The book delves deep into operation Torch and the campaign for Tunisia, the African "Stalingrad" for the Axis in Europe. Sometimes too deep... do I need squad level tactics in an engagement of 4 armies, 5 nations and hundreds of thousands of men?
Maybe I do. The letters to home, newspaper articles and diary articles make this a first person account. A couple of characters emerge, Patton, Eisenhower, but the picture of the US soldier is most clear. "Learning to hate", learning to fight, learning to be an army,
When Patton orders his division commander to personally lead a hill assault leading to a needless and serious wound, I wondered what causes someone to be a hero to history versus a villain.
When the British and US finally started to roll, overcoming Kaserien Pass, I decided the next book would be first on my list of books to listen to next.
Beautifully written with abundant use of primary sources. The author ties the beginning and end to the story of the 34th Division from Iowa, whose members could be from any Midwestern state.
The narrator is superb, and the content chilling. As German democracy, then Austria, then Czechoslovakia and then Poland fell, I wanted to scream "Can't you see what's happening?"
Hitler was insane. That would be a three word summary of a 57 hour book.
Claus von Stauffenberg- a hero. When someone finally stands up and says, enough: "This must stop even if it costs my life." That's a hero. This part of the book read like fiction.
Molotov is pretty good. A calculator in the line of great Soviet chess players, many moves ahead of his competition.
The jewish revolt in Krakow moved me to tears.
Give it a listen, you won't regret it. Only criticisim is Shirer's homo prejudices. Maybe a sign of the times, but he ably shows the Nazis to be thugs, criminals and psychopaths. Didn't need to call them perverts, too (without mentioning the "perverts" on the Allied side).
Yes. The details and horror and numbness and waste of war made clear by the author.
I liked one narrator, but not the other. I was really unsure why it kept skipping back and forth. This is my only major criticism of the book.
Sledge does appear to be without flaw in this telling. After awhile, I wondered "What noble thing will he do now?" but it was a great book overall.
Brier gets you to grasp the vast amount of time Egypt covers. An "interim" lasts longer than the U.S. has been around. And he does it with humor and pleasure.
His story of Cleopatra made her human to me. Unbelievable detail.
Not really. There are better books out there that don't meander about random topics in physics and autobiographical details.
Write about physics, or write about your life, but don't randomly cover both. I don't really care about why you had to pay two guilders for coffee in 1960 or whatever.
The leprechaun at the end of the rainbow... It doesn't exist!
It wasn't the canned applause and horn music at the beginning and end of each lecture. The professor does a good job on a huge topic, opening avenues for further investigation depending on your interest, e.g. a given battle, region, or topic such as politics or race.
Gallagher's consistent debunking of the "lost cause" school of thought
It's a little dated. Gallagher refers to Gone with the Wind more than a dozen times, I think.
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