The Fire and the Darkness

The Bombing of Dresden, 1945
Narrated by: Leighton Pugh
Length: 13 hrs and 49 mins
Categories: History, European
4.5 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

“Beautifully-crafted, elegiac, compelling - The Fire and the Darkness delivers with a dark intensity and incisive compassion rarely equalled. Authentic and authoritative, a masterpiece of its genre.” (Damien Lewis, author of Zero Six Bravo)

A gripping work of narrative nonfiction recounting the history of the Dresden Bombing, one of the most devastating attacks of World War II.

On February 13, 1945 at 10:03 p.m., British bombers began one of the most devastating attacks of WWII: the bombing of Dresden. The first contingent killed people and destroyed buildings, roads, and other structures. The second rained down fire, turning the streets into a blast furnace, the shelters into ovens, and whipping up a molten hurricane in which the citizens of Dresden were burned, baked, or suffocated to death.

Early the next day, American bombers finished off what was left. Sinclair McKay’s The Fire and the Darkness is a pulse-pounding work of history that looks at the life of the city in the days before the attack, tracks each moment of the bombing, and considers the long period of reconstruction and recovery. The Fire and the Darkness is powered by McKay’s reconstruction of this unthinkable terror from the points of view of the ordinary civilians: Margot Hille, an apprentice brewery worker; Gisela Reichelt, a 10-year-old schoolgirl; boys conscripted into the Hitler Youth; choristers of the Kreuzkirche choir; artists, shop assistants, and classical musicians, as well as the Nazi officials stationed there.

What happened that night in Dresden was calculated annihilation in a war that was almost over. Sinclair McKay’s brilliant work takes a complex, human view of this terrible night and its aftermath in a gripping audiobook.

A Macmillan Audio production fron St. Martin's Press 

"McKay’s rich narrative and descriptive gifts provide us with an elegant yet unflinching account of that terrible night...to be recommended as a very readable and finely crafted addition to the literature on one of modern history’s most morally fraught military operations.” (Wall Street Journal)

©2020 Sinclair McKay (P)2020 Macmillan Audio

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