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Assignment to Hell: The War Against Nazi Germany with Correspondents Walter Cronkite, Andy Rooney, A.J. Liebling, Homer Bigart, and Hal Boyle (Anglais) Relié – 1 mai 2012

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Revue de presse

Assignment to Hell is a book every modern journalist—and citizen—should read. The ‘assignment’ is World War II, the largest event in the history of mankind, a war unlike any other before or since. The men who covered it on the front lines, in the air and at sea were beyond brave and resourceful—and great company for each other. Those legendary journalists, Cronkite and Rooney among them, were the eyes and ears of a nation depending on them for stories that instructed, inspired and entertained. I salute them all.” 
(Tom Brokaw, author of The Greatest Generation)

“If one can say that reading a book titled Assignment to Hell was a delight, I say it now. The stories are so vivid and alive all these years later that I felt I was there with the legendary correspondents of World War II as they wrote their way from France to Germany.”
(David Maraniss, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of They Marched Into Sunlight)

“World War II was also fought by a free press. Assignment to Hell is a worthy story about great and adventurous reporters, my father among them, who flew in the bombers, jumped with parachutes, and ducked into foxholes to report news of the war home to America.”
(Brian Rooney, former ABC New correspondent)

“Tim Gay brilliantly tells the tale of five of the greatest reporters of World War II chasing the biggest story of their lives, filing the first draft of history with their newspapers while writing letters home to wives and girlfriends with the first version of lifelong family lore.”
(Chip Cronkite, son of Walter Cronkite)

Présentation de l'éditeur


In February 1943, a group of journalists—including a young wire service correspondent named Walter Cronkite and cub reporter Andy Rooney—clamored to fly along on a bombing raid over Nazi Germany. Seven of the sixty-four bombers that attacked a U-boat base that day never made it back to England. A fellow survivor, Homer Bigart of the New York Herald Tribune, asked Cronkite if he’d thought through a lede. “I think I’m going to say,” mused Cronkite, “that I’ve just returned from an assignment to hell.”

During his esteemed career Walter Cronkite issued millions of words for public consumption, but he never wrote or uttered a truer phrase.

Assignment to Hell tells the powerful and poignant story of the war against Hitler through the eyes of five intrepid reporters. Crisscrossing battlefields, they formed a journalistic band of brothers, repeatedly placing themselves in harm’s way to bring the war home for anxious American readers.

Cronkite crashed into Holland on a glider with U.S. paratroopers. Rooney dodged mortar shells as he raced across the Rhine at Remagen. Behind enemy lines in Sicily, Bigart jumped into an amphibious commando raid that nearly ended in disaster. The New Yorker’s A. J. Liebling ducked sniper fire as Allied troops liberated his beloved Paris. The Associated Press’s Hal Boyle barely escaped SS storm troopers as he uncovered the massacre of U.S. soldiers during the Battle of the Bulge.

Assignment to Hell is a stirring tribute to five of World War II’s greatest correspondents and to the brave men and women who fought on the front lines against fascism—their generation’s “assignment to hell.”

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 36 commentaires
11 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
CAPTIVATING 8 mai 2012
Par KPD - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Timothy Gay has brought WWII to life in this book that weaves a great story of the lives of my childhood and adult news heroes and the history of the great war. I will never again be able to imagine Walter Cronkite or Andy Rooney as just "talking heads". To say that I could not put this book down is trite but true. So very much emotion and information written in a captivating and engaging style. I have missed The CBS news with Walter Cronkite but feel a new and alive reconnection with a much more human newscaster. The horrors of that war come alive through the experiences of some real people.
17 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Riveting Story of WW II 13 mai 2012
Par R. G. Lasher - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Book Review: Assignment to Hell by Timothy M. Gay

Reviewed by Robert G. Lasher

In the winter of 1966, in a classroom where the steam heat was so stifling that even on the coldest day the teacher would throw open the windows to get a little fresh air into the mix, a young man stood before our class and professed the new love of his life. No, it wasn't Maria Frontera, the fiery redhead who sat next to him, or Janet Holding, the blonde two rows over (she was my girl); this twelve year old boy had fallen in love with a book: The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan. I don't remember everything he said, but I will never forget the passion in his voice as he delivered his seventh grade book report. "I love this book," he said. And today, almost 50 years later, Timothy M. Gay stands on his hero's shoulders to bring us the story he alone may have been born to tell: The War Against Nazi Germany with Correspondents WALTER CRONKITE, ANDY ROONEY, A.J. LIEBLING, HOMER BIGART, and HAL BOYLE, Assignment to Hell.

This is the story of World War II as we have never heard it. Told in a biographical context of five intrepid journalists, two of whom are household names to my generation, but all of whom were well known to our parents, it weaves together the history we have never been accurately taught with the personal remembrances that only people on the ground could possibly know. It's as if you were sitting with your grandfather and he says "Timmy, I know what the history books say, but let me tell you how it really was."

If you have seen the opening sequences of Saving Private Ryan, Steven Spielberg's film that provides our generation the best visual depiction of the Battle of Omaha Beach, Normandy France, June 6, 1944, you will have a clue about how this book gets off to a roaring, action filled start. That said, do not even think of skipping the Author's Note, not exactly a foreword, in which Mr. Gay provides insights about the fortunes of war from a perspective of someone who has actually sat in the trenches and allowed himself to think and feel what our fathers did in their moments of deepest distress. He makes the point abundantly clear that what now appears like it was inevitable, wasn't all that certain when the rockets' red glare, and bombs bursting in air were the music that concussively, seemingly without ceasing, saturated their psyches.

Mr. Gay tells the story, many stories actually, in a way that you will still see the big picture, but what makes this book a treasure are the subtle details he provides, that allow us to experience as close to first hand as is humanly possible the joys and agonies of being on the front lines. For example, early in the book, he tells of a youthful Walter Cronkite crawling on hands and knees, or shimmying on his belly, to make his way through the fuselage, around 500 pound bombs and other mechanical implements of warfare, of a B-17, to make his way to a middle seat in the nose, a whole lot less comfortable than the middle seat I always avoid when climbing aboard the climate controlled Flying Fortresses of my battles. Gay gives such excruciating detail, that you can feel the pain in Cronkite's back, hands, knees and elbows.

Mr. Gay tells us who these guys really were, where they came from, the experiences and issues we would never have thought of, and the risks and sacrifices they made to get their stories out. The stories are all fact based and clearly well researched (there are over 300 footnotes, but they don't get in the way). He uses his imagination, and ties details together in a way to give us way more than a glimpse of what these men were actually experiencing as they conducted their business, and it was a business, and lives. He recounts some of their best stories and puts them vividly into the context of that day. He gives us plenty of opportunity to use our own imagination as well, so that all of these men become people we really know, as well as anyone can in this life.

He tells us stories about battles, people and places they never taught us about in the history classes we yawned through in high school. He allows us to appreciate things that ultimately really mattered, both to the people who were experiencing these stories in real time, and to us who have inherited the benefits of the legacy they sacrificed for. And believe me, their sacrifices were beyond even Mr. Gay's capacity to fully comprehend or report. If you are like me, you will have difficulty fighting back tears for much of this book. Don't fight. Let them come.

It is clear that I have known this author personally for a very long time. When he let us know his book was coming out, I told him I would read it, and review it. I had the choice to review it with some notion of veiled objectivity. Instead, like Tim, I have decided to share some of what I know about this great story teller of my generation. One of the correspondents he has chronicled grew up in a town perched in the mountains of north central Pennsylvania. Tim Gay grew up in a very similar kind of place. He was a great student, a very good athlete, holding the school record for the mile run, a record he may in fact still hold. He has had to travel just as far physically, and many miles farther psychically, to create the opportunities that resulted in this brilliant new book.

I love this book.

(Robert G. Lasher is a financial consultant specializing in commercial bank credit risk management issues. In 1966 he won the 7th grade spelling bee at Beaty Junior High School in Warren, PA. The winning word: riveting.)
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
American War Correspondents in the ETO! 20 juin 2012
Par Michael OConnor - Publié sur
Format: Relié
During World War II, hundreds of American war correspondents practiced their calling in the European Theater. Among those men were Homer Bigart, Hal Boyle, Walter Cronkite, A. J. Liebling and Andy Rooney. Timothy Gay traces the combat life and times of those five men in this appealing 2012 release from NAL Caliber.

After an introductory chapter that traces the activities of the five men on D-Day, Gay's book sweeps back in time, chronicling the early life and career of Cronkite, Boyle, et al and then follows each as they eventually journey to war. All five got their combat baptism in North Africa followed by Sicily and Italy. Some flew bombing missions as well. Once ashore on Normandy, they followed the Allied advance across Europe to war's end.

Gay is a skilled author and brings Liebling, Bigart, Boyle, Rooney and Cronkite to life as living, breathing human beings. Likewise, though he focuses on the five, Gay interweaves the stories of numerous other correspondents against the background of combat. Many of the stories those men wrote are recalled, often using excerpts from the actual columns written. As a result, ASSIGNMENT TO HELL is alternately exciting, sad, terrifying and amusing but always compelling.

In short, ASSIGNMENT TO HELL is a great read, highlighting, as it does, the exploits of a journalistic band of brothers covering the greatest story of the 20th Century. Highly recommended.

One curious point. Though A.J. Liebling was one of the five covered, the book doesn't include a single photograph of him.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Rapidly edited 23 juillet 2012
Par Flycatcher - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
This book is interesting subject matter. The five correspondents selected to chronicle had unique and varied experiences during the war. Walter Cronkite and Andy Rooney have been household names in their older years; it is fun to see them as young men. The only criticism I have is that the editing of the book, particularly in the introductory chapters, leaves the reader wondering how we got from where we were to where we are now. Characters are referenced that have not been introduced yet. Still, I recommend it.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
You have to admire these guys! 26 avril 2013
Par Texas Bob - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I have read Andy Rooney's book as well as Walter Cronkite's. They were known to me more by television that what they did in WWII. I really enjoyed learning about some of the other correspondents from WWII that I was not familiar with. They were famous at the time, but I was not alive at the time. It was well told and I learned some more history of WWII that I did not know. You have to admire the job they did in getting the daily story of WWII told and back to the people at home. A good read.
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