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D-Day: The Battle for Normandy Paperback – 27 May 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 632 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (27 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141048131
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141048130
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 3.4 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (290 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 321,476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Antony Beevor was educated at Winchester and Sandhurst, where he studied under John Keegan. A regular officer with the 11th Hussars, he left the Army to write. He has published four novels, and ten books of non-fiction. His work has appeared in more than thirty foreign editions. His books include The Spanish Civil War; Inside the British Army; Crete -- The Battle and the Resistance, which was awarded a Runciman Prize, and Paris After the Liberation, 1944-1949 (written with his wife Artemis Cooper). He has also contributed to several books including The British Army, Manpower and Society into the Twenty-First Century, edited by Hew Strachan and to Russia - War, Peace & Diplomacy in honour of the late John Erickson.
Stalingrad, first published in 1998, won the first Samuel Johnson Prize, the Wolfson Prize for History and the Hawthornden Prize for Literature in 1999. The British edition was a number one bestseller in both hardback and paperback. Berlin - The Downfall 1945, published in 2002, was accompanied by a BBC Timewatch programme on his research into the subject. It has been a No. 1 Bestseller in seven countries as well as Britain, and in the top five in another nine countries. The book received the first Longman-History Today Trustees' Award.
In May 2004, he published The Mystery of Olga Chekhova, which describes the experiences of the Chekhov and Knipper families from before the Russian revolution until after the Second World War. His Russian research assistant Dr Lyubov Vinogradova and he edited and translated the war time papers of the novelist Vasily Grossman, published in September 2005 as A Writer at War - Vasily Grossman with the Red Army 1941-1945.
He has also published a completely revised edition of his 1982 history of the Spanish Civil War, with a great deal of new material from Spanish sources and foreign archives. This came out in Spain in September 2005 as La guerra civil española where it became the No.1 Bestseller and received the La Vanguardia prize for non-fiction. It appeared in English in spring, 2006, as The Battle for Spain - The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939. It has been a top ten bestseller in eight countries.
D-Day - The Battle for Normandy, published in June 2009, has been a No 1 Bestseller in seven countries, including the UK and France, and in the top ten in another eight countries. It has received the Prix Henry Malherbe in France and the Duke of Westminster Medal from the Royal United Services Institute.
His most recent book, The Second World War, published in June 2012, is being translated into twenty-one languages. It has already been a No 1 bestseller in Britain and four other countries, and a bestseller in another four. Altogether, more than five million copies of his books have been sold.
Antony Beevor was made a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 1997 and in 2008 was awarded the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana by the President of Estonia. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1999. He was the 2002-2003 Lees-Knowles lecturer at Cambridge. In 2003, he received the first Longman-History Today Trustees' Award. He is also Visiting Professor at the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at Birkbeck College, University of London. In September 2003, he succeeded Philip Pullman as Chairman of the Society of Authors and handed over to Helen Dunmore in September, 2005. He has received honorary degrees of Doctor of Letters from the University of Kent and the University of Bath. He was a judge of the British Academy Book Prize and the David Cohen Prize in 2004, and is a member of the Samuel Johnson Prize steering committee. He is married to the writer and biographer Artemis Cooper and they have a daughter Nella and a son Adam.

Product Description


'As powerful and authoritative an account of the battle for Normandy as we are likely to get in this generation. Nobody knows better than Beevor how to translate the dry stuff of military history into human drama of the most vivid and moving kind' -- Max Hastings, Sunday Times --Max Hastings, Sunday Times

'A brilliantly co-ordinated and almost overwhelmingly upsetting history. Beevor is singularly expert at homing in on those telltale human details that reveal just what it would have been like to be in Normandy in the summer of 1944' -- Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday -- Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday

'No writer can surpass Beevor in making sense of a crowded battlefield and in balancing the explanation of tactical manoeuvres with poignant flashes of human detail' -- Christopher Silvester --Christopher Silvester, Daily Express

'Beevor's previous books led us to expect something special from D-Day, and he does not disappoint. Beevor has a particularly keen eye for the apercu or quotation that brings an experience - very often a gory one - to life' -- Andrew Roberts, Sunday Telegraph --Andrew Roberts, Sunday Telegraph

'Compulsive. Beevor tells it all with the soldier's eye for what matters on the ground as much as with the historian's for the broader understanding of events' -- Allan Mallinson, The Times
--Allan Mallinson, The Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Antony Beevor is the renowned author of Stalingrad, which won the Samuel Johnson Prize, the Wolfson Prize for History and the Hawthornden Prize for Literature, and Berlin, which received the first Longman-History Today Trustees' Award. His books have sold nearly four million copies. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tristan Martin VINE VOICE on 15 May 2013
Format: Hardcover
For a layman like myself who hasn't done a great deal of reading on this subject, Anthony Beevor's D-Day: The Battle for Normandy, is a fine book that gave me a greater insight in to that summer of 1944 and a richer appreciation of what happened after the beachheads had been secured. Other reviewers who have clearly done a good deal more reading were not particularly impressed with this book.

Initially, this book covers the Normandy beach invasions, as you would expect. Beevor then takes us through the battle-scarred landscape of north western France, right in to the center of Paris. As was the case with two of his most well-known previous books, Stalingrad and Berlin, it is in the smaller details that Beevor really tells his story - his effective use of personal anecdotes and diaries that really breathe life in to his narrative, are what sets him apart from countless other historians of the same era.

Despite Beevor's considerable writing skills and his mastery of marshalling such a vast amount of information in to a coherent narrative, D-Day never quite scaled the heights (or plumbed the depths, depending on your perspective) as his two above-mentioned books. This could well be because this facet of the Second World War is so ingrained in to our British consciousness that we feel like we already know the history, even if we actually don't.
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63 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Big Jim TOP 100 REVIEWER on 5 Jun. 2009
Format: Hardcover
How many books have been written about D-Day? Dozens? Hundreds? The question we must therefore ask ourselves is does this book add anything to the already impressive list?

And I have to say it doesn't really. Most of what is here has been revealed before. Sure there are some new "voices" from the battlefield and elsewhere but we have seen innumerable such "memoirs" over the past few years (I notice another of the "Forgotten voices" series specifically for D Day has recently been published)

Where Beevor scored with Stalingrad and Berlin was that he had access to new material released in Russia which allowed a whole new dimension to be opened. Such material must be pretty thin on the ground regarding D Day so there is not much that is new here.

It is apparent that such a huge concern needs a multi-volume work or indeed perusal of the many books that come up if you type in "D day" in the search engine above. (7000+ books!) My personal favourites have always been the Purnell History of World War 2 series of books that came out originally in the 60's. They were and are (if you can find copies) fascinating reading for anyone interested in the military events of the time.

Having said all that, this is still well written and easy to read which would make it serve as a good introduction to the events of the 6th of June (This piece is being written on the 65th anniversary of the eve of the battle) but for more detail you'd be better turning to many of the other books on the subject

One final thought, I note that some of the other reviews of this book are aghast at how Amerocentric this book is. Equally I notice that Robin Niellands' book for example is seen as being too Anglo/Canadian centric. Why not read both and then make up your own mind?
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239 of 268 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 1 Jun. 2009
Format: Hardcover
I would like to warn others against this book. The main ideas and arguments it puts forward have already been dealt with far more competently by other authors. It also claims to be based on extensive new research but it is not. If you have already read widely on the subject of the Normandy landings and the campaign that followed then it may just be worth reading this book so that you can discuss its shortcomings honestly if required to do so.
If you are new or relatively new to this subject area then I would strongly recommend you read the following authors before you read Mr Beevors book as their work is far superior-
Max Hastings - Overlord
Carlo D'este - Decision in Normandy
Robert J Kershaw - D-Day
If you really want to go into the detail of German combat readiness and performance in this theatre- in a properly researched book - then I would also recommend-
Niklas Zetterling Normandy 1944.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Chris T on 19 July 2010
Format: Paperback
I found this book very poor. I really enjoyed Stalingrad which I thought provided a real insight into the Russian mindset during the war, and the dilemmas faced by some Germans too, but D-Day wasn't in that league. For a start little seemed new though Beevor is good with small details, he missed completely the great sweep of the battle and Montgomery's great strategy grinding down and destroying the German Army on the British and Canadian fronts while building up and breaking out on the American side.All the time completely hoodwinking the Germans as to the real intention of the Allies until the last moment.

Indeed the book seemed so anti-British I wonder if it was not deliberately written that way for the American market. There are a completely unjustified number of criticisms of the British commanders especially Monty, in respect of whom Beevor cannot bring himself to utter a single word of praise. Montgomery in fact is NEVER mentioned unless in critical terms. Montgomery did fail to deliver on some pre battle intentions but the great strategy for Normandy - including the American breakout, was his, set out at St Pauls School before the campaign and delivered in crushing style putting the allies on the Seine at D plus 90 just as Montgomery had predicted. This is the indisputable truth and Beevors work gives no sense whatever of this. Bradley of course did the detailed planning for Cobra, but the Strategic concept and direction was Montgomery's.Even Bradley who later fell out with Monty over the Ardennes gave Monty full credit for his performance in Normandy.

This aspect is so bad - even personal that I began to believe one of Beevor's relatives must have been slighted by Montgomery in some way, perhaps sacked or treated badly, to elicit such hostility. I thought there must be some sort of deeper explanation.
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