even if they knew their lives would be in danger every day. I knew the stories of some of these people, but others, like William Sebold, I had no idea about. In any case, whether you know of these people or not, Why We Fought is a great read, and a must read for anyone interested in WW2. This book can be read by teens or adults alike, and I know that I would have loved having this on my bookshelf in my early teens, as I was completely obsessed with WW2 and courageous spies. A lot of research went into writing this book, and Borrowman does a great job of portraying the lives of these heroes, and inspiring the reader to be a little bit more like them.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rachelle

    This book was a fascinating collection of true stories about people who helped fight the war in very different ways. I was excited about utilizing this book as an addition to my homeschool collection. The book appeals to a broad audience, both young and old. I saw this as several members of my family picked up the book and read a story including Grandpa and my teenage son. I enjoyed reading about the unknown “Ghost Army” during WWII that helped save an estimated 30,000 lives through decoys, decep This book was a fascinating collection of true stories about people who helped fight the war in very different ways. I was excited about utilizing this book as an addition to my homeschool collection. The book appeals to a broad audience, both young and old. I saw this as several members of my family picked up the book and read a story including Grandpa and my teenage son. I enjoyed reading about the unknown “Ghost Army” during WWII that helped save an estimated 30,000 lives through decoys, deception, double agents, and more war tactics. I liked how Borrowman took ancient history to show how similar war tactics are still used today. For example, the Trojan horse of Greek mythology was illustrated as deception used to win a war and then a recounting of General George Washington’s careful maneuvers to trick the British helped in the war for Independence. This all tied together as we read about how the US created a “fake” army of rubber tanks and phony artillery to fool Germans. An excellent read for history lovers and students alike!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Reviewed for www.compassbookratings.com Why We Fought details seven true stories that took place during World War II. Each account features fierce bravery, incredible feats, and huge sacrifices that saved lives and helped end the war. The majority of these episodes are not well-known and will fascinate readers. Several of the stories feature the heroic deeds of women and religious minorities — groups less likely to be recognized for their major contributions in the war. Best-selling author Jerry Reviewed for www.compassbookratings.com Why We Fought details seven true stories that took place during World War II. Each account features fierce bravery, incredible feats, and huge sacrifices that saved lives and helped end the war. The majority of these episodes are not well-known and will fascinate readers. Several of the stories feature the heroic deeds of women and religious minorities — groups less likely to be recognized for their major contributions in the war. Best-selling author Jerry Borrowman conducted a vast amount of research to assemble the novel — his notes and a bibliography are included at the end of the book. Vivid details and facts dot each page, while the stories themselves move at a rapid pace. Why We Fought is written in a narrative style, making the information more engaging and easy-to-understand. This is a must-read for history buffs. Readers who enjoy inspirational stories will also love this non-fiction! Review of Advance Reader’s Edition sent from the Publisher For full content analysis, go to www.compassbookratings.com

  8. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

    As someone who devours historical novels set in World War II, I enjoyed learning real new stories from WWII that I previously hadn't known about--such as the networks of Nazi spies in American and how William Sebold (a naturalized German American) played the Nazis by successfully feeding misinformation to his own and other networks, and eventually leading to the capture of a majority of the Nazi spy rings in the United States. I also loved the story of Swiss diplomat Carl Lutz, who, through use As someone who devours historical novels set in World War II, I enjoyed learning real new stories from WWII that I previously hadn't known about--such as the networks of Nazi spies in American and how William Sebold (a naturalized German American) played the Nazis by successfully feeding misinformation to his own and other networks, and eventually leading to the capture of a majority of the Nazi spy rings in the United States. I also loved the story of Swiss diplomat Carl Lutz, who, through use of his diplomatic connections, and against his own country's wishes, saved approximately 72,000 Polish Jews. I think my favorite of all was that of the Ghost Army, a select group of actors, sound engineers, set designers, and other creative folks (about 1,100 people in total) whose role was to make it appear that up to two battalions (about 30,000 troops) were stationed somewhere and poised to strike, when in fact there was nothing there at all--this was used to deceive the Nazis and helped save countless lives and create strategic advantages that led to an eventual Allied victory. I guess where I have some difficulty is how pro-Israeli occupation of Palestine some of Borrowman's narrative--which is a very difficult line to walk given the current state of affairs. All in all, any history buffs who want to learn some alternative, less well know stories from WWII will enjoy this quick read!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    My Rating: 5 Stars Synopsis: Indomitable amputee. Actress. Factory worker. Idealist. The the people that helped defend justice and humanity during World War II came from varied backgrounds and with varied skill sets. However, when freedom was on the line, each dug deep and found ways they could help fight against Nazi Germany and its allies. Each made incredible sacrifices--and for many, those sacrifices affected their daily life for the remainder of their lives, even after the war was won. In hon My Rating: 5 Stars Synopsis: Indomitable amputee. Actress. Factory worker. Idealist. The the people that helped defend justice and humanity during World War II came from varied backgrounds and with varied skill sets. However, when freedom was on the line, each dug deep and found ways they could help fight against Nazi Germany and its allies. Each made incredible sacrifices--and for many, those sacrifices affected their daily life for the remainder of their lives, even after the war was won. In honoring these real, flesh-and-blood people, their stories need to be told, their courage and selflessness must never be forgotten. Review: I really enjoyed this book. I usually really enjoy a good WWII story to begin with, but I find it particularly exciting that these stories are real. They really happened, and it is humbling to realize that their incredible courage--which often placed them right in front of death itself--was real too. To think a human being can be so courageous, so self-sacrificing for the good of others is awe-inspiring. It makes me want to be a better person. There are some descriptions of the horrors of war, which is a terrible but real hallmark of WWII. However, Borrowman used these descriptions to help the reader comprehend what the 'good guys' were up against: heinous villains with their seemingly unending resources of intelligence and evil. It makes these stories all the more inspiring. At times, however, it was comical to read how the simplest of things made the Nazis stumble, which is also inspiring in realizing that the villain is not infallible. I recommend this book for middle school-aged readers and older. Each individual who reads it will find an intriguing read and personal inspiration. Content Guide: Sex & Affection--An actress dresses up in an attractive costume to perform for deployed soldiers. Language--None Drugs, Alcohol, & Substance Use--Some instances of smoking and alcohol consumption. A man is known for going into a drunken rage. Violence & Crime--A description of prisoner treatment in Nazi concentration camps. Torture, lynching, looting, and war violence described in general terms. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are entirely my own.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    Books like this ought to be required reading. Though some humans are capable of unspeakably horrendous acts, others sacrifice their own safety and lives to protect those who cannot. Borrowman describes seven real life heroes and heroines during WWII, some known, others unknown, their histories and courageous contributions. Some of these people fought in spite of physical injuries; they rose above their circumstances which makes them more determined, more ambitious. We learn more from hard times Books like this ought to be required reading. Though some humans are capable of unspeakably horrendous acts, others sacrifice their own safety and lives to protect those who cannot. Borrowman describes seven real life heroes and heroines during WWII, some known, others unknown, their histories and courageous contributions. Some of these people fought in spite of physical injuries; they rose above their circumstances which makes them more determined, more ambitious. We learn more from hard times than easy ones. And times during WWII were brutal. What we do know from this time is mind blowing...imagine what we don't know! Victoria Hall was a resistance leader, working tirelessly for both Britain and America. Her leadership was extraordinary, especially in a male-dominated world, AND with an injury. Her job was often very physical and painful but she did her utmost to oppose the Nazis. She was trained in spying, espionage and sabotage, Morse Code, weapons and so on. A gynecologist detested the Nazis so much he certified prostitutes as disease free when they weren't, infecting soldiers. The ending of the story is remarkable. As the author says, war is about artifice. Juan Pujol's spy network is fascinating to read about. The Major Martin story is fantastic! Such cleverness! But my favourite is Carl Lutz who devised a scheme which saved the lives of 72,000 innocent Jews in Hungary. He was in constant danger and had many close calls but he did it anyway, regardless of the cost. What an honour it would have been to meet him and others like him! If you are intrigued by WWII, do read this important book. It is bound to fascinate and inspire. My sincere thank you to Shadow Mountain Publishing and NetGalley for the honour of reading this outstanding book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Marie

    Adventure, intrigue, and love of freedom are the themes of Why We Fought. Apart from Marlene Dietrich, these were all unknown heroes, at least to me. Jerry Borrowman has brought them to life in the pages of this new book. I remember hearing stories about the Ghost Armies, but most of the rest were new to me. Mr. Borrowman’s accounts are very detailed and thorough, with ample notes and footnotes at the end of the book for those wanting to know more. His writing style makes you feel you really kno Adventure, intrigue, and love of freedom are the themes of Why We Fought. Apart from Marlene Dietrich, these were all unknown heroes, at least to me. Jerry Borrowman has brought them to life in the pages of this new book. I remember hearing stories about the Ghost Armies, but most of the rest were new to me. Mr. Borrowman’s accounts are very detailed and thorough, with ample notes and footnotes at the end of the book for those wanting to know more. His writing style makes you feel you really know these people as people, and not just as Resistance Fighters. He seamlessly combines personal details with their brave and daring exploits, giving them a three-dimensional quality sometimes lacking in history books. Combining the stories of their often incredible undertakings with biographical sketches that highlight the “ordinariness” of their lives makes these stories even more compelling. It makes me wonder how many more unknown heroes there are with equally amazing stories. Perhaps there will be a sequel someday. While those profiled in this book all made it through the war without being captured by the enemy, all paid a high price for their actions, and lived with the constant threat of capture, exposure, and even death for themselves and their unknowing families. Why We Fought should be on the reading list for history fans, military buffs, and those who enjoy stories of adventure and patriotism. The fact that they are all true makes it even better. I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Why We Fought by Jerry Borrowman is an excellent nonfiction that is a collection of short stories, biographies, and true stories of real people that helped turn the tide and helped the Allies triumph WWII. This is such a great collection of stories. Nothing is too long or too detailed, yet they are not too short or glossed over. The author has collected a nice array of true stories of real people that were true heroes in their own right that helped do their part in the war. We find that it doesn’ Why We Fought by Jerry Borrowman is an excellent nonfiction that is a collection of short stories, biographies, and true stories of real people that helped turn the tide and helped the Allies triumph WWII. This is such a great collection of stories. Nothing is too long or too detailed, yet they are not too short or glossed over. The author has collected a nice array of true stories of real people that were true heroes in their own right that helped do their part in the war. We find that it doesn’t matter where they came from, who they were, or what their “humble” or not so humble beginnings might have been, each felt within themselves the greater good and the need to do something about it. I loved the wonderful spectrum of individuals selected, some I had heard of, but most I had not. Appropriate not only for historians, but also the average enthusiast as well. I especially enjoyed the chapter on Marlene Dietrich. This book really left me grateful and inspired. 5/5 stars Thank you NG and Shadow Mountain Publishing for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Doug J

    I like reading history, especially true stories of brave and compassionate individuals who go above and beyond in the service of others and what is right. “Why We Fought” is a collection of seven short stories about incredible individuals fighting against Germany during WWII. All the stories in this book are great, but Virginia Hall’s story was outstanding. She joins the resistance in France, where she quickly becomes so effective that Klaus Barbie, the Butcher of Lyon, has posters printed ident I like reading history, especially true stories of brave and compassionate individuals who go above and beyond in the service of others and what is right. “Why We Fought” is a collection of seven short stories about incredible individuals fighting against Germany during WWII. All the stories in this book are great, but Virginia Hall’s story was outstanding. She joins the resistance in France, where she quickly becomes so effective that Klaus Barbie, the Butcher of Lyon, has posters printed identifying her as the enemy’s most dangerous spy. They have learned that she has a limp and come close to catching her several times. After her identity is revealed to protect another spy,staying is no longer an option, and she escapes through Spain to Great Britain. Nobody expects her to return, given the Germans know her so well. However, she becomes a master of disguise,transforming herself into an old woman, changing her limp to a shuffle, and even replacing the fillings in her teeth with the type used in France. She is even more valuable to the Allied Forces on her return and, after the war, is recognized with honors and awards from the French, British, and Americans. “Why We Fought” is an inspiring read, you’lL love it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jan

    Virginia Hall is the first person detailed and a determined woman who worked tirelessly for the British and American intelligence communities and the French Resistance fighters. William Sebold became a double agent and, while very successful, sacrificed his health and sanity in the cause of defeating Hitler. Marlene Dietrich was a surprise to me. The extravagant actress did a lot more than entertain the troops and was honored by both the US and England after the war. Carl Lutz was a swiss diplomat Virginia Hall is the first person detailed and a determined woman who worked tirelessly for the British and American intelligence communities and the French Resistance fighters. William Sebold became a double agent and, while very successful, sacrificed his health and sanity in the cause of defeating Hitler. Marlene Dietrich was a surprise to me. The extravagant actress did a lot more than entertain the troops and was honored by both the US and England after the war. Carl Lutz was a swiss diplomat in Hungary who secreted Jews and others scheduled for extinction in Hungary regardless of orders from his own country. Ghost Army and other fantasies were perpetrated but a man who appeared to be a double agent but was really blowing smoke at the German high command. This Spaniard's name was Juan Pujol. The last chapter contains even more people and heroes. Some of the information is new to me, but not that of Virginia Hall. The writing style is engaging and kept me riveted all afternoon. Never forget. Never again. I requested and received a free temporary ebook copy from Shadow Mountain Publishing via NetGalley. Thank you

  15. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I thought Why We Fought: Inspiring Stories of Resisting Hitler and Defending Freedom was a great read. I admired learning about the brave souls who took a stand against the Third Reich. I was amazed at their courage and was inspired about reading about them. This is one those books that needs to be read over and over again. I am giving Why We Fought: Inspiring Stories of Resisting Hitler and Defending Freedom a very well deserved five plus stars. I highly recommend it for readers who enjoy readi I thought Why We Fought: Inspiring Stories of Resisting Hitler and Defending Freedom was a great read. I admired learning about the brave souls who took a stand against the Third Reich. I was amazed at their courage and was inspired about reading about them. This is one those books that needs to be read over and over again. I am giving Why We Fought: Inspiring Stories of Resisting Hitler and Defending Freedom a very well deserved five plus stars. I highly recommend it for readers who enjoy reading about History, especially those centered around the World War II era. I would love to read more like this by Jerry Borrowman in the future. I received a paperback copy of Why We Fought: Inspiring Stories of Resisting Hitler and Defending Freedom from the publisher, but was not required to write a positive review. This review is one hundred percent my own honest opinion.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Adriana Racu

    What a beautiful and inspiring book. I really love nonfiction WWII books. They make me so emotional but that’s fine, I don’t mind. I really enjoyed learning about all this heroes that helped fight for the Jews against the Nazis during the war. I had never heard of them until this book but I am glad that now I know who they were and what they did. I don’t know what else to say because all WWII books/stories are kind of the same in a way but they are all worth it. This is a very short book (198 pages What a beautiful and inspiring book. I really love nonfiction WWII books. They make me so emotional but that’s fine, I don’t mind. I really enjoyed learning about all this heroes that helped fight for the Jews against the Nazis during the war. I had never heard of them until this book but I am glad that now I know who they were and what they did. I don’t know what else to say because all WWII books/stories are kind of the same in a way but they are all worth it. This is a very short book (198 pages) so you can definitely finish it in one day while learning about this amazing people. . Thanks to Shadow mountain publisher for sending me this ARC in exchange of my honest review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Norm Jenson

    Did you know that during the World War II it only took four men to lift a Sherman Tank, that a limping woman in the French resistance would win a game of hide-and-seek in France with a German, Klaus Barbie, that a Spaniard named Pujol imagined 27 agents, made them real to the Germans, or that an engineer named Seabold would destroy three German spy rings, that Germans, French, and Americans would join to do battle for the Castle Itter, that a war hero can be a Hollywood actor named Marlene Dietr Did you know that during the World War II it only took four men to lift a Sherman Tank, that a limping woman in the French resistance would win a game of hide-and-seek in France with a German, Klaus Barbie, that a Spaniard named Pujol imagined 27 agents, made them real to the Germans, or that an engineer named Seabold would destroy three German spy rings, that Germans, French, and Americans would join to do battle for the Castle Itter, that a war hero can be a Hollywood actor named Marlene Dietrich, or a Swiss diplomat, named Lutz? You may not, but you will once you read Jerry Borrowman's book *Why We Fought.*

  18. 4 out of 5

    =^.^= Janet

    Date reviewed/posted: May 29, 2021 Publication date: October 5, 2021 When life for the entire galaxy and planet has turned on its end, you are continuing to #maskup and #lockdown to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #thirdwave ( #fourthwave #fifthwave?) is upon us, superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. Plus it is hot as all heck and nothing is more appealing than sitting in front of a fan with a kindle.! I requested and receive Date reviewed/posted: May 29, 2021 Publication date: October 5, 2021 When life for the entire galaxy and planet has turned on its end, you are continuing to #maskup and #lockdown to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #thirdwave ( #fourthwave #fifthwave?) is upon us, superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. Plus it is hot as all heck and nothing is more appealing than sitting in front of a fan with a kindle.! I requested and received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. The struggle to combat the Nazis during World War II encompassed front lines far beyond conventional battlefields. In a panoramic and compelling account, author Jerry Borrowman shares seven largely untold stories of people who undertook extraordinary efforts to defeat the Third Reich at enormous personal risk. Some were soldiers like the Ghost Army, an eclectic group of former artists, actors, and engineers who engaged in top-secret tactical deceptions by staging ingenious decoy armies. Using inflatable tanks, radio transmissions, and sound effects, they were able to trick the Germans throughout the course of the war, often working close to the front lines of the fiercest fighting. Some were ordinary citizens like William Sebold, a German immigrant and US citizen, who could have been a deadly foe, but instead chose the Allied cause. When he was coerced by the Gestapo into becoming a spy in America, he instead approached the FBI and offered to become a double agent. His efforts successfully helped bring down a dangerous German spy network that was dedicated to stealing industrial and wartime secrets and sabotaging America on home soil. These dramatic and inspiring personal stories shed light on some of the darkest days of World War II and one of the most perilous times in human history. As the Nazis swept through Europe, citizens around the world faced an individual and national complex moral question: How do you respond to the tyranny and bloodthirsty madness of the Nazis? These are stories of ordinary men and women who would not surrender or compromise. They resisted and fought with total commitment for freedom and democracy despite the personal cost. This great book should be in ever school and library as a testament to why we live the way we do every day - because other people FOUGHT for us to be that way. My dad lost both his brothers and it affects him every day ... 78 years later he thinks of them every day. One died on his birthday and one on Thanksgiving --- what a reminder to live with at his age! Most of the people I had not heard of, and I wished that there had been more about the war effort at home, but nonetheless, I will HIGHLY recommend this book to friends, family, patrons, book clubs, and people reading books in the park as we do … I have had some of my best conversations about books down by the Thames! As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I simply adore emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/Tik-Tok and YouTube Millionaires/snowflakes / literally-like-overusers etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 📚📚📚📚📚 This book is also cross reviewed at http://www.facebook.com/janetsbookcorner and https://janetcousineau.wixsite.com/we...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Steve's Book Stuff

    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 th 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.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Teenage Reads

    Plot: Virginia Hall wanted to see the world, as her adventurous spirit would not let her rest in the United States. Going over to Europe, even losing her leg did not slow her down, as she became an espionage agent and helped the United States gain information during World War Two. Virginia Hall was not the only person that fought against the Nazis, as thousands of soldiers lost their lives to World War Two, many fought on the battlefields of everyday streets, working for the American government t Plot: Virginia Hall wanted to see the world, as her adventurous spirit would not let her rest in the United States. Going over to Europe, even losing her leg did not slow her down, as she became an espionage agent and helped the United States gain information during World War Two. Virginia Hall was not the only person that fought against the Nazis, as thousands of soldiers lost their lives to World War Two, many fought on the battlefields of everyday streets, working for the American government to take Hitler down. Where some were German-born, others were from other parts of Europe and played many different roles from espionage agents, actresses, businessmen to those locked in a castle due to their political influences. Moving through the story of each of these influential persons Jerry Borrowman takes readers on a journey of Americans' involvement in World War Two that many probably would not have heard about. Thoughts: Jerry Borrowman divides this story into seven chapters, with the first five focusing on individuals who play a significant role for America during World War Two, with the final chapters focusing on America’s Ghost Army and what happened at Castle Itter. Each chapter was in itself a full short story, giving background history to the person, their involvement, to what happened to them when the war was over, as often they were not allowed to tell their story until several decades after the war ended. What this book lacked was diversity, as Borrowman kept the cast of characters straight and white, featuring two that identified as female, and the other three who identified as male. Where Borrowman kept the story to individuals who helped America during the war, it would have been better to focus on some more unsung heroes who history ignored due to their skin color. Still, the story was good as Borrowman kept readers entertained with this non-fiction book, and its short size makes it an easy afternoon read when you are itching to learn more about the past and some important people that many do not know about.

  21. 5 out of 5

    The Book Break

    This work of historical nonfiction is unlike any World War II book I’ve ever read. Author Jerry Borrowman’s skill and experience as a historical nonfiction and fiction writer truly shines through with his dynamic and vivid story-telling. Featuring seven unique, true stories, this book takes an entirely different approach to sharing the history from one of the most brutal times in world history. What sets this book apart from other World War II books and what ties all of the seven stories together This work of historical nonfiction is unlike any World War II book I’ve ever read. Author Jerry Borrowman’s skill and experience as a historical nonfiction and fiction writer truly shines through with his dynamic and vivid story-telling. Featuring seven unique, true stories, this book takes an entirely different approach to sharing the history from one of the most brutal times in world history. What sets this book apart from other World War II books and what ties all of the seven stories together is that every short story is about a brave volunteer who put themself at risk to fight against the Nazis and to save lives. The stories go beyond the battlefields to really delve into the behind-the-scenes actions that took place and show what it truly means to resist tyranny for the greater good. One story follows a woman who worked as a double-agent. The Germans sent her to spy on the Americans, but instead, she bravely agreed to spy on the Germans for the Americans, providing valuable information that helped change the course of the war. Another story is about a woman who lost her leg but did not let that stop her. During the war, she ended up in France and she, an American woman, helped to lead the French resistance against the Nazis. This book contains incredible stories about some courageous individuals who volunteered and sacrificed their safety to make a difference during World War II and in thousands of people’s lives. The best part about this book being broken into seven stories is that you have the option to read it cover to cover, which you might very well do as it is so compelling you want to keep turning the page, but you can also slow down and read it one story at a time. Educational, inspiring, and entertaining, anyone who reads historical novels is sure to love Why We Fought: Inspiring Stories of Resisting Hitler and Defending Freedom by Jerry Borrowman. I would highly recommend this to history buffs or anyone who is looking for an inspiring story of bravery.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

    I've always been fascinated by stories from World War II. Why We Fought: Inspiring Stories of Resisting Hitler and Defending Freedom was amazing! This non-fiction book was so amazing because it not only told the stories of soldiers but also ordinary people who fought the Nazis. All seven short stories told of people defending freedom and democracy at the risk of their own lives. These short stories make for a quick read. The research is always phenomenal by Jerry Borrowman. I always enjoy readin I've always been fascinated by stories from World War II. Why We Fought: Inspiring Stories of Resisting Hitler and Defending Freedom was amazing! This non-fiction book was so amazing because it not only told the stories of soldiers but also ordinary people who fought the Nazis. All seven short stories told of people defending freedom and democracy at the risk of their own lives. These short stories make for a quick read. The research is always phenomenal by Jerry Borrowman. I always enjoy reading his books and learn so much. Some of my favorite stories were: -Virginia Hall who was an undercover agent that the CIA honored her for her service. Some of her missions were fraught with danger and it's amazing she lived through them. -Carl Lutz was a Swiss diplomat who saved 72,000 Jewish lives. -William Sebold who was a double agent for the USA and Germany. His work was so stressful that his mind and body were forever changed, even though he had great success in his life. Even the most well-read WWII historians will enjoy this book. These not well-known stories are inspirational and could be used in college or high school history classes. I also know that Why We Fought would make a great Christmas gift idea for the History Buff in your life.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    I have always been touched by the kind, compassionate people who performed heroic feats during World War II. This collection of stories featured many individuals and groups that were previously unknown to me. Their stories were well researched, and I appreciated that the sections were not too long and could be read in one sitting. I especially loved the section about the Ghost Army! I thought it was fascinating that they were so good at creating fake, believable troops. My only complaint is that I have always been touched by the kind, compassionate people who performed heroic feats during World War II. This collection of stories featured many individuals and groups that were previously unknown to me. Their stories were well researched, and I appreciated that the sections were not too long and could be read in one sitting. I especially loved the section about the Ghost Army! I thought it was fascinating that they were so good at creating fake, believable troops. My only complaint is that the stories leaned a little on the factual side. The title, Why We Fought, implies a more personal and emotional side of the stories. The actual book didn't get into the motivations or emotions of many of the men and women. These individuals and groups saved lives with their amazing, heroic actions - it would have been even more interesting to know more them, deeper than just the facts. Despite this, it was a very captivating book! I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in WWII. Thank you to Shadow Mountain Publishing, NetGalley, and the author for a chance to read this book in exchange for my honest opinions.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Carro Herdegen

    Language: PG (3 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG World War II was devastating to families and countries, and it would have been worse if not for those individuals and groups whose stories are finally being told here. Risking their lives to help Jews flee and to help the Allies fight against the Nazis, these heroes knew to fight for what they believed was right even when it wasn’t easy. Borrowman organizes this book into seven sections, and each true story pierces the heart of reade Language: PG (3 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG World War II was devastating to families and countries, and it would have been worse if not for those individuals and groups whose stories are finally being told here. Risking their lives to help Jews flee and to help the Allies fight against the Nazis, these heroes knew to fight for what they believed was right even when it wasn’t easy. Borrowman organizes this book into seven sections, and each true story pierces the heart of readers and will encourage them to act in a way that fights for good. None of the heroes talked about in this book went about doing good in the same way; likewise, readers can find their own unique ways of being heroes. Some of the accounts and facts can get dry, but the inspiring stories are worth it. Reviewed for https://kissthebook.blogspot.com/

  25. 4 out of 5

    NaDell

    I loved learning about these amazing people who fought against Hitler for freedom during World War II. There were a few I'd heard the names of them before, but this book has several I'd never heard of that did such incredible things to rescue and protect those around them. Two of my favorites: 1. Juan Pujol who was a double agent, but also created fictional sources and made up an amazing amount of background for each of them to feed to the Nazis to keep them off track. 2. The Ghost Army- Do you kn I loved learning about these amazing people who fought against Hitler for freedom during World War II. There were a few I'd heard the names of them before, but this book has several I'd never heard of that did such incredible things to rescue and protect those around them. Two of my favorites: 1. Juan Pujol who was a double agent, but also created fictional sources and made up an amazing amount of background for each of them to feed to the Nazis to keep them off track. 2. The Ghost Army- Do you know that there was an Army that made inflatable tanks and diversions to make it seem like more of the forces were in certain areas to draw the enemy towards them and away from the beach at Normandy (in particular)? I had no idea. The things these people did are finally starting to be declassified and I'm so grateful to all who stood up for those around them who couldn't.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Shaylin Maxwell

    This book read more like a history book than a novel- that being said I did enjoy it. Each chapter is a new short story the first few were ok, but once you get to chapters 4, 5 and 6 they really get good. Some of those I had to go and research a bit after reading- I’ve never heard of some of those stories. It would be awesome if someone would make a movie out of these. It was inspiring to read about how normal, everyday people helped to fight the war in such brave and creative ways. I do wish th This book read more like a history book than a novel- that being said I did enjoy it. Each chapter is a new short story the first few were ok, but once you get to chapters 4, 5 and 6 they really get good. Some of those I had to go and research a bit after reading- I’ve never heard of some of those stories. It would be awesome if someone would make a movie out of these. It was inspiring to read about how normal, everyday people helped to fight the war in such brave and creative ways. I do wish there had been some clarification on some of the military terminology (titles and such). This book made me grateful for all the sacrifices people made for the freedoms we all enjoy.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Brandon

    I picked this up because I didn't have anything "better" to read on Deseret Bookshelf. I was pleasantly surprised. I am not a student of the specifics of history (enjoying it in the broad strokes of world events), so I knew nothing about any of the stories presented here. Borrowman tells fantastic stories of double agents, ghost armies, and incredible men and women in WWII. Some stories were less interesting to me, but most were gripping and showed an incredible side of the war that I was gratef I picked this up because I didn't have anything "better" to read on Deseret Bookshelf. I was pleasantly surprised. I am not a student of the specifics of history (enjoying it in the broad strokes of world events), so I knew nothing about any of the stories presented here. Borrowman tells fantastic stories of double agents, ghost armies, and incredible men and women in WWII. Some stories were less interesting to me, but most were gripping and showed an incredible side of the war that I was grateful to be immersed in.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sherry Arp

    This is a great collection of nonfiction stories of those who helped defeat the Nazis during WWII. Some were helping fight against their homeland, some had to leave their homelands to help in other countries. All were heros. Most were not recognized for the work they did until decades later, so unless you are a WWII scholar you probably have not heard these stories or names before. Highly recommend this book for those who are always searching for information and knowledge about WWII.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    World War II covers such a vast array of experiences and stories that I never get tired of reading about it. Borrowman takes readers into the experiences and stories of some of those individuals and groups who stepped up in the fight against Hitler and the Nazis. Of the seven stories that Borrowman tells, four of them are about spies. Virginia Hall courage and refusal to let her prosthetic leg slow her down led her to become one of the Allie's most effective and skilled spies. She worked with nu World War II covers such a vast array of experiences and stories that I never get tired of reading about it. Borrowman takes readers into the experiences and stories of some of those individuals and groups who stepped up in the fight against Hitler and the Nazis. Of the seven stories that Borrowman tells, four of them are about spies. Virginia Hall courage and refusal to let her prosthetic leg slow her down led her to become one of the Allie's most effective and skilled spies. She worked with numerous resistance groups, becoming one of the most sought after spies. After nearly getting caught escaping as a British spy, she later returned to work for the Americans. Her courage and ingenuity helped the Allies win the war. William Sebold was blackmailed by the Germans into spying for them, but when he contacted the Americans, the FBI turned him into a valuable double agent. He helped round up a number of dangerous spies in America. Marlene Dietrich not only performed for the Allied troops but she gather intelligence along the way. Juan Pujol's imaginary spy ring provided a great deal of false intelligence to the Germans helping pave the way for the Normandy invasion. As a diplomat, Carl Lutz risked his life and career to help the Jews of Hungary. All of these stories are told in this book, along with a couple of others about the American Ghost Army and the efforts to rescue a group of French VIPs imprisoned in a castle. Borrowman does an excellent job of telling these stories in a compelling way. He uses quotes and primary sources to give the reader an inside look at the people and situations involved in each tale. I highly recommend this book for readers who enjoy a glimpse into lesser known tales of courage and conviction during war time.

  30. 5 out of 5

    MykeWeber

    This was a wonderfully inspiring read! It move right along and was interesting throughout! Stories I’d never heard before. I’m amazed at the courage of the heroes enshrined here. Capable, resolute, creative, determined and in the end wonderfully successful, these people had enormous influence on the world we enjoy today. I loved it! It was fascinating to read this one so close to my reading of Proclaim Peace. Lots to think about!

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