Assignment to Hell by Timothy M. Gay

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Gay’s language is clunky at times...Still, he tells great stories, not only hair-raising but often funny.
-The Washington Post

Synopsis

THEIR WORK ON THE FRONT LINES MADE HEADLINES

In February 1943, a group of journalists—including a young wire service correspondent named Walter Cronkite and cub reporter Andy Rooney—clamored to fly along on a bombing raid over Nazi Germany. Seven of the sixty-four bombers that attacked a U-boat base that day never made it back to England. A fellow survivor, Homer Bigart of the New York Herald Tribune, asked Cronkite if he’d thought through a lede. “I think I’m going to say,” mused Cronkite, “that I’ve just returned from an assignment to hell.”

Assignment to Hell tells the powerful and poignant story of the war against Hitler through the eyes of five intrepid reporters. Cronkite crashed into Holland on a glider with U.S. paratroopers. Rooney dodged mortar shells as he raced across the Rhine at Remagen. Behind enemy lines in Sicily, Bigart jumped into an amphibious commando raid that nearly ended in disaster. The New Yorker’s A. J. Liebling ducked sniper fire as Allied troops liberated his beloved Paris. The Associated Press’s Hal Boyle barely escaped SS storm troopers as he uncovered the massacre of U.S. soldiers during the Battle of the Bulge.

This book serves as a stirring tribute to five of World War II’s greatest correspondents and to the brave men and women who fought on the front lines against fascism—their generation’s “assignment to hell.”
 

About Timothy M. Gay

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Timothy M. Gay is the author of Satch, Dizzy, & Rapid Robert: The Wild Saga of Interracial Baseball before Jackie Robinson. His essays and op-eds have appeared in the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and other publications. He lives in Virginia with his wife and children.
 
Published May 1, 2012 by NAL. 527 pages
Genres: History, Biographies & Memoirs, War, Education & Reference. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Assignment to Hell
All: 6 | Positive: 5 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Above average
on Mar 19 2012

A sprightly synthesis of literature and history follows five newspapermen who cut their journalistic teeth during World War II...A unique, engaging history lesson.

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The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Robert MacNeil on May 18 2012

Gay’s language is clunky at times...Still, he tells great stories, not only hair-raising but often funny.

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Washington Independent Review of Books

Excellent
Reviewed by Robert Knight

His is a proper journalistic effort to cover journalism history

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Below average
Reviewed by Roger Miller on Jun 24 2012

Assignment to Hell is dogged by several errors (Ernie Pyle was killed not by a Japanese sniper, but a Japanese machine-gunner; Adolf Hitler committed suicide not on May 2, 1945, but April 30) and a few writing and editing slipups (the author is overfond of "ironically").

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Frogen Yozurt

Good
May 21 2012

Assignment to Hell is a stirring tribute to five of World War II’s greatest correspondents and to the brave men and women who fought on the front lines against fascism

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Pasajes

Good

If one can say that reading a book titled Assignment to Hell was a delight, I say it now. The stories are so vivid and alive all these years later that I felt I was there with the legendary correspondents of World War II as they wrote their way from France to Germany

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81%

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