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About the Author

Rick Atkinson holds a master of arts degree in English literature from the University of Chicago and is a Pulitzer-Prize winning author and military historian Atkinson is the author of the highly-acclaimed Liberation Trilogy, The Long Gray Line, In the Company of Soldiers and Crusade. Atkinson mostrar mais received the Pulitzer Prize for the first volume of the Liberation Trilogy, An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-1943. The second volume, The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944, drew praise as well. Atkinson also received the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting; and the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for public service, awarded to the Washington Post for a series of investigative articles directed and edited by Atkinson on shootings by the District of Columbia police department. He is winner of the 1989 George Polk Award for national reporting, the 2003 Society for Military History Distinguished Book Award, the 2007 Gerald R. Ford Award for Distinguished Reporting on National Defense, and the 2010 Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing. Atkinson has served as the Gen. Omar N. Bradley Chair of Strategic Leadership at the U.S. Army War College. In 2014 his title The Guns at Last Light made The New York Times Best Seller List. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos
Image credit: Rick Atkinson speaks on the HIstory and Biography Stage at the National Book Festival, August 31, 2019. Photo by Shawn Miller/Library of Congress.


Obras de Rick Atkinson

Of Dogs and Men: Fifty Years in the Antarctic (1996) — Autor — 9 cópias

Associated Works

MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History — Autumn 2007 (2007) — Author "The Archangel Michael, Here and Everywhere" — 11 cópias
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History — Summer 2013 (2013) — Author "The Worst Place of Any — 3 cópias


Conhecimento Comum



(2019) Very good history of the 1st 2 years of the American Revolution. This is the first of a planned trilogy about the Revolution. Very well written but a slow read due to the font and format of the book. Looking forward to the subsequent volumes.KIRKUS REVIEWThe Pulitzer Prize?winning historian shifts his focus from modern battlefields to the conflict that founded the United States.Atkinson (The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945, 2013, etc.) is a longtime master of the set piece: Soldiers move into place, usually not quite understanding why, and are put into motion against each other to bloody result. He doesn't disappoint here, in the first of a promised trilogy on the Revolutionary War. As he writes of the Battle of Bunker Hill, for instance, ?Charlestown burned and burned, painting the low clouds bright orange in what one diarist called ?a sublime scene of military magnificence and ruin,' ? even as snipers fired away and soldiers lay moaning in heaps on the ground. At Lexington, British officers were spun in circles by well-landed shots while American prisoners such as Ethan Allen languished in British camps and spies for both sides moved uneasily from line to line. There's plenty of motion and carnage to keep the reader's attention. Yet Atkinson also has a good command of the big-picture issues that sparked the revolt and fed its fire, from King George's disdain of disorder to the hated effects of the Coercive Acts. As he writes, the Stamp Act was, among other things, an attempt to get American colonists to pay their fair share for the costs of their imperial defense (?a typical Americanpaid no more than sixpence a year in Crown taxes, compared to the average Englishman's twenty-five shillings?). Despite a succession of early disasters and defeats, Atkinson clearly demonstrates, through revealing portraits of the commanders on both sides, how the colonials ?outgeneraled? the British, whose army was generally understaffed and plagued by illness, desertion, and disaffection, even if ?the American army had not been proficient in any general sense.? A bonus: Readers learn what it was that Paul Revere really hollered on his famed ride.A sturdy, swift-moving contribution to the popular literature of the American Revolution.Pub Date: May 14th, 2019ISBN: 978-1-62779-043-7Page count: 800ppPublisher: Henry HoltReview Posted Online: Feb. 27th, 2019Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2019… (mais)
derailer | outras 33 resenhas | Jan 25, 2024 |
Wow. I wish I could give it 10 stars. If you've read a lot of world war 2 history it will still amaze you. The entire trilogy is a must read but this one was special to me. Maybe because I was reading it on June 6th. A beautifully written and brilliantly researched book.
dhenn31 | outras 47 resenhas | Jan 24, 2024 |
Rick Atkinson’s first of a projected 3-volume history of the American Revolution is notable if for nothing else than the stream of highly entertaining character assassinations, most particularly, those of the British political and military leadership.

He spends a lot of time filling in the nitty-gritty of warfare, how the common man experiences the effects of decisions from the top. Not unlike his earlier trilogy on WWII, the Liberation Trilogy.

Smallpox. Dysentery. Gangrene. Death and dismemberment by flying canon balls. War in the late 18th century could be pretty grim. And when their enlistments ran out, the Americans who managed to survive went home.

He doesn’t spend too much time on the causes of the war, just enough to make us revisit the premise of the war: that the colonies had enough of the tyranny of George III.

When George was read the Declaration of Independence by one of his ministers his first reaction was “I hope they get as good a government as the one they are abandoning.”

George’s predecessors had spent a lot of money creating the British Empire by defeating the French in India, in N. America, the Caribbean, and in Europe. It made the Empire the biggest trading block for its time anywhere.

Leaving the British Empire at that point of time might have seemed a touch rash. Things were going to get a lot better.

And while the Americans did their share of the fighting, the 13 colonies had done very well in the run up to the dispute over tea and taxes and representation.

From 1700-1775 the economies of the colonies grew 12-fold, largely due to population growth. After the break with Great Britain the Industrial Revolution gave a land rich in iron, coal, and later petroleum a head start on many other parts of the world including Africa, China, much of East Asia and Eastern Europe.

What should not be forgotten here as well is that capital growth in America got going with major investments from the Europeans, including the House of Rothschild, Morgan and Barings in London, and many others.

Did America get a better government, along with the capital and migrant brains of Europe?

If they did they sure didn’t get it right away. The Declaration of Independence didn’t give them any real national government in 1776 and the Constitution came years later after painful civil war.

Along with its representative form of government America was going to grow anyway, with the help of a bankrupt Napoleon (the Louisiana Purchase), because slaveholders coveted Mexican land in Texas, and with the help of federally-subsidized railways to the west. There was big money to be made along the way.

But again to the question: did America get a better government? They certainly got the direct form of representation they lacked as a colony which was better than they had before. But did their form of direct representation get them better government?

1) Recent attempts by Democrats to prevent the White House from thwarting its will suggest this government is not as good.

2) The Civil War less than 100 years after Independence again shows the government weaker than the previous or at least as ineffective at curbing civil disobedience.

3) England abandoned slavery without a civil war. America did not.

4) England’s polity allowed for the creation of the European Union after the age of empire. In America’s system sovereignty trumps international cooperation.

5) England is paralyzed over the question of when is it a good time to leave Europe. America has no such crisis.

6) Neither government was very good at reparations for genocidal wars (America against First Nations, or freed blacks; Great Britain against the Mau-Mau Rebelion.)

7) For better or worse the US presidency is a more dynamic executive branch than the British Cabinet. Mobilizing for war and mobilizing for peace it’s hard to argue that the British executive branch was more effective than the American during and in the aftermath of WWII.

8) Are civil rights and protections under the US Constitution any more effective than British protections? That’s a much tougher question that I’ll put to Quora one of these days.

On balance, it is arguable that America did not get a better form of government.
… (mais)
MylesKesten | outras 33 resenhas | Jan 23, 2024 |
Perhaps it is a tautology to say that no commander has ever entered a battle he has won before. Every new battle, every new war demands innovation. Only fools enter war confident they have mastered every contingency. The Allies entered the African campaign of WWII with a lot of preconceptions, but with few soldiers who had been there before. It seems so odd to us today reading that Dwight D. Eisenhower was named Supreme Commander of the Allied force with no experience leading an army into battle. None. Certainly the British generals under him scratched their head at the decision. Eisenhower had been in war before, but not from such lofty heights. In this account of the Allied invasion of North Africa we see Eisenhower make a lot of costly mistakes. Still the Allies beat one of the best armies ever assembled led by some of the best generals on the planet. To be fair, many of the Allies' costly mistakes came from a certain newness to the situation, a newness even the British generals took time cluing in to. The US Army may have fought in WWI, but they had never invaded a hostile continent before, nor supplied the soldiers of three nations to do it. They bumbled, they stalled for time, they failed to move in for the kill most of the time. But in Atkinson's great account, what the US soldiers had to learn first was to really hate the enemy. When you really hate the enemy you kill with abandon. Bernard Montgomery hated the enemy. His 8th British Army fought Rommel's army in their schoolhouse and pushed him back. And what the Allies had to learn was to trust and learn from each other, and to learn from their foes. Once the Americans, British, and French buried their differences and worked together, they found the secret sauce. As General George Patton said to his soldiers, " Once you look across at what was once the face of your best friend and see a gooey mess, you'll know what to do." (I paraphrase.)… (mais)
MylesKesten | outras 62 resenhas | Jan 23, 2024 |



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