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The Liberator: One World War II Soldier's 500-Day Odyssey from the Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau
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Crown 2012
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The untold story of the bloodiest and most dramatic march to victory of the Second World War—soon to be a Netflix original series starring Jose Miguel Vasquez, Bryan Hibbard, and Bradley James “Exceptional . . . worthy addition to vibrant classics of small-unit history like Stephen Ambrose’s Band of Brothers.”—Wall Street Journal Written with Alex Kershaw's trademark narrative drive and vivid immediacy, The Liberator traces the remarkable battlefield journey of maverick U.S. Army officer Felix Sparks through the Allied liberation of Europe—from the first landing in Italy to the final death throes of the Third Reich.Over five hundred bloody days, Sparks and his infantry unit battled from the beaches of Sicily through the mountains of Italy and France, ultimately enduring bitter and desperate winter combat against the die-hard SS on the Fatherland's borders. Having miraculously survived the long, bloody march across Europe, Sparks was selected to lead a final charge to Bavaria, where he and his men experienced some of the most intense street fighting suffered by Americans in World War II.And when he finally arrived at the gates of Dachau, Sparks confronted scenes that robbed the mind of reason—and put his humanity to the ultimate test.
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Street Date:
10/30/2012
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780307888013
ASIN:
B0083DJTXK
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APA Citation (style guide)

Alex Kershaw. (2012). The Liberator: One World War II Soldier's 500-Day Odyssey from the Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau. Crown.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Alex Kershaw. 2012. The Liberator: One World War II Soldier's 500-Day Odyssey From the Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau. Crown.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Alex Kershaw, The Liberator: One World War II Soldier's 500-Day Odyssey From the Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau. Crown, 2012.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Alex Kershaw. The Liberator: One World War II Soldier's 500-Day Odyssey From the Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau. Crown, 2012. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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title
The Liberator
fullDescription
The untold story of the bloodiest and most dramatic march to victory of the Second World War—soon to be a Netflix original series starring Jose Miguel Vasquez, Bryan Hibbard, and Bradley James
 
“Exceptional . . . worthy addition to vibrant classics of small-unit history like Stephen Ambrose’s Band of Brothers.”—Wall Street Journal
 
Written with Alex Kershaw's trademark narrative drive and vivid immediacy, The Liberator traces the remarkable battlefield journey of maverick U.S. Army officer Felix Sparks through the Allied liberation of Europe—from the first landing in Italy to the final death throes of the Third Reich.
Over five hundred bloody days, Sparks and his infantry unit battled from the beaches of Sicily through the mountains of Italy and France, ultimately enduring bitter and desperate winter combat against the die-hard SS on the Fatherland's borders. Having miraculously survived the long, bloody march across Europe, Sparks was selected to lead a final charge to Bavaria, where he and his men experienced some of the most intense street fighting suffered by Americans in World War II.
And when he finally arrived at the gates of Dachau, Sparks confronted scenes that robbed the mind of reason—and put his humanity to the ultimate test.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Wall Street Journal
      • content:

        "Exceptional....The Liberator balances evocative prose with attention to detail and is a worthy addition to vibrant classics of small-unit history like Stephen Ambrose's Band of Brothers....From the desert of Arizona to the moral crypt of Dachau, Mr. Kershaw's book bears witness to the hell that America's innocents came through, and the humanity they struggled to keep in their hearts."

      • premium: False
      • source: Washington Post
      • content: "A revealing portrait of a man who led by example and suffered a deep emotional wound with the loss of each soldier under his command....The Liberator is a worthwhile and fast-paced examination of a dedicated officer navigating -- and somehow surviving -- World War II."
      • premium: False
      • source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
      • content: "Kershaw's writing is seamless. He incorporates information from a vast array of sources, but it works -- you get a sense of the different voices coming into the story....A gripping read."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Daily Beast
      • content: "A history of the American war experience in miniature, from the hard-charging enthusiasm of the initial landings to the clear-eyed horror of the liberation of the concentration camps....An uncynical, patriotic look at our finest hour."
      • premium: False
      • source: Time.com
      • content: "Kershaw has ensured that individuals and entire battles that might have been lost to history, or overshadowed by more 'important' people and events, have their own place in the vast, protean tale of World War II....Where Kershaw succeeds, and where The Liberator is at its most riveting and satisfying, is in its delineation of Felix Sparks as a good man that other men would follow into Hell -- and in its unblinking, matter-of-fact description, in battle after battle, of just how gruesome, terrifying and dehumanizing that Hell could be."
      • premium: False
      • source: World War II
      • content: "Kershaw's accounts of the battles Sparks survived are clear and grisly and gripping."
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly (starred review)
      • content: "[Kershaw] is a captivating narrator, hammering home the chaos and carnage of war, sparing no sensory detail to paint a cohesive picture. [His] portrayal of his subject (based on interviews with Sparks, who died in 2007, and other survivors) makes for a riveting, almost epic tale of a larger-than-life, underappreciated figure."
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus Reviews
      • content: "This engrossing wartime narrative offers a fresh look at the European campaign and an intimate sense of the war's toll on individual participants."
      • premium: False
      • source: Booklist
      • content: "Inspiring....A gripping and superbly told account of men in war."
      • premium: False
      • source: Amanda Foreman, author of A World on Fire
      • content: "Alex Kershaw's gripping account of one man's wartime experiences has both the intimacy of a diary and the epic reach of a military history. The Liberator reminds us of the complexity and moral ambiguity of the Second World War."
      • premium: False
      • source: Lynne Olson, author of Citizens of London
      • content: "A searing, brilliantly told story of the heroism and horror of war, Alex Kershaw's The Liberator is a book that's impossible to put down. A must read for anyone who loved Band of Brothers."
      • premium: False
      • source: Ron Powers, co-author of Flags of Our Fathers
      • content: "Alex Kershaw, long acclaimed for his terse, lightning-fast narratives of true wartime action and heroism, reaches his full maturity with this sweeping saga of a legendary infantry unit and the leader who spurred it to glory."
      • premium: False
      • source: Patrick K. O'Donnell, combat historian and author of D
      • content: "A literary tour de force. Kershaw brilliantly captures the pathos and untold perspective of WWII through the eyes of one of its most courageous, unsung officers -- a great leader, who always put his men first. The Liberator is a compelling, cinematic story of the highest order."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from September 17, 2012
        In his latest WWII narrative, Kershaw (The Longest Winter) examines the war through the experiences of Felix Sparks, an American law student–turned–soldier who saw action in some of the bloodiest campaigns of 1943–1945. Sparks was initially assigned as a second lieutenant with the 157th Infantry Regiment of the 45th Infantry Division (the so-called “Thunderbirds”) and
        ended his service as a “world-weary” lieutenant colonel. Kershaw follows Sparks and the 157th as they land at Sicily, help liberate Rome, push on through France, and are among the first American troops to enter Germany.
        “No force in history is thought to have freed so many people and marched so
        far to do so,” Kershaw proclaims. But the darkest moment comes when the
        soldiers liberate the concentration camp at Dachau, which pushes many of them to the breaking point. While Kershaw’s prose can be purplish, he is a captivating narrator, hammering home the
        chaos and carnage of war, sparing no
        sensory detail to paint a cohesive picture. Kershaw’s portrayal of his subject (based on interviews with Sparks, who died in 2007, and other survivors)
        makes for a riveting, almost epic tale
        of a larger-than-life, underappreciated figure. 16 pages of b&w photos, and photos throughout, 13 maps. Agent:
        Jim Hornfischer, Hornfischer Literary Management.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        October 1, 2012
        Well-researched, sprawling account of unforgiving combat in World War II, told with pulpy immediacy. Kershaw (The Envoy: The Epic Rescue of the Last Jews of Europe in the Desperate Closing Months of World War II, 2010, etc.) crafts a dramatic historical narrative from lesser-known aspects of the European campaign by simultaneously focusing on the larger sweep of events and the experiences of one officer, Felix Sparks, whom the author interviewed prior to Sparks' death in 2007. Sparks joined the Army as a way out of the Depression and was a lieutenant in the 45th "Thunderbird" Division of the National Guard when war broke out; the intensity of his combat experience was indicated by his rank of colonel at the war's end. Sparks and his unit had a grueling wartime record: a year and a half of nearly constant combat, starting with the 1943 invasion of Sicily. Fortunately, Sparks "loved being a rifle company commander"; as the war intensified, he was seen as an officer with the rare combination of combat experience and esprit de corps. Yet multiple calamities befell Sparks and his unit, including the loss of his entire command during Anzio. Later, Sparks faced elite SS troops in harsh winter combat and was among the first American officers to liberate a concentration camp. Kershaw emphasizes the lethal, grinding absurdity of the European theater, which ultimately drove ordinary Americans like Sparks toward feats of bravery and endurance. Although the gruff dialogue and broad canvas of supporting characters can give the book the dramatized feel of a miniseries, it is an appealing addition to the literature of World War II. This engrossing wartime narrative offers a fresh look at the European campaign and an intimate sense of the war's toll on individual participants.

        COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        June 15, 2012

        Actually, that's 511 days of war. Kershaw, well known for his books on World War II, e.g., The Bedford Boys, The Longest Winter, here writes about a standout officer named Felix Sparks and the men he led across Europe, from Sicily to Dachau, fighting every inch of the way.

        Copyright 2012 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        October 15, 2012
        Kershaw writes for the New York Times and has also written several books on the experiences of American soldiers during WWII. Here he chronicles the saga of the 157th Infantry from July 1943 to the end of the war. At the center of the narrative is Felix Sparks, who, born in Texas and raised in Arizona, enlisted in the army in 1936 and rose to the rank of colonel by the end of the war. He was in the thick of action as he and his regiment fought in Sicily, moved up the Italian coast and into Germany, and liberated the concentration camp at Dachau in Bavaria. Using interviews with Sparks as well as his letters and those of his men, Kershaw tells a grim but also inspiring story. There is little glory here. Rather, it is a tale of death and destruction climaxed by the horror of countless rotting corpses at Dachau, where enraged G.I.'s slaughtered German camp guards until stopped by Sparks. Still, the ability of Sparks and his men to endure and persevere endows them with a degree of nobility. This is a gripping and superbly told account of men in war.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2012, American Library Association.)

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The untold story of the bloodiest and most dramatic march to victory of the Second World War—soon to be a Netflix original series starring Jose Miguel Vasquez, Bryan Hibbard, and Bradley James
 
“Exceptional . . . worthy addition to vibrant classics of small-unit history like Stephen Ambrose’s Band of Brothers.”—Wall Street Journal
 
Written with Alex Kershaw's trademark narrative drive and vivid immediacy, The Liberator traces the remarkable battlefield journey of maverick U.S. Army officer Felix Sparks through the Allied liberation of Europe—from the first landing in Italy to the final death throes of the Third Reich.
Over five hundred bloody days, Sparks and his infantry unit battled from the beaches of Sicily through the mountains of Italy and France, ultimately enduring bitter and desperate winter combat against the die-hard SS on the Fatherland's...
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Liberator One World War II Soldiers 500Day Odyssey from the Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau
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One World War II Soldier's 500-Day Odyssey from the Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau
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Crown