1944 - Jay Winik


By Jay Winik

  • Release Date: 2015-09-22
  • Genre: United States
Score: 4
From 27 Ratings


New York Times bestselling author Jay Winik brings to life in gripping detail the year 1944, which determined the outcome of World War II and put more pressure than any other on an ailing yet determined President Roosevelt.

It was not inevitable that World War II would end as it did, or that it would even end well. 1944 was a year that could have stymied the Allies and cemented Hitler’s waning power. Instead, it saved those democracies—but with a fateful cost. Now, in a superbly told story, Jay Winik, the acclaimed author of April 1865 and The Great Upheaval, captures the epic images and extraordinary history as never before.

1944 witnessed FDR at the pinnacle of his wartime leadership as well as his re-election, the planning of Operation Overlord with Churchill and Stalin, the unprecedented D-Day invasion, the liberation of Paris and the horrific Battle of the Bulge, and the tumultuous conferences that finally shaped the coming peace. But on the way, millions of more lives were still at stake as President Roosevelt was exposed to mounting evidence of the Final Solution. Just as the Allies were landing in Normandy, the Nazis were accelerating the killing of millions of European Jews. Winik shows how escalating pressures fell on an all but dying Roosevelt, whose rapidly deteriorating health was a closely guarded secret. Was winning the war the best way to rescue the Jews? Was a rescue even possible? Or would it get in the way of defeating Hitler? In a year when even the most audacious undertakings were within the world’s reach, including the liberation of Europe, one challenge—saving Europe’s Jews—seemed to remain beyond Roosevelt’s grasp.

As he did to such singular effect in April 1865, Winik provides a stunningly fresh look at the twentieth century’s most pivotal year. Provocative, bold, and exquisitely rendered, 1944: FDR and the Year that Changed History is the first book to tell these events with such moral clarity and unprecedented sweep, and a moving appreciation of the extraordinary struggles of the era’s outsized figures.


  • Good Book, but Surprised

    By Frustrated Moderate
    Let me first get out of the way, I loved Jay Winik's earlier effort, April 1865. In that book he did a superb job in detailing just how so many things could have gone differently, and altered history dramatically. Probably at the root of my surprise and mild disappointment, is my expectations of 1944 going in, were too high. The book started out very promising, with details about FDR I had never read before. I feel Jay did a great job detailing how FDR and his administration's foot dragging impacted The Holocaust. But I feel the balance of the book weighed too much on that part. I would have liked to have seen more about D-Day, more about the Pacific War, and more about the interplay between Eisenhower, Marshall, Churchill, and FDR. And Jay just teased us with what FDR's weak performance at Tehran did to set the stage for the Cold War and the next 50 years. Also, I thought Jay could have covered the important context material (events & facts leading up to 1944) a little faster and with much fewer pages. All in all though, another well written book, filled with compelling stories, and in Jay's easy to read writing style. Probably someone less steeped in FDR and WWII History would love this effort more.
  • 1944

    By Tahoe News Junkie
    I've stepped right inside history with this book and viewed a familiar saga with fresh eyes. Painful, poignant and impossible to put down.
  • 1944

    By Jpullaro
    Difficult to read. Harder to put down.