Henry Steele Commager's the Story of the Second World War

Henry Steele Commager, Author Potomac Books $23.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-08-041066-1
Originally published in 1945, the new edition commemorates the 50th anniversary of the war. Basically a collection of vivid news reports and analyses by observers and participants on all major fronts (and a few minor ones), the chronologically arranged pieces are tied together by Commager's succinct exposition of the grand strategy. Most of the writers are American (Ernie Pyle, John Gunther, Eric Severeid, John Hersey, Martha Gellhorn and John Steinbeck among them), but there are also excellent contributions by British and Soviet correspondents and military officers. Most (yet far from all) entries concern battles. Typical non-operational pieces include President Roosevelt's call for national prayer and General Eisenhower's speech to the D-Day troops. The most unconventional entry: Pyotr Pavlenko describes how old Cossacks were brought out of retirement to teach Red Army soldiers to use the broadsword. This is a highly readable collection, noteworthy for its terrific sense of immediacy. Commager is the author of The Blue and the Gray and many other well-regarded historical works. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
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