The Longest Day: The Classic Epic of D-Day

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Simon and Schuster, Feb 16, 2010 - History - 352 pages
4 Reviews
The unparalleled work of history that recreates the battle that changed World War II -- now in a new edition for the 50th anniversary of D-Day.

Newly in print for the first time in years, this is the classic story of the invasion of Normandy, and a book that endures as a masterpiece of living history. A compelling tale of courage and heroism, glow and tragedy, The Longest Day painstakingly recreates the fateful hours that preceded and followed the massive invasion of Normandy to retell the story of an epic battle that would turn the tide against world fascism and free Europe from the grip of Nazi Germany.

For this new edition of The Longest Day, the original photographs used in the first 1959 edition have been reassembled and painstakingly reproduced, and the text has been freshly reset. Here is a book that is a must for any follower of history, as well as for anyone who wants to better understand how free nations prevailed at a time when darkness enshrouded the earth.

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The Longest Day put great personal stories to the history. It gave a wonderfully specific, but not overly laborious description of the day of battle through the eyes of the survivors. Written within 15 years of the war, this book is filled with gold--interviews with survivors of D-Day that are lost forever now, with fewer and fewer by the year. Thank goodness for this wonderful record of the events.
I have only two criticisms. One is that I felt the book was overly detailed in the lead-up to the invasion. There was a bit too much description of the terrain and the preparations than I would have liked, and the battle only really occupied the second half of the book--it took me a while to get into the read.
My second criticism is no fault of the author, editor, publisher, or anyone else involved, but merely a lament at the sad fact that no matter how we may wish for it, there is no such thing as a book starring John Wayne.

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About the author (2010)

Cornelius Ryan was born in 1920 in Dublin, Ireland, where he was raised. He became one of the preeminent war correspondents of his time, flying fourteen bombing missions with the Eighth and Ninth U.S. Air Forces and covering the D-Day landings and the advance of General Patton's Third Army across France and Germany. After the end of hostilities in Europe, he covered the Pacific War. In addition to his classic works The Longest Day, The Last Battle, and A Bridge Too Far, he is the author of numerous other books, which have appeared throughout the world in 19 languages. Awarded the Legion of Honor by the French government in 1973, Mr. Ryan was hailed at that time by Malcolm Muggeridge as "perhaps the most brilliant reporter now alive." He died in 1976.

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