I have a stunning World War II book that I got when it was published in 2009. It’s a hard-cover Library of Congress edition 2.25 inches thick called World War II 365 Days by Margaret E. Wagner.
Beautifully written, it puts the complex global war in perspective and includes reproductions of photos, drawings, maps and cartoons that you don’t usually see.
Every now and then, I read a few pages, but now that I’m near the end, I’m surprised that the Library of Congress put out a book with some glaring errors. I’m not talking about misspellings. I’m talking about flat-out having stuff wrong.
A blurb under January 28 has the Battle of the Bulge ending on that date in 1944. The Bulge didn’t start until the end of 1944. The correct date is January 28, 1945.
The text for a page on the Japanese execution of Allied fliers says the Doolittle raid on Tokyo was carried out by “American B-17s.” Ouch! The raiders flew B-25 Mitchells, not Flying Fortresses. It’s all the more unnerving because the info is correct elsewhere in the book.
An item on the Battle of the Bulge has the U.S. 101st Airborne Division being surrounded by German forces in the village of Bastogne, Luxembourg. Bastogne is in Belgium.
About a year ago, I wrote to the publisher, Harry N. Abrams Inc. of New York, to point out the boo-boos but never heard back.
OK, so I’m talking about less than a handful of mistakes that caught my eye, but if you’re going to publish a book that you tout as authoritative, you’d better have copy editors paying attention to every little detail.