We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

Success! You're on the list.

Seven decades after it ended, World War II continues to inspire filmmakers around the world. But even as the conflict raged in Europe and the Pacific, Hollywood directors were gathering footage firsthand, filming invasions and battles alongside soldiers. Former Entertainment Weekly editor Mark Harris focuses on the work of five of these directors—John Ford, Frank Capra, William Wyler, John Huston, and George Stevens—in his latest book, Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War. The directors signed up for service by choice; Capra, a Sicilian immigrant, felt an emotional obligation to his new nation, while notorious boozer Ford joined because of a lifelong fascination with war. And though their most iconic works were produced before the war began, their experiences abroad changed their work irrevocably. Tonight, Harris supplements the history lesson with quips about war movies good and bad, so all the people who sat through Flags of our Fathers can commiserate together. Mark Harris reads at 7 p.m. at Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. politics-prose.com.