Benjamin Thomas's Reviews > The Rising Tide

The Rising Tide by Jeff Shaara
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Apr 02, 12

bookshelves: historical-fiction, world-war-ii
Read from March 13 to 31, 2012, read count: 1

This is the first of a trilogy about WWII, (actually 4 books in the series after the author responded to the fan's desires that he add a book specifically on the Pacific War), and in typical Jeff Shaara fashion, he succeeds mightily.

The book is written largely from the American point of view and thus begins the coverage of the war in 1942 with the North Africa campaign and goes through the Italian campaigns, at least up until the point when Eisenhower was pulled to begin the planning for Operation Overlord. As always in a Jeff Shaara novel, he presents the events from several individual points of view, some at the highest echelons of leadership such as Eisenhower, Montgomery and Rommel, but also from a more "man-on-the-street" point of view, in this case a tank crew member and an 82nd Airborne NCO who drops into Sicily behind enemy lines. The result provides an excellent understanding of the action at this point in the war, the political give and take between the American and British leadership, as well as the German and Italian political realities.

Reading books like this is a great way to learn history...you get all the facts but it reads like the novel it is, and so you really gain the knowledge without feeling like you are "studying". I feel pretty comfortable in my knowledge of most aspects of WWII but always felt my understanding of the Africa campaigns to be wanting. This book fixed that for me and I very much look forward to the rest of the series.
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