An Army at Dawn

An Army at Dawn

The War in North Africa, 1942-1943

Book - 2002
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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 agreat 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.

Publisher: New York : Henry Holt, c2002
ISBN: 9780805062885
Branch Call Number: 940.5423 ATK
Characteristics: xiii, 681 p., [32] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 25 cm


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Aug 28, 2017

Rick Atkinson writes great military history. This is the first in a trilogy on Americans in WWII. It's very informative and details a forgotten phase of American involvement in North Africa.
I gave it 4 stars because Atkinson is focused on officers and command. I prefer at least some accounting from fighters in the line who felt the war in the most personal of ways.
Essential reading for readers WWII military history.

Aug 21, 2016

To some extent this is a vast assemblage of individual, personal experience. Atkinson is very skilled in giving it an overall shape. The reader feels he has learned why the North African conflict played out the way it did, and even gained a jittery illusion of first hand experience. In a way I wish that nuts and bolts themes (like who had air superiority and why, or the state of the adversaries' logistics) were more smoothly integrated. But it would be wrong to complain. A swell book.

Taweel Jan 28, 2014

An excellent history even if the author sometimes stretches poetic license a bit too far. Extremely readable and engaging, it builds character and plot as well as any novel but maintains the right perspective to contextualize even the most personal of events.

Note that this book is almost completely focused on the American experience during the war.

nelson21 Oct 19, 2013

A truly excellent book which brings to life some of the key individuals who helped shape the world as it is today. Quite magnificently written and well worth the time of anyone who is in the slightest bit interested in recent history.

The only drawback is that some 'idiotic vandal' had decided to scribble in pencil on many of the pages of this book. I suspect that the ‘vandal’ found this book too difficult to read and so might be happier with picture books in future.

Jul 20, 2011

This book is amazing, and sets the standard for military history. It gives an amazing review of the great battles and personalities that have occupied North Africa in WWII.

Dec 06, 2007

Winner of the 2003 Pulitzer prize for history.

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