The Guns at Last Light by Rick Atkinson
The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945 (Liberation Trilogy)

92%

22 Critic Reviews

Atkinson’s books don’t dwell much on the geopolitics of war. He’s more interested in telling stories about people, stories large and small, from the foxholes on the front lines to the generals’ war rooms.
-Star Tribune

Synopsis

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

The magnificent conclusion to Rick Atkinson's acclaimed Liberation Trilogy about the Allied triumph in Europe during World War II

It is the twentieth century's unrivaled epic: at a staggering price, the United States and its allies liberated Europe and vanquished Hitler. In the first two volumes of his bestselling Liberation Trilogy, Rick Atkinson recounted how the American-led coalition fought through North Africa and Italy to the threshold of victory. Now, in The Guns at Last Light, he tells the most dramatic story of all—the titanic battle for Western Europe.

D-Day marked the commencement of the final campaign of the European war, and Atkinson's riveting account of that bold gamble sets the pace for the masterly narrative that follows. The brutal fight in Normandy, the liberation of Paris, the disaster that was Operation Market Garden, the horrific Battle of the Bulge, and finally the thrust to the heart of the Third Reich—all these historic events and more come alive with a wealth of new material and a mesmerizing cast of characters. Atkinson tells the tale from the perspective of participants at every level, from presidents and generals to war-weary lieutenants and terrified teenage riflemen. When Germany at last surrenders, we understand anew both the devastating cost of this global conflagration and the enormous effort required to win the Allied victory.
With the stirring final volume of this monumental trilogy, Atkinson's accomplishment is manifest. He has produced the definitive chronicle of the war that unshackled a continent and preserved freedom in the West.
One of The Washington Post's Top 10 Books of the Year
A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Book of 2013

 

About Rick Atkinson

See more books from this Author
Rick Atkinson, recipient of the 2010 Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing, is the bestselling author of An Army at Dawn, The Long Gray Line, and In the Company of Soldiers. He was a staff writer and senior editor at The Washington Post for twenty years, and his many awards include Pulitzer Prizes for journalism and history. He lives in Washington, D.C.
 
Published May 14, 2013 by Henry Holt and Co.. 896 pages
Genres: History, War, Travel. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Jun 02 2013
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Critic reviews for The Guns at Last Light
All: 22 | Positive: 21 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Excellent
on Feb 12 2013

An outstanding work of popular history, in the spirit of William Manchester and Bruce Catton.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Ben Macintyre on May 23 2013

Atkinson is less sure-footed in describing the fighting itself. There are only so many ways to describe men shooting, bombing or otherwise trying to kill one another. At times, his language strains to capture yet another high-explosive encounter...

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Jan 07 2013

It is hard to imagine a better history of the western front’s final phase.

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WSJ online

Excellent
Reviewed by MAX HASTINGS on May 10 2013

Mr. Atkinson's account of D-Day is both masterly and lyrical...

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NY Journal of Books

Excellent
Reviewed by Jerry Lenaburg on May 14 2013

Both the style and content of this book provide a marvelous capstone to a trilogy that will make Rick Atkinson to the U.S. Army in the European Theater of Operations what Shelby Foote is to the Civil War...

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Star Tribune

Good
Reviewed by CASEY COMMON on May 18 2013

Atkinson’s books don’t dwell much on the geopolitics of war. He’s more interested in telling stories about people, stories large and small, from the foxholes on the front lines to the generals’ war rooms.

Read Full Review of The Guns at Last Light: The W... | See more reviews from Star Tribune

Washington Times

Good
Reviewed by John Taylor on Jun 03 2013

“The Guns at Last Light” is an important addition to the World War II bookshelf.

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LA Times

Good
Reviewed by Tony Perry on Jun 07 2013

"The Guns at Last Light" continues and deepens themes and character studies seen in the first two volumes.

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Toronto Star

Good
Reviewed by James Macgowan on May 31 2013

In this series, and continuing in this exceptional book, Atkinson has revealed all of this in a literary, human and bloody fashion.

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Christian Science Monitor

Good
Reviewed by Terry Hartle on May 14 2013

As with the earlier volumes, “The Guns at Last Light” moves seamlessly between broad issues of strategies and the tactics employed by Allied and German armies and the fighting as experienced by individual soldiers.

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USA Today

Excellent
Reviewed by Rick Hampson on May 10 2013

...the final volume of Rick Atkinson's "Liberation Trilogy" proves again that few can re-tell a story as well as he.

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Dallas News

Good
Reviewed by Steve Weinberg on May 18 2013

The uniqueness of Atkinson’s trilogy is grounded in his personal and professional backgrounds.

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Washington Independent Review of Books

Excellent
Reviewed by James A. Percoco on May 22 2013

This final work of a trilogy may be “the single best volume” about the war in Europe from D-Day to the capitulation of German forces.

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Open Letters Monthly

Excellent
Reviewed by Steve Donoghue on May 27 2013

With this volume Atkinson completes a trilogy that stands in the front ranks of all WWII literature; it’s an exhausting, wringing, unforgettable achievement.

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Watermark Books And Cafe

Excellent
Reviewed by Carl Caton on Jun 06 2013

Atkinson's The Guns at Last Light is among the best of the narrative histories of the European war, and the Liberation Trilogy is destined to be among the classics of World War Two histories.

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The American Book Center Blog

Good
on May 14 2013

With the stirring final volume of this monumental trilogy, Atkinson’s accomplishment is manifest. He has produced the definitive chronicle of the war that unshackled a continent and preserved freedom in the West.

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Military.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Jerry Harkavy on May 20 2013

Atkinson captures the sights, sounds and smells of the battlefield. The odors that drifted over Normandy...

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The Courier-Journal

Excellent
Reviewed by Orme Wilson on May 31 2013

“The Guns at Last Light” offers an outstanding testament to all who sacrificed to defeat Hitler’s Third Reich.

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History Book Club

Excellent
Reviewed by Dennis Showalter on Jun 06 2013

Atkinson completes his Liberation Trilogy with a comprehensively researched, brilliantly evocative account of the US Army’s defining achievement in World War II: the D-Day campaign...

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Schaumburg Township District Library

Excellent
Reviewed by staff member on May 17 2013

Atkinson’s accomplishment is manifest. He has produced the definitive chronicle of the war that unshackled a continent and preserved freedom in the West.

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Alaska Dispatch

Excellent
Reviewed by Terry Hartle on May 16 2013

Rare will be the reader who is not moved by Atkinson’s powerful and moving prose in this compelling story.

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Defense Media Network

Excellent
Reviewed by Dwight Jon Zimmerman on May 19 2013

Atkinson said that he wrote the trilogy as an effort to tell their story “vividly and authoritatively, to current and future generations.” That he has.

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