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Released April 28, 2005

HISTORY PROFESSOR’S NEW BOOK DETAILS ‘GOOD WAR’
Atlas examines every major theater of World War II

HATTIESBURG A professor of history at The University of Southern Mississippi has co-authored a new book detailing more than 160 battle and campaign maps of World War II.

Published by Barnes and Noble Books in the fall of 2004, the Atlas of World War II was written by Dr. Andrew Wiest of Southern Miss and co-author David Jordan.

The 256-page book covers all major operations of the war, from the United States’ involvement in the China Burma India Theater to the naval battles of the Pacific Theater.

Wiest said books about World War II remain popular today because of its perception as “the good war.”

“It was the great crusade in which America and the British went out and literally saved the world,” said Wiest, also a military expert on the Vietnam War. “On one side you had tremendous figures of good facing off against obvious figures of great evil.”

World War II had great moments of high drama, Wiest said, particularly major battles – like Midway and Stalingrad – in which “evil could have easily won.”

“There is so much to World War II, so much more than any other war, which gives the topic long legs,” he said.

Unlike heavily foot-noted academic texts he’s published on the topic, this book is different because it is geared toward a wide popular audience, according to Wiest.

The first half of the book, written by Wiest, contains chapters on the German Blitzkrieg, the defeat of Poland and France, the air war in Europe, the War in the Atlantic, and the War in Africa and Italy. Wiest also wrote the book’s introduction.

Fifty thousand copies of the Atlas of World War II were printed for the book’s first run. Wiest is the author of eight books, with a ninth due out this June about Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig -- the commander of British forces in World War I. He also has two other books in the works.

“Professor Wiest is one of the Department of History's most productive scholars,” said department Chair Dr. Charles Bolton. “This latest addition to an ever-growing list of books solidifies Andy's reputation as one of America's leading experts on military history.”

For more information, contact Dr. Wiest at (601) 266-5076.

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May 16, 2005 4:12 PM