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A Soldier's Story (Modern Library War) Paperback – May 4, 1999


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Product Details

  • Series: Modern Library War
  • Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library (May 4, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375754210
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375754210
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This 1951 volume by the so-called "GI General" is quite an appropriate title to help launch Modern Library's new "War" line of paperback reprints. Bradley here offers a firsthand account of World War II. This is the only paperback available of this title.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Superb history and literature...surpassed only by the magnificent volumes of  Winston Churchill."  -- The Saturday Review

"A Soldier's Story tells, better than any other book of its kind to date, how the war in the European theater was fought and why it was fought that way."
--A. J. Liebling, The New Yorker

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Customer Reviews

These comments alone make this book a must read.
Lindsay R. Dew
His explanations and descriptions seem much more enlightening than many of the more recent accounts of this era written with greater hindsight.
J. Lance Walton
Anyway, I really liked a lot this book and strongly recommend it for anyone interested on WW2.
Francisco Teixeira de Almeida

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 55 people found the following review helpful By A Winnetka reader on February 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
A Soldier's Story is easily the best of the memoirs of the major Allied leaders of WWII. From D-Day to the German surrender, Bradley was in the middle of the European action and "tells it like it was", far more so than Eisenhower did in "Crusade in Europe". While Ike glosses over controversial situations and personality clashes, Bradley honestly discusses the failure to close the Falais Gap, the failure of "Market- Garden" in Holland,and the failure to detect the Ardennes offensive. In addition, Bradley graphically describes his antagonistic relationship with Montgomery and his, at times, difficulty in dealing with his subordinate, George Patton. Bradley's writing is not that of a man whose real purpose is to make friends and run for office; he writes like a man who wants to tell people his version of the momentous events of 1944-5. His story flows seamlessly and never seems self-serving, a fault of nearly every military memoir I've ever read. If you could only read 2 books on WWII, I'd recommend Shirer's "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" and this book, "A Soldier's Story".
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By schalley on August 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
Currently, I am about 20 pages from the end of this book. It was a gift to me from the widow of a soldier that fought (and survived) in the ETO. As soon as I picked it up to look it over, I found myself drawn into Gen. Bradly's world over 50 years ago. It was difficult to put down each time I picked it up.
I read a LOT of WWII books and magazines. Usually I am most drawn to eyewitness/personal accounts of frontline combat. In this book I was fascinated by Gen. Bradley's personal account at the strategic level--the problems they faced, how they came to critical decisions, the relationships and insights into influential persons involved in the conflict.
This is a wonderful compliment to the footsoldier genre of WWII literature. I learned a lot about some aspects of combat command that I had never been exposed to before--like logistics and supply--and how important they are in decision-making. If you're interested in experiencing (vicariously) what it was like to be involved in this period of history, this book belongs as a unique part of your curriculum. No one else can tell us what it was like to be both under and over Patton in the same war, as a Corp Commander and as an Army Group Commander. And I might add that his writing is easy to enjoy.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Arrowood on February 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
I have rarely enjoyed a book so much. It is thoroughly engrossing, illuminating us to so many aspects of the European Theater, many of the great men of the war, and general command principles.

Bradley recounts, in some detail, battle by battle the move through Africa, Sicily, France and Germany. His account seems straightforward and humble, tackling failures of Monty (including Market Garden) Patton, and even himself in his failure to anticipate the Ardennes Offensive that led to the Battle of the Bulge.

His accounts of interactions with great men of the era such as Eisenhower, Monty, and Patton are worthwhile, but what I found fascinating were the figures new to me such as Hodges, Middleton, Ridgeway, Heubner, Gerow, Devers, and even Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. The hard-charging, do your duty feeling that was evident in this book makes me proud to be an American. It is simply amazing to see that men such as Eisenhower and Bradley moved from relative obscurity as colonels to leaders of enormous armies in some of the most important battles of history in a period of only 5 or 6 years.

An added plus are the motivational and management lessons learned from Bradley.

One suggestion: While the book is filled with helpful maps, search for WW2 Battlefield maps online and print them for reference. Keep them with you when you read Bradley's accounts. They will make following the detail of movement much easier.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Wayne A. Smith VINE VOICE on February 1, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is the story of WWII as General Omar Bradley saw it.
His unassuming and straight forward style underscores how he is portrayed by contemporary accounts. The man known as the "G.I. General" comes across as an island of equanimity in a sea of incredible egos like Patton, Montgomery et al.
This book is Bradley's take on events. I am sure that some involved in controversies he covered (Patton's slapping incident, Montgomery at Caen, Falaise and Arnhem) would defend their actions (or inactions) vigorously. Yet this account has an aura of authenticity due to the author's lack of need to tout his own accomplishments (which were many). This inner peacefulness, along with command ability, probably explains Bradley's rise to the level of senior American ground commander in Europe.
For an insider's account of the American effort and strategic management in the European Theater of Operations, this book is superb. It is well written, clear and largely devoid of the bombast that can weigh down some combat and command accounts. Although a big book, it reads quickly.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Francisco Teixeira de Almeida on January 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
"A Soldier's Story" is the perfect title for General of the Army Omar Nelson Bradley's account of WW2. In this book he talks of his career just previous to the outbreak of the war, of his experience as Eisenhower's "eyes and ears" in North Africa, of his command of the II Corps in Tunisia and Sicily, of his role as being either commander of the First Army and 1st (later 12th) Army Group for a time, of his impressions on Russian officers, and so.
What set this book aside from other personal accounts on WW2 is not only its wealth of facts and details, but on how it is told: as personal and passionate as a general can be. General Bradley does not only tell how things happened, but also how he felt about them. There we find his impressions on those great figures of Eisenhower, Patton, and (specially) Montgomery are remarkable, but also his appreciation for the common soldier, more specifically when disagreeing with Patton's opinion of battle fatigue being a lame excuse for cowardice. Bradley admitted that the living of a frontline soldier is harsh, where death can be found in the next step, and that the role of a commander is to balance casualties in order to keep them low in the long run, even at a cost of a higher rate from an immediate action. Interesting is how he reproduces the infantryman custom of mentioning where in the US a fellow soldier came from, like when he told about the "hedgerow cutter device" and telling that its inventor, Sgt. Curtis Cullin, came from New York. No surprise that he earned the nickname of "G.I. General".
With this respect, of telling things lively, he is unsurpassed by any American soldier or general: Eisenhower's "Crusade in Europe" seems a "bureaucratic" account when comparised with "A Soldier's Story" (sorry Ike fans).
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