cover image The War: An Intimate History 1941–1945

The War: An Intimate History 1941–1945

Geoffrey C. Ward, Ken Burns, , read by Burns with Tom Hanks, Josh Lucas and Rebecca Holtz. . Simon & Schuster Audio, $34.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-7393-5728-6

A striking and philosophical look at the everyday citizens who helped shape the course of WWII, The War is masterfully narrated by author Burns and an assortment of Hollywood talent, including Tom Hanks and Josh Lucas. This collection spans the American side of the war from 1941 to 1945, relating intimate tales in chronological order. The author’s narration is solid and unwavering throughout, while brief but emotional interludes by the other readers lend a distinct theatrical quality to the material. The acting is brilliant and the material is psychologically gripping. Using personal letters from family members to soldiers overseas, critical events in the war are brought to life with stunning clarity. Headlong into character, Lucas’s raspy, Southern tone makes him an unexpected standout, with his raw performances bringing a brutal realism to the story. Listeners will be engrossed for hours while history buffs will experience the war in a new, more personal light. Simultaneous release with the Knopf hardcover (Reviews, July 30). (Sept.)