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

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9780805062885: An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-1943 (The Liberation Trilogy, Vol. 1)

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE AND NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In the first volume of his monumental trilogy about the liberation of Europe in WW II, Pulitzer Prize winner Rick Atkinson tells the riveting story of the war in North Africa


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 reader 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.

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In An Army at Dawn,, a comprehensive look at the 1942-1943 Allied invasion of North Africa, author Rick Atkinson posits that the campaign was, along with the battles of Stalingrad and Midway, where the "Axis ... forever lost the initiative" and the "fable of 3rd Reich invincibility was dissolved." Additionally, it forestalled a premature and potentially disastrous cross-channel invasion of France and served as a grueling "testing ground" for an as-yet inexperienced American army. Lastly, by relegating Great Britain to what Atkinson calls the status of "junior partner" in the war effort, North Africa marked the beginning of American geopolitical hegemony. Although his prose is occasionally overwrought, Atkinson's account is a superior one, an agile, well-informed mix of informed strategic overview and intimate battlefield-and-barracks anecdotes. (Tobacco-starved soldiers took to smoking cigarettes made of toilet paper and eucalyptus leaves.) Especially interesting are Atkinson's straightforward accounts of the many "feuds, tiffs and spats" among British and American commanders, politicians, and strategists and his honest assessments of their--and their soldiers'--performance and behavior, for better and for worse. This is an engrossing, extremely accessible account of a grim and too-often overlooked military campaign. --H. O'Billovich

About the Author:

Rick Atkinson, recipient of the 2010 Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing, is the bestselling author of The Day Of Battle, The Long Gray Line, and In the Company of Soldiers. He was a staff writer and senior editor at The Washington Post for twenty years, and his many awards include Pulitzer Prizes for journalism and history. He lives in Washington, D.C.

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Book Description Henry Holt & Company, New York, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. SUPERB: CLASSIC: COMPELLING: NEW hardcover, Pulitzer Prize winner, 6th printing (c. 2006) of the 1st edition (orig. October 2002), new unclipped mylar-protected jacket w/ impeccable edges & corners & showing orig. price of $30.00 at top-right inside-front flyleaf corner, handsome cover w/ blue library-durable fabric wrapping spine & extending 1.36" onto front & back panels covered w/ cream-lemon rag paper w/ sharp new edges & corners & w/ Rick Atkinson's scripted signature elegantly gold-stamped on front panel & titles handsomely gold-stamped on spine, immaculate smooth-cut text-block exterior, new sewn binding w/ tight signatures & blue-yellow-checked cloth bands at spine-caps, handsome gray-tone front & back end-paper maps of "Mediterranean & European Theaters in World War II", pristine interior printed on very good unblemished paper * List of 18 Maps (xiv-xv), 32 pp. b-w illus. * Allied Chain of Command (xvii), Prologue (1-18), Notes (543-625), Sources (626-654), Acknowledgments (655-659), Index (660-681) * 6.36" x 9.50" x 2.16", 1.00 kg, xviii+681 (699) pp * In the 1st volume of his remarkable trilogy, Pulitzer Prize winner Rick Atkinson provides the definitive history of the war in North Africa. The liberation of Europe & the destruction of the 3rd Reich is an epic story of courage & calamity, of miscalculation & enduring triumph. Now, 60 years after America joined the titanic struggle, Rick Atkinson shows why no modern reader can understand the ultimate victory of the Allied powers w/o a grasp of the great drama that unfolded in North Africa in 1942 & 1943. Atkinson's narrative begins on the eve of Operation Torch, the daring amphibious invasion of Morocco & Algeria. After 3 days of hard fighting against the French, American & British troops push deeper into North Africa. But the confidence gained after several early victories soon wanes; once the Allied forces engage the Germans, it becomes apparent that they have more than met their match. Casualties mount rapidly, battle plans prove ineffectual, & hope for a quick & decisive victory evaporates. The Allies, particularly the Americans, discover that they are woefully unprepared to fight & win this war, in part due to lack of experience, in part due to an unwillingness to pay the necessary price in blood. North Africa then becomes a proving ground: it is here that American officers learn how to lead, here that soldiers learn how to hate, here that an entire army learns what it will take to vanquish a formidable enemy. Most of the West's great battle captains emerged in North Africa, including men whose names remain familiar generations later: Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley & Montgomery. Atkinson brings these commanders & others vividly to life, along w/ enemy generals such as Rommel & Kesselring. He also takes us right to the front lines of every major battle, from Oran to Kasserine to Tunis, & his gripping account of soldiers fighting & dying make the war horrifyingly real. Gradually, we come to understand the profound accomplishments of this bloody campaign. In North Africa, the Allied coalition came into its own, the enemy forever lost the initiative, & the United States, for the first time, began to act like a great power. Even as he weaves a compelling narrative of a heroic victory, Atkinson casts a clear eye on the dark tragedies that haunt every war. The 1st volume of the Liberation Trilogy, "An Army at Dawn" is history of the highest order, brilliantly researched, rich w/ new material & surprising insights, the deeply human story of a monumental battle for the future of civilization. * "Compelling military history, 'An Army at Dawn' [is] a military & strategic studies classic. Atkinson writes w/ incredible insight & mastery of the details & he is always mindful of the larger picture. He goes from the highest political levels to the deepest foxholes w/o missing a beat. This is history at its finest." -General Wesley K. Clark, USA, former NATO supreme commander. Bookseller Inventory # 007915

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Book Description Henry Holt, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. The liberation of Europe and the destruction of the Third Reich is an epic story of courage and calamity, or miscalculation and enduring triumph. In this initial volume of the Liberation Trilogy, Rick Atkinson shows why no modern reader 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. Atkinson's narrative begins in November 1942 on the eve of Operation TORCH, the daring amphibious invasion of Morocco and Algeria. American and British troops gained considerable confidence after early victories against the French, but once the Allies engaged the Germans they realized they had met their match. North Africa then became a proving ground: it was here that American officers learned how to lead, here that soldiers learned how to hate, here that an entire army learned what it would take to vanquish a formidable enemy. And here too were the extraordinary, but flawed, commanders who came to dominate the battlefield: Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, Montgomery, and Rommel Brilliantly researched, rich with new material and surprising insights, AN ARMY AT DAWN tells the deeply human story of a monumental battle for the future of civilization. THERE IS A BLACK "CLOSEOUT/REMAINDER" MARK ON THE BOTTOM PAGE EDGES. Bookseller Inventory # 000244

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