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An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa (1942-1943): The Liberation Trilogy, Volume 1 | [Rick Atkinson]

An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa (1942-1943): The Liberation Trilogy, Volume 1

The liberation of Europe and the destruction of the Third Reich is a story of courage and enduring triumph, of calamity and miscalculation. In this first volume of the Liberation Trilogy, Rick Atkinson shows why no modern learner can understand the ultimate victory of the Allied powers without a grasp of the great drama that unfolded in North Africa in 1942 and 1943. That first year of the Allied war was a pivotal point in American history, the moment when the United States began to act like a great power.
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Publisher's Summary

Pulitzer Prize, History, 2003

The liberation of Europe and the destruction of the Third Reich is a story of courage and enduring triumph, of calamity and miscalculation. In this first volume of the Liberation Trilogy, Rick Atkinson shows why no modern learner can understand the ultimate victory of the Allied powers without a grasp of the great drama that unfolded in North Africa in 1942 and 1943. That first year of the Allied war was a pivotal point in American history, the moment when the United States began to act like a great power.

Beginning with the daring amphibious invasion in November 1942, An Army at Dawn follows the American and British armies as they fight the French in Morocco and Algeria, and then take on the Germans and Italians in Tunisia. Battle by battle, an inexperienced and sometimes poorly led army gradually becomes a superb fighting force. Central to the tale are the extraordinary but fallible commanders who come to dominate the battlefield: Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, Montgomery, and Rommel.

Brilliantly researched, rich with new material and vivid insights, Atkinson's narrative provides the definitive history of the war in North Africa.

An Army at Dawn is the winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for History.

©2002 Rick Atkinson; ©2013 Simon and Schuster

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (328 )
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  •  
    Rachel 05-19-15
    Rachel 05-19-15 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    13
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    "Great. Great."

    Great. Great. Great. Great. Great. Great. Great. Great. Great. Great. Great. Great. Great. Great. Great. Great. Great. Great. Great. Great. I would recommend to any one. Really enjoyed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brandon Hopkins 03-30-15 Member Since 2015
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    1
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    "Good, but hard to get through"

    I've been a WWII history fan since I was a kid (41 now), and have enjoyed many books over the years on the subject. One area I haven't really studied much is the North African campaign, so after checking out all the positive reviews on this book, I downloaded it right away.

    My basic thoughts are that it's a good book with lots of detailed info, but that last bit is the biggest problem for me. I listen to audiobooks while I'm at work and I feel like there's just too much detail in this book for a casual listen while doing something else. I keep wanting to stop work and look at maps, or look up people to get an idea of where and who they are, otherwise I keep getting lost. Now, this isn't a bad thing in a book like this. You want as much detail as you can get, but it's just hard to focus (at least for me) on work and everything that's going on in the book at the same time.

    I also feel like the narrator's performance is a little dry and makes it hard to listen for long. Although, lots of other people seem to like him, so that's probably just me.

    Overall, I think i'd enjoy the book if I were reading it and could sit down and take my time, so I may just buy the actual book eventually, but in audiobook form, it's tough for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JT Hope 03-26-15
    JT Hope 03-26-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Horrendous performance!"

    The narrator's lisping, slurring, stumbling performance, accompanied by his inability to pronounce foreign names correctly, or even consistently, coupled with a mocking, sneering tone, do no justice to this excellent story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shawn Cochran 01-16-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Should be required reading for all Army officers"

    An exceptional account of Operation Torch and the Tunisian Campaign; really puts the war in North Africa in good perspective.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg chesterton, in, United States 02-04-14
    Greg chesterton, in, United States 02-04-14 Member Since 2013
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    "A close up view of the campaign"
    What did you love best about An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa (1942-1943)?

    the sense of awful waste is just heartbreaking.


    What other book might you compare An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa (1942-1943) to and why?

    I just finished Manchester's Churchill biography, and I suppose I was expecting this kind of high level view of the war. This is not that book.


    Have you listened to any of George Guidall’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This performance is very good.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I am in the early part of the book. The Americans seem to be going out of their way to waste their tank service and perhaps the infantry. The systemic stupidity is unbeleviable.


    Any additional comments?

    I almost stopped listening to this book because I felt it missed the high level strategic view. But I think that isn't the point- this is all at an individual level, even if the individual is Eisenhower.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G-Force 06-22-13
    G-Force 06-22-13

    Serving God For His Glory!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Too much negativity."
    Would you try another book from Rick Atkinson and/or George Guidall?

    Undecided; this book chronicles some interesting background information, but it seems like every chapter details the mistakes made by allied forces. After listening to the first 2 parts, I find it difficult to believe that we ever won the campaign in Africa. The narration is average, but I expected to hear more details of combat.


    Has An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa (1942-1943) turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No. I will look for other World War 2 books.


    How could the performance have been better?

    I don't have any issues with the performance, just the book.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment. Of course the allies made mistakes, but what did they do correctly? What good decisions were made? How about a few more stories of heroism?


    Any additional comments?

    The author appears to have done a great deal of research. He does reveal some interesting details and background information, but i was unable to finish the book.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald 10-17-13
    Donald 10-17-13 Member Since 2014
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    "We DID win the War"
    Would you try another book from Rick Atkinson and/or George Guidall?

    Atkinson, probably not. Guidall, YES, in a heart beat.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa (1942-1943)?

    From start to finish, the most negative reading ever. I had to force myself to continue. Atkinson dwells and amplifies every mistake, and poor decision made by the allies. A total imbalance. How we lost every battle but won the war (through Atkinson's eyes) I will never know. We obviously won some battles, but little credit given......


    What about George Guidall’s performance did you like?

    Guidall can read anything and make the best of it. He's the best. The only reason I kept listening.


    Was An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa (1942-1943) worth the listening time?

    Looking back, NO


    Any additional comments?

    I've said enough.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George 09-04-13
    George 09-04-13
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    "A Slog"

    This book emphasizes people in it's discussion of the first allied (US/UK/France?) invasion of WWII. There were several leadership and tactical lessons learned in the invasion of North Africa and from the German/Italian side it's defense. I slogged through it; the book was a difficult listen without a map of North Africa. For that reason, I don't believe that I'll follow through with the second and third volumes of this WWII trilogy.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris 07-26-13
    Chris 07-26-13 Member Since 2008
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    50
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    "Difficult to follow"
    Would you try another book from Rick Atkinson and/or George Guidall?

    George, yes. Rick, no


    What could Rick Atkinson have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    The storyline jumps enough that I cannot tell when a battle is over, lost, or won


    Have you listened to any of George Guidall’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes, Good narrator


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Yes, I find the topic very interesting. Just couldn't keep up with the story line


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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