Since it is the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, I thought it would be a fine time to recommend a top read on the subject. Cornelius Ryan is one of the best WWII historians and produced two classic works: A Bridge Too Far (about the disastrous Allied operation, ‘Market Garden’) and The Longest Day, which is aptly titled to describe D-Day.
What makes Ryan stand apart from many of his peers is the sheer volume of interviews. He in turn incorporated those stories into his narrative so that instead of reading simply about military tactics or what happened when, you have the event relayed through the eyes of the people on the ground. Little details about what they took with them, personal encounters with the enemy etc make the whole history come to life. There is a film version of this. The movie is well-done but the book is better.
D-Day and the fight against fascism helped change the course of humanity. You can’t know where you are going if you don’t know where you’ve been. Take time to read about the men and women who gave you the world you have today.