From America's preeminent military historian, Stephen E. Ambrose, comes a brilliant telling of the war in Europe, from D-Day, June 6, 1944, to the end; 11 months later, on May 7, 1945. To create this astonishing narrative, Ambrose draws from his 5 acclaimed works about that conflict, particularly from the definitive and comprehensive D-Day and Citizen Soldiers. As always, it is the ordinary boys and men who command Ambrose's attention and awe. The Victors tells their collective story of how citizens became soldiers in the best army in the world. Ambrose draws on thousands of interviews and oral histories, from the high command - Eisenhower, Bradley, Patton - on down through officers and enlisted men, to recreate the last year of the Second World War when the Allied soldiers pushed the Germans out of France, chased them across Germany, and destroyed the Nazi regime.More
If you left the film Saving Private Ryan with the impression that World War II was winding down after all that misery, The Victors will shatter that perception. The Allies were heading into almost a year of errors and were slow-going in the effort to beat the Nazis. Ambrose uses his familiar soldier vignettes to paint a terrible picture of exhaustion and death on the front lines, while U.S. and British commanders try to rally against the Nazis and their last-minute offensive. His theme is that American character defeated the hierarchy-bound Germans; a controversial thesis. But the story is gripping, political, and richer even than Tom Hanks' depiction of the war. (John B.)
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