The author artfully weaves together the stories of three separate submarines and their various captains and crew members by telling the human stories. He assumes that the reader understands the general history and flow of the Pacific Theatre in WW2 and focuses - as Ambrose did - on the people in the boats, not the generals and the map table strategies.
Stephen Ambrose's "Wild Blue"
His clarity and pace.
I listened to it over three days during one very long car ride.
Longstreet's redemption confirmed
This is a work of non-fiction. The question is inappropriate.
Dean's measured pace and expressive manner of speaking make sure that I hear more of the words of a book than I might see with my own eyes. His voice keeps me from skipping forward too quickly, and I don't regret that one bit.
Yes, it was, and that's rare. I am quite familiar with the battle, have visited and photographed the battleground, fought the battle on military board games, and read books such as "Stars in Their Crowns", but this is now my favorite retelling. I particularly appreciate the way the author challenges Lee's decisions and rebuilds Longstreet's reputation and legacy. Lee was right to tell Pickett's survivors, "It is all my fault."
Obtain at least one good map of the movements of the troops on each day of the battle. It will help to "see" the battle unfold as Dean narrates.
Yes. First - there's Robertson Dean as the narrator. What a great voice! Second - the book is full of details that I was not aware of, and clarifies this battle's place in the history of the Eastern Front.
It's non-fiction, so this is not an appropriate question.
Everything - pace, tone, volume, etc. Dean is one of the very best.
I was saddened several times by the idiocy of the German leadership - and how it condemned good men, including my grandfather, to death.
Great book for those who love WW2 history.
History worth knowing
It's a work of non-fiction. The question is inappropriate.
No. His attempts to apply fake (and poorly executed) English, German and Russian accents to the quoted passages detracted mightily from the book. It's a piece of non-fiction, not a community theater stage play.
It's a work of non-fiction. This question is inappropriate.
The author has done an excellent job of telling the story of the Berlin Wall, providing considerable background that I was unaware of, even though I was born in Berlin in 1954. I expected the book to start in 1960 or thereabouts, but to my surprise it started long before then. The historical context added greatly to the story. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to know about Berlin, its politics, WW2, the Cold War, East Germany's many deceptions, and the contributions of key historical figures. Kudos to Mr. Taylor ... and thanks!
Among those books dedicated to telling the story of the European air war, and notably that based in England, this is one of the best. It is comprehensive, well written, well narrated, and it artfully and engagingly stitches together strategy, personal stories, and tactical events. The mix of German and British and American story lines is superb.
The telling of the personal stories reminds me of Ambrose's talent for doing so. James Hornfischer's
The narration is mechanical, stilted, and rife with mispronunciations - especially with respect to German or French names or terms. I hope this is not the case, but it sounds to me like the narrator did not read the book in advance or do any preparation. Listen to the book to get a different perspective - a Canadian perspective - and not a British, American, or German one - but be prepared to have to suffer through the narration and a writing style that could have used better editing.
I suppose it's necessary to tell readers the back story about the run up to D-Day, but the story as told by Zuehlke contains very little new facts and so, if one does know the history, is a rather boring start. I also disliked the insistence on using the abbreviations for the types of boats, or the full name of officers, etc. The first time it's
Someone like Robertson Dean - an expressive voice, who can also separate out narration from quotes. And who clearly does his homework in advance.
Revealing the Canadian experience was important. It did add to my understanding of the battle and the perspective, though poorly delivered, was valuable.
Kudos to the writer - for his style and his research. This is a delightful read. It offers a comprehensive history of the cemetery, from its origins to its present traditions. You'll learn about the Civil War fortifications, the village for black refugees from the South, the battle of the Custis family to return the land to their family, the initial ornate monuments, how the simple crosses were designed, why there is a tomb for the unknown soldier, when the current ceremonies we take for granted really started, and so much more. I cannot wait to once again walk through Arlington. I will not look at it with the same eyes.
I misunderstood this book to be one about the entire air effort of the allies against Japan in the Pacific theatre. It is, however, limited to a study of the effort to bomb Japan itself. There is an interesting section about the attempt to bomb Japan with B-29's from China and discussions of the need to fire bomb and then to drop the atom and hydrogen bombs. Unfortunately there is way too much data and not nearly enough personal interest. The book suffers eventually from the constant narration of the numbers of planes in particular raids, how much tonnage was dropped, how many planes returned, etc. There is very little about or from the fliers themselves - though the introduction notes the veterans are dieing away and their stories with them. And there is too much about the generals and admirals. This book would have benefited greatly if it included much more about those whose rank was less than Major. It fits in my library of WW2 books and resources, but it is more of a reference book than an engaging and personal history that warrants a reread.
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