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The Bitter Road to Freedom: The Human Cost of Allied Victory in World War II Europe Paperback – Illustrated, October 13, 2009
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"Remarkable.... [U]nderlines that the liberation of Europe was both a major military triumph and a human tragedy of epic proportions." -- Irish Times
"A powerful and important new work of history.... [A] thorough, passionate corrective to any simple telling of the terrible last year of this war." -- Financial Times
"The Bitter Road to Freedom is an eloquent presentation of what are too often called war's 'collateral effects.' Chaos, destruction and suffering are not collateral. They are fundamental." -- History Book Club
About the Author
- Publisher : Free Press; Illustrated edition (October 13, 2009)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 464 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1439123306
- ISBN-13 : 978-1439123300
- Item Weight : 13.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 1.4 x 8.44 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #612,439 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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In the East, the brutality of Hitlers invasion and his treatment of civilians and soldiers was indescribably worse. Culminating in the protracted siege of Leningrad, the horrors of German barbarism and Russian suffering were unimaginable. Yes, the Red Army adopted an eye-for-an-eye policy in driving the Huns home, but honestly, when you thrash a sleeping bear, you deserve what you get. Justifiable or unjustifiable is not the question. This is raw human emotion at its extreme limits, savage against savage. Anyone who doesn’t understand this must read Max Hastings and the personal diaries of those who were there.
Mr. Hitchcock balances facts and numbers with individual recollections and perceptions and in so doing gives us both an emotional and logical understanding of this period. The writing is objective: credit and blame for success and failure are noted for both victors and vanquished. While popular history makes this period appear to be the conclusion of the good fight, he points out that it was much more complex period with many conflicts that were not quickly, if at all, resolved.
I heartily recommend this book for the casual history reader who would like an introduction to this unreported period in Europe. It’ll give you a better appreciation of what it means to bring war to an end and, I believe, will help you better understand the challenges of ending current US involved wars.