Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Boys of Pointe du Hoc: Ronald Reagan, D-Day, and the U.S. Army 2nd Ranger Battalion” as Want to Read:
The Boys of Pointe du Hoc: Ronald Reagan, D-Day, and the U.S. Army 2nd Ranger Battalion
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Boys of Pointe du Hoc: Ronald Reagan, D-Day, and the U.S. Army 2nd Ranger Battalion

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  206 ratings  ·  30 reviews
The 100-foot promontory known as Pointe du Hoc -- where six big German guns were ensconced -- was the number one target of the heavy U.S. and British warships poised in the English Channel on D-Day morning. Facing arguably the toughest task to befall U.S. forces during the war, the brave men of the Army 2nd Ranger Battalion boldly took control of the fortified cliff and se ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 23rd 2006 by Harper Perennial (first published May 31st 2005)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Boys of Pointe du Hoc, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Boys of Pointe du Hoc

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 345)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Mr. Bauer
I liked the Point du hoc parts of the book. And, although I really admire the late President Reagan, I thought Brinkley devoted too much of the book to the Reagan/Point du hoc connection.
Norm Konzelman
Was surprised by the content of the book. It started with President Ronald Reagan and his using the story of these men as his theme for celebrating those men on the 40th anniversary of D-Day, and the masterful stroke of political skill it was.
Briefly skipped through guerrilla warfare in the America's until WWII, when I suppose the modern special forces got their start with Rudder's Rangers, this unit of the toughest of the tough.
The bulk was Ronald Reagan's early manhood. His upbringing, time in
Aug 19, 2015 J. rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: wwii
I think it's not too unfair to say that the late 60s and 70s can be summed up politically and nationalistically in one word: malaise. The Vietnam War was hardly the stuff of patriotic pride, and the presidents in the decade that followed weren't what many would characterize as inspirational. But Douglas Brinkley argues that Ronald Reagan was the perfect man to turn that around and restore a sense of pride in Americans. He did it by hearkening back to an earlier era, an era when pride in America' ...more
Gregory Tait
I have always been a novice historian in regards to the Battles of WW 2. I really enjoyed this book. I believe as Ronald Reagan did that WW 2 was a just war that had to be fought to crush Nazism. This book links the Rangers Battle at Pointe Du Hoc with President Reagan's speech on the 40th anniversary of D-Day. Whatever your thoughts are about Reagan as a President, one thing that this book will show in his personal love for the WW 2 generation and his deep love for America. Recommended reading ...more
Justin Tapp
This book chronicles the history of the 2nd Ranger Battalion (drawing heavily on other more definitive sources in that regard), Ronald Reagan's views of WWII through his acting roles at the time, then chronicles the writing of the two 40th anniversary of D-Day speeches Reagan delivered in 1984.
I have to say this book was pretty boring. The mini bios of Peggy Noonan and others involved in the writing of Reagan's speeches and the minute details of how these speeches developed were a little much fo
The book was less about what took place at Pointe du Hoc on D-Day and more about Ronald Reagans's speech on the 40th anniversary of that battle. Having walked the battlefield, seen the bunker, bomb craters and cliffs, I wanted to read more about what happened that morning in 1944. The 70th anniversary of D-day is this week and we are still blessed by the sacrifice of the Boys of Pointe du Hoc.
Mark Mitchell
I thought this was a very good book that weaves good surface level telling of the Pointe du Hoc story with Reagan's masterful use of the historic event and the thirtieth anniversary of the Normandy invasion to demonstrate his political ideas. To those people who say that the book focuses too much on Reagan I can only respond that you must not have read the book's subtitle before beginning the book. The author does attempt to hide the purpose and focus of the book. It is right up front.
Robert Snow
This is more about the 40th anniversary of D-Day and the speech by President Ronald Reagan. I remember watching the ceremonies all day on June 6, 1984 and I taped many of the events that day. The reason being the 6th of June is my Birthday and I made it a point never to work on my birthday! The day here was overcast, grey and rainy. The highlight that day was Reagan's speech, he struck a cord through the men of the 2nd Ranger Battalion and those who took part in this monumental undertaking. It w ...more
Renaissance Marine
what a neat book! it is two books in one. the story of the rangers who climbed the cliffs on D-day, sandwiched into the account of President Reagan and his famous speech at the 40th anniversary of D-day. I highly recommend this book!
The amazing story of the US Army Rangers who did the impossible on D-Day, and the fascinating story behind President Reagan's historic speech in their honor on the 40th anniversary.
The first part of the book was good history, the second the history of a speech OK history.
Donnie Edgemon
Interestingly, this book is more about the Boys of Pointe du Hoc speech than about the Rangers on D-Day. I'm not sure I agree totally with some of Brinkley's more stretched points - like the speech initiating appreciation of D-Day, Rangers, the WWII generation, and renewed American patriotism - but the story about how such a speech comes to be held my attention more than I would have thought it would. Not only is it interesting, the book is a quick read. That's nice for those of us with short at ...more
Sean Pfile
Good WW2 book.
Charles Blumberg
This was not the book I was expecting when searching it out. I thought it would be more about the actual story of the Boys of Pointe du Hoc. It only focuses a couple chapters on them. The book is really about Ronald Reagan's speech at Normandy Beach, the story behind Peggy Noonan rise to feature speechwriter, and how Reagan's speech focused attention back on D-Day and help bring it back to the forefront.
The Ranger assault on Pointe du Hoc on D-Day, President Reagan (his reelection, foreign policy, and legacy), and presidential speechmaking--that's what this book is about. An unusual combination, but I couldn't put the book down! A wonderful cross-cutting view of history being made--in 1944 and 1984 and beyond.
Da Whitt
Well researched book about 2nd Batt, U.S. Army Rangers assault, mission and engagement on the Pointe Du Hoc cliffs WW II Normandy invasion, Reagan's speech there; written by Peggy Noonan commemorating it on it's 40th anniversary with 2nd Batt veterans in attendance and Reagan's admiration for "The Greatest Generation.
A Smith
Interesting history with the mystifying tie-in of actors and movies, especially the thesis that President Reagan single handedly ended the Soviet Union and even more mystifying that he had a major influence on WWII victory.

The trying to tie in a nebulous thesis with facts of heroism completely baffled me.
Book is divided in to 2 main themes. The first is the heroic 2nd Ranger battalion's assault on Normandy Beach (Pointe du Hoc), and their dismantling of the German weaponry. The 2nd theme is how Ronald Reagan brought attention to these brave men with his famous D-Day 40th anniversary speech.
Touching, heroic story of the Rangers who climbed the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc on D-Day, and Reagan's moving speech on the 40th anniversary of D-Day. Just a good read, and the little bit of politics is interesting as well, and as always, the human aspect of Reagan's presidency comes to the fore.
Tim Plymale
Real interesting Book...True Story of the Premptive strike before D-day. The 2nd Ranger Bat scaled Point Du Hoc and took control of the German fortifications overlooking Sword, Juno, and Omaha. Recommended to every one with an interest in Military history.
Brinkley argues that the American public didn't develop it's fascination and reverance for the WWII generation until the Reagan years and specifically Reagan's D-Day 40th Anniversary speech at Pointe du Hoc.
Christian Schnabel
Very good! Shows the devotion Reagan had for WWII generation and the complete dedication the Rangers had in storming Pointe Du Hoc. A must read for anyone interested in WWII and especially D-Day!
Anthony Eggert
A good, brief read with some harrowing accounts of D-Day not found in other books. Original and well written, although the second half of the book drags on a bit.
A very interesting book about how historic events and the telling of them differ but not as much as one would think.
Informative and thoughtfully written. Definitely worth reading. Not too much journalism establishment anti-Reaganism.
US Army 2nd Ranger Battalion D-Day history intertwined with Ronald Reagan's speech honoring them, 40 years later.
An inspiring read especially when you get the chance to travel to Normandy.
Bill Johnson
Amazing analysis of the Rangers invasion of Normandy.
not what I thought, sucky
Aug 25, 2011 PWRL marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-new
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Unexplained Mysteries of World War II
  • Seven Roads to Hell: A Screaming Eagle at Bastogne
  • Ernie's War: The Best of Ernie Pyle's World War II Dispatches
  • The Battered Bastards of Bastogne: The 101st Airborne and the Battle of the Bulge, December 19,1944-January 17,1945
  • A Company of Heroes: Personal Memories about the Real Band of Brothers and the Legacy They Left Us
  • Shadows In The Jungle: The Alamo Scouts Behind Japanese Lines In World War II
  • The War: An Intimate History, 1941-1945
  • Given Up for Dead: America's Heroic Stand at Wake Island
  • Pegasus Bridge
  • Islands of the Damned: A Marine at War in the Pacific
  • Blood, Tears and Folly: An Objective Look at World War II
  • God and Ronald Reagan: A Spiritual Life
  • Duty:  A Father, His Son, and the Man Who Won the War
  • Reagan, in His Own Hand: The Writings of Ronald Reagan That Reveal His Revolutionary Vision for America
  • The Twilight Warriors: The Deadliest Naval Battle of World War II and the Men Who Fought It
  • The Filthy Thirteen: From the Dustbowl to Hitler's Eagle's Nest - The True Story of the 101st Airborne's Most Legendary Squad of Combat Paratroopers
  • Alamo in the Ardennes: The Untold Story of the American Soldiers Who Made the Defense of Bastogne Possible
  • The New Dealers' War: F.D.R. and the War Within World War II
Douglas Brinkley is a professor of history at Rice University and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. The Chicago Tribune has dubbed him “America’s new past master.” His most recent books are The Quiet World, The Wilderness Warrior, and The Great Deluge. Six of his books have been selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year. He lives in Texas with his wife and three children.
More about Douglas G. Brinkley...
The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America Cronkite The Majic Bus: An American Odyssey Rosa Parks: A Life

Share This Book