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An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-1943 Book Review Summary

Detailed Plot Synopsis of An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-1943

The first of a projected three volumes about the U.S. role in the World War II liberation of Europe, _An Army at Dawn_ deals with the North Africa campaign. Somehow, the author has found just the right mix of detail -- from personal notes out of soldiers' diaries and letters home, to the reparations paid to Algerians for traffic fatalities caused by Allies -- versus big picture aspects, such as the British and American political maneuverings at Casablanca and the larger troop movements and battle strategy. He mentions GI passwords in various battles, jokes, and ditties along with the graver tales of of triumph and tragedy. The author does not spare us the details of Allied political and personal squabbles (particularly British condescension toward American battleworthiness and courage -- not altogether undeserved, but not fair, either), absurdities, and atrocities. The book reads smoothly and compulsively, and there are plenty of excellent maps sprinkled throughout the book, at just the right places.
This report prepared by David Loftus








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Chapter Analysis of An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-1943

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Kind Of History

Time of history:    -   1940's History of military?    -   Yes Armed Forces:    -   Army Nationality?    -   American--General Specific war?    -   World War II

Subjects of this Historical Account

Ethnicity (if plays a major part)    -   European/White Is the portrayal sympathetic?    -   Sympathetic From a certain profession/group?    -   land soldiers

Setting

Africa    -   Yes Part of Africa:    -   Arabic Africa

Writing Style

Part of a series?    -   Yes How much gore?    -   3 () How fast-paced is the book?    -   3 () Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Book makes you feel...    -   in awe How much focus on stories of individuals?    -   Focuses on brief history of a lot of players How much romance?    -   1 () Minor characters feature lots of:    -   military Pictures/Illustrations?    -   A significant amount Maps necessary?    -   Necessary maps provided Length of book    -   450 pages+ How much emphasis on small details?    -   4 ()

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Rick Atkinson Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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