A true classic of World War II history, The Longest Day tells the story of the massive Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. Journalist Cornelius Ryan began working on the book in the mid-1950s, while the memories of the D-day participants were still fresh, and he spent three years interviewing D-day survivors in the United States and Europe. When his book was first published in 1959, it was tremendously successful, establishing many of the legends of D-day that endure in the publics mind. Ryan was enormously skillful at weaving small personal stories into the overall narrative, and he would later use the same technique to depict the airborne invasion of Holland in A Bridge Too Far. Not only is The Longest Day a pleasure to read, but subsequent historians, dutifully noting its accuracy, have relied heavily on Ryans research for their own accounts. In short, the book is a must read for anyone interested in the D-day invasion. --Robert McNamara
From Library Journal
This is but one of many volumes released to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Allied landing on the beaches of Normandy (see World War II: Fifty Years After D-Day, LJ 4/1/94, p. 110-111). Ryan gleaned the information for this 1959 volume (LJ 11/15/59) from American, British, and German war documents and diaries of the great generals as well as through interviews with hundreds of soldiers and civilians who were involved in the invasion. Besides being a solid history of the event, this is also a portrait of the people who lived it. One of the best books on the subject, this is essential for all academic and public libraries.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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