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Armageddon: A Novel of Berlin

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  3,824 Ratings  ·  219 Reviews
In Berlin at the end of World War II, an American Army officer bears witness to the aftermath of one historic tragedy and the rise of another
 
Captain Sean O’Sullivan distinguishes himself as a courageous soldier in the closing days of World War II, but what comes next tests his deepest reserves of strength and conviction. Sent to oversee the rebuilding of Berlin, O’Sulliv
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ebook, 664 pages
Published September 27th 2011 by Open Road Media (first published 1964)
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Veeral

A combination of pan-optical research and an almost perfect presentation of stereotypical characters makes this book a near masterpiece of "how to ruin an exceptionally researched work through horrible writing" genre.

I picked up "Armageddon" as it covered the "Berlin Airlift" event amongst other things.

Initially, I was delighted by the amount of information Uris started ladling out, and I settled-in for a scrumptious 800 page long brain feeding orgy. There were some brief but nicely handled desc
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Sherry H
Nov 30, 2011 Sherry H rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At our family Thanksgiving celebration, my mother-in-law pressed this book into my hands and said, "Sherry, I know you like to read, so you have to read this. It is the only book that truly describes what it was like in Germany after the war." (And, oh, by the way, hurry, because I want to lend it to someone else after you.) Born in Bonn in 1938, my M-I-L lived through many of these events before emigrating to the US in the late 40's. When she says this is what it was really like, that carries s ...more
happy
May 12, 2012 happy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-military
I personally think this is his best novel. It caused me to to read up on the German occupation and the Berlin airlift.
Amy
Jun 18, 2012 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

This was my first Uris historical novel. I first told my husband that reading it was a bit of a slog due to uneven pacing and poorly-executed blending of research and narrative. Plus the subject matter, Berlin in the immediate aftermath of WWII, pretty much disqualified the book from the race for the Feel-Good Book of 1964.

Then I proceeded to talk the hubby's ear off about what the book taught me about the bizarre politics of postwar Berlin and the Airlift that kept the city from slipping into t

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Linda
Nov 26, 2014 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a phenomenal piece of writing that tells the story of the reparation of Germany after WWII by the big four allied powers. The title kept me from reading this book for years. 'Armageddon' would be Mr. Uris' delving into the book of REVELATIONS in THE HOLY BIBLE, or so I thought, and more is the pity for me. I cannot stress enough the importance of this book.


Mr. Uris had the unique talent of weaving many themes into a single and understandable book. He never left me hanging on a clif
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Anthony
Oct 28, 2012 Anthony rated it really liked it
I purchased this book in electronic format from Kindle on Amazon. I read it it with great enthusiasm as it was history which occured during my lifetime and in fact, my Army time was extended over the Berlin Wall Crisis in 1961. The Berlin Wall also was taken dowm in 1990 and I own a piece of it, given to me by the FBI Legat in Germany. you have never read a book by Leon Uris you are denying yourself a great literary experience as his writings are all historical in nature and very well researched ...more
Ireney Berezniak
This is only my second novel by Leon Uris, having read and loved Mila 18 a few years ago. Uris is a fine story teller with a penchant for the dramatic and slavish attention to historical detail. However, I did not enjoy Armageddon quite as much. Uneven character and story development marred the quality of this work for me. The unadulterated adulation of American heroism was a little too contrived, and did not help the cause. I suppose certain attitudes depicted in the novel felt a little outdate ...more
Dann Todd
Sep 28, 2015 Dann Todd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military, history
5 stars on my scale is a book that I will read again and one that I might buy for someone else to read.

This is a great book. Leon Uris creates characters and weaves their person stories through the historical events beginning with the end of WWII and proceeding through the difficulties with the Soviet Union blockading Berlin. He masterfully uses his characters to illustrate the difficulties that come when the victor in a conflict must eventually learn to live with the people they have beaten. He
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David Bruns
Dec 29, 2012 David Bruns rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am a Uris fan - I loved Trinity and Exodus. But, I was very disappointed with Armageddon. The characters seemed flat and wooden, the dialogue stilted and predictable. Great story, poor execution.

I soldiered on until, by chance, i happened across Wouk's The Caine Mutiny on my bookshelf. The contrast was stunning: instead of wading through lifeless prose, I was treated to Wouk's honed descriptions, vibrant characters and hair-raising action.

I was unable to finish Armageddon.
Becca
Sep 30, 2011 Becca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a fan of everything Leon Uris has written so this review may be a bit biased. This book is about Berlin right after WW2 and the fight for control of the city. He addresses the events from an American and Russian points of view, which is a bit different from any similar books I've read before. This was one of the saddest books of his in terms of the personal lives of the characters, but somehow still uplifting.
Diane
Dec 29, 2012 Diane rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-books
I tried to like this book. I really did. The book is about the occupation and fall of Berlin after WWII. The problem is, I never got to the part where the main character actually arrived in Berlin. After reading 30% of the book, padded with pages upon pages of history text type instruction on the psyche of the German mind, the Russian soldier, about Stalin and communism in Russia, was about to stick pins in my eyes. I realize all of this history is pertinent to the story but I do think it was pr ...more
Catherine
Didn't finish. Quit at 40% complete. I didn't like the over-dramatic dialogue and the very black-and-white portrayal of the various nationalities: Americans, very very good; Nazis, very bad; Communists very very bad. I realize this is an older book and it definitely reflects the attitude of the time. Normally I don't have a problem with this, but combined with the stilted dialogue and the lack of any characters I cared about, I just didn't want to waste any more time on it.
Bonnie Vance
Sep 11, 2015 Bonnie Vance rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely the best book I have read in years. I had no idea about what it was like in Germany at the end of WWII and knew nothing about the Berlin Airlift. This is a HUGE undertaking to read, over 800 pages, but so worth it. I haven't put it down since I started to read it 3 days ago. You will smile, laugh and cry. An absolutely great book - I think this is Leon Uri's masterpiece.
Julie
May 25, 2010 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, fiction
Armageddon is another one of Uris’s sweeping sagas, addressing the fate of Germany during post-WWII recovery. It focuses on the relationship between the victorious conquerors (Americans, French, British and Russians) and their former Nazi enemies and becomes a true battle between the Allies and Communist U.S.S.R over coveted Berlin. It is a story of redemption as the Germans rebuild their country, try to salvage their tarnished reputation, and fight a communist regime that is worse than Hitler. ...more
Gary Misch
Feb 20, 2014 Gary Misch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a first rate historical novel. It's not as well known as Uris' other books, but perhaps it should be. It is NOT an action thriller. The author creates a small stable of fictional characters to move the reader through the early days of the allied occupation of post World War II Germany en route to the main event - the post war political fight over the partition of Berlin. The end game is the Soviet Berlin blockade, the unification of the British, French, and American zones, and the Berlin ...more
Ben
Oct 22, 2013 Ben rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my third Leon Uris book, after Mila 18 and Trinity, and despite being relatively short (!) I found it to be the most plodding and least satisfying. The terrific first half inverts the standard WWII dynamic by placing the conquered Germans as withered husks to be exploited by foreign powers, starved and raped by occupying forces, and almost pitied. Then in the second half, the board gets set for the long chess-game showdown between the US and the Soviets. That should be the best part of t ...more
Carol
Dec 27, 2013 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found that this was not necessarily pleasant reading due to the subject matter. That being said, I was drawn to the story to learn more about this place and time. One knows about WWII, but what happened in Germany after the war is rarely focused on. I was aware of the Berlin air lift, but not how enormous an undertaking it was, or what transpired before it to make it necessary. Mr. Uris uses a cast of characters to explain some of the human dilemmas that occupation after the war created for bo ...more
Lara
I gave up on this book. I couldn't read on... He groups everyone into these neat and tidy lil boxes- Americans are heroes. Germans are scum. Poles are rowdy drunks. Nazis are Pagans. Russians are animals.

On another note, before I got sick of the above, I enjoyed reading about WWII from this viewpoint. There was a lot of wonderfully descriptive details about what happened. Too bad, I would have liked to finish it. Perhaps I'll try again someday when I'm less politically correct and more able to
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Nathan
Jun 07, 2008 Nathan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first Uris book I ever read. I picked it up because I am very interested in WWII history. I was not disappointed. The character development is great. And he is not afraid to kill characters just because the reader has fallen in love with them. Armageddon is a novel about a people struggling to find redemption in the shadow of the horrors they have committed while suffering the torments inflicted by their conquerors. It is ultimately about hope and rebirth but be prepared to have you ...more
Chloe Stowe
A fascinating read that kept me coming back night after night. The last 100 pages, however, seemed rushed and little disjointed from the rest of the book.

Uris' research skills and his talent of weaving historical facts into his fictional storyline are amazing.

For some reason, I had trouble connecting with several of the major characters. So, at the end, when everything comes to a head, the emotional "oomph" of the events was really lacking.
Wally8541
Aug 26, 2009 Wally8541 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hey all you kids who don't know anything about or "the why" of the Cold War. Read and learn from this little slice of it!
Great book.
Boris Baranov
Dec 22, 2016 Boris Baranov rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Este libro cubre um período q me interesa mucho: Berlín apenas termina la segunda guerra. Lamentablemente es demasiado pro occidental, los rusos son estúpidos, los americanos inteligentes y creativos. Igual la historia está muy buena aunque el personaje central se desdibuja un poco. Alguien sabe de algun libro bueno(más neutral) de esa época. Airlift Berlín
Mike
Feb 11, 2017 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
A great novel about an interesting time in our fairly recent history. You don't see a lot of novels about the cold war period. Leon Uris is a master at creating many characters that you either love, or love to hate.
In this book, the overall outcome is happy, but it takes a lot of unhappiness to get there. Great read, I would highly recommend this novel.
Shawnna
Oct 26, 2016 Shawnna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The romances were written poorly - it was like he had them in there but cut them short because he had too many pages. But the history and information about post-war Germany and the Berlin airlift was fascinating.
Colleen
Jan 08, 2017 Colleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Leon Uris never disappoints. I have a BS in History Education and an MA in European Revolutionary History, never have I read such an in depth analysis of the Berlin Airlift. Mostly the topic was a paragraph in a text, or maybe a page in German or WWII history books. Although this is fiction, the bones are real. The courage of the American airmen who performed this feat of engineering genius never got their due. Understanding what the population of Berlin did to transform themselves from Nazi Ger ...more
Dick
Jan 10, 2014 Dick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Armageddon by Leon Uris . . . my first Uris book, and I liked it. Liked it more than I thought. When I started it I was a underwhelmed. It was a slow start and really the first quarter of the book was slow to start. It's a novel about Berlin, yet Berlin doesn't come up until the second half of the book.

That being said, I had no idea I wanted to read about the Berlin Airlift. Here I was thinking I was going to read about World War II instead I read about the nascent days of the Cold War. Who knew
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Walter
Set in the closing days of WWII and the years after the war, Armageddon is a novel about a much underappreciated aspect of war, the reconstruction of an enemy nation after the war is over. This novel is about the soldiers who ruled Germany after Hitler left the scene. They were the ones who had to rebuild, restore power, sewage and water, enforce the law and rebuild the government of the conquered nation. In this respect, "Armageddon" was an excellent novel. Uris writes a very exciting narrative ...more
Gerald
Leon Uris is masterful in describing the horrors of the 1948-49 Berlin Blockage by the Soviets and in bringing alive the incredible and amazing story Berlin Airlift by the Americans and British and to a much lesser extent the French to overcome the effects of the blockage. I had, of course, heard of the Berlin Airlift but really did not know very much at all about it.

Following the final surrender of the Germans, Germany itself and separately the city of Berlin were divided into four zones reflec
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Toby
Aug 15, 2016 Toby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dramatic Origins of the Cold War

Leon Uris does a masterful job of bringing to life Berlin during the four years between 1945-49, by combining complex and believable characters, precision research, and all the drama inherent to post-war Germany.

From the first arrival of Russian troops into Germany’s capital during the final days of World War II to the challenge of undertaking the Berlin airlift, Uris shows the behind-the-scenes political machinations that can now, in retrospect, be seen as the tr
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Guy
Sep 29, 2016 Guy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent novel telling the story of the Americans in Berlin 1945 - 1948. Wonderful description of the incredible airlift that saved thousands of German lives.
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19708
Leon Marcus Uris (August 3, 1924 - June 21, 2003) was an American novelist, known for his historical fiction and the deep research that went into his novels. His two bestselling books were Exodus, published in 1958, and Trinity, in 1976.

Leon Uris was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Jewish-American parents Wolf William and Anna (Blumberg) Uris. His father, a Polish-born immigrant, was a pa
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“The true guilty draw a curtain on the past. The most innocent assume the guilt. Unfortunately there are too few Germans like that girl.” 1 likes
“One of the first things Hansen learned when he came to starving Russia in 1920 was that the Russians were Asians. Western culture had been imported into only a few of the larger cities. Most of Russia and the other captive states that comprised the Soviet Union simply did not think or act like the West.” 1 likes
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