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Leopard

Leopard

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Taiga?s True Views: The Language of Landscape Painting in Eighteenth-Century Japan by Melinda Takeuchi (1994-06-01)
Melinda Takeuchi
The History of England, Vol 2
David Hume
The History of Scepticism: From Savonarola to Bayle
Richard H. Popkin
Cicero: On Moral Ends (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy)
Marcus Tullius Cicero, Raphael Woolf, Julia Annas
Das Goldene Vlies: Dramatisches Gedicht in Drei Abteilungen
Franz Grillparzer
Euripides IV: Rhesus / The Suppliant Women / Orestes / Iphigenia in Aulis
Charles R. Walker, Frank William Jones, William Arrowsmith, David Grene, Euripides, Richmond Lattimore
Notes from Underground & The Double
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Jesse Coulson
The World of Thought in Ancient China
Benjamin I. Schwartz
The Last Generation of the Roman Republic
Erich S. Gruen
The Legend of Gold and Other Stories
William J. Tyler, Jun Ishikawa, Ishikawa Jun

With The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945 , by Rick Atkinson

The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945 - Rick Atkinson

With The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945 Rick Atkinson concludes his trilogy on the American engagement in that part of the Second World War involving the Germans and Italians. This final volume is an exciting and exhausting read. Atkinson's special touch seems to result from an aptitude to find and select incidents which he can cause to appear before the reader's eyes in an absolutely concrete manner. For example, though I have read many descriptions of the politics, personal interactions and consequences of the Yalta conference, Atkinson chooses instead to take us in descriptive detail from the alternative port (the port of Yalta was mined) along the long and winding mountain road through the destroyed environs to the cliffside palace which was the American billet and then to evoke this palace down to the livery of the servants and the number of bathrooms available, so that when he reports a participant calling Yalta "the Riviera of Hades" I laughed until my eyes teared. Though Atkinson does not ignore the politics and consequences, one should compare the attention he gives to the setting with the attention he gives to the political infighting. Another such set piece was Roosevelt's and Churchill's visit in Malta, where they handled business in the European theater before leaving for Yalta. And these wonderful set pieces were not reserved solely for the activities of the high mucka-mucks. Atkinson has a gift for giving the reader the feeling of being present, observing from the corner.(Hmmm, four gerunds in one short sentence - but it seems to work...)

 

Although I greatly value The Guns At Last Light , it certainly does not replace previous stellar efforts such as Max Hastings' Armegeddon (theater-wide overview in the same time frame as Guns ) or Charles B. MacDonald's A Time for Trumpets (detailed account of the Battle of the Bulge) and John Keegan's Six Armies in Normandy (from D-Day to the liberation of Paris). But the primary reason why I must withhold the fifth star is the extreme American-centrism of this book. Although the British were given a bit more attention, relatively little effort is made to describe the thought and actions of America's allies, except insofar as they contributed to or thwarted the desires and actions of the Americans. And when I compare the efforts made in this book to view the struggle from the point of view of the enemy with John Toland's magisterial The Rising Sun , well, let's just say there is no comparison, an American idiom which is nonsensical when viewed literally but which is nonetheless pregnant with meaning...