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The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945

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Rick Atkinson

7 Hours 29 Minutes

Simon & Schuster Audio

May 2013


Audio Book Summary

The eagerly awaited final volume in Pulitzer Prize-winner Rick Atkinson's New York Times bestselling Liberation Trilogy.

It is the twentieth century’s unrivaled epic: at a staggering price, the United States and its allies liberated Europe and vanquished Hitler. In the first two volumes of his bestselling Liberation Trilogy, Rick Atkinson recounted the history of how the American-led coalition fought its way from North Africa and Italy to the threshold of victory. Now he tells the most ?dramatic story of all—the titanic battle in Western Europe.

D-Day marked the commencement of the war’s final campaign, and Atkinson’s astonishingly fresh account of that enormous gamble sets the pace for the masterly narrative that follows. The brutal fight in Normandy, the liberation of Paris, the disaster that was Market Garden, the horrific Battle of the Bulge, and finally the thrust to the heart of the Third Reich—all these historic moments come utterly alive. Atkinson tells the tale from the perspective of participants at all levels, from presidents and prime?ministers to ambitious generals, from war-weary lieutenants to terrified teenage riflemen. When Germany at last surrenders, we understand anew both the devastating cost of this global conflagration and the awe-inspiring effort that led to Germany’s?surrender.

With the stirring final volume of this monumental trilogy, Rick Atkinson’s remarkable accomplishment is manifest. He has produced the definitive chronicle of the war that restored freedom to the West. His lively, occasionally lyric prose brings the vast theater of battle, from the beaches of Normandy deep into Germany, brilliantly alive. It is hard to imagine a better history of the western front’s final phase.

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  • Thomas L

    A great series (3 books). The clash of personalities is informative. I found the 3 books educational and entertaining. TBL -- Canadian

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  • Albert

    I became closer to an understanding of the events of World War II through this series of three books on the war in North Africa and Europe. At the end, I wished I could personally congratulate the author (and narrator) on his contribution to the literature of this subject. My father and his brothers saw action in many of the events described and I felt I could almost understand what they went through.

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  • Annette Jalsevac

    As the daughter of a Canadian veteran who lived with the emotional scars of battle until his journey to that peaceful Kingdom in 2012, The Guns at Last Light, along with the first two books in the series, has captured for me the essence of what my father and millions of other young men -- many boys actually -- endured to fight the powers of evil that enveloped much of Europe in the early 1940's. As war will do, the Allies too often themselves allowed the miasma of an horrific environment to penetrate their own souls; but in the end, the Nazi terror which Heaven cried out to be driven from this earth, was indeed vanquished. Not always with honour and virtue, but certainly overall with tremendous suffering, incalculable courage, vast quantities of heroism and untold sacrifice. This book made me even more proud of my Dad, and helped me like no other to come to some understanding of what he endured as a young infantry soldier who participated in the liberation of the starving Dutch populace. Finally, Atkinson's Epilogue is rivetting and poignant without being syrupy, and caused me to weep.

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