The Few: The American Knights of the Air Who Risked Everything to Save Britain in the Summer of 1940 Paperback – 7 Aug 2007
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"A powerful reminder of the human cost of war."
"The true story that inspired Saving Private Ryan."
"A moving story of uncommon valor." -- James Bradley
"A heroic, inspiring story that deserves to be told."
"Few books describe the costs of war so soberly and so vividly."
"The poignant story of twenty-one young men... who died in the D-Day invasion."
About the Author
Alex Kershaw is the author of the widely acclaimed and bestselling books The Bedford Boys, The Longest Winter, and The Few, and two biographies: Jack London and Blood and Champagne: The Life and Times of Robert Capa. He lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
As historian you are working on book for years constantly correcting yourself by editing and adding new primary and secondary sources, by cross-checking every detail and then you see someone like Mr. Alex Kershaw, who is making a lot of money by copy and paste 75 years old propaganda pamflets. Very sad.
I was wondering how could anybody without corrections and without proper research use war pamflets like Eugene Tobin: Yankee Eagle over London, Liberty Magazine, 29 March 1941 and 5 April 1941, Hector Bolitho: Yanks over England, 2 March 1941 and Tally-Ho! Yankea in a Spitfire, 1943. As I see, you could, but results are like Kershaw's, unfortunately. Stories from airfield near Tours during French campaign are unproven and definitely nonsence. French soldiers killed two Czech pilots when the are running towards Potez 63? Po 63 is shooting down Ju 87 above airfield and Stuka is crashing in front of their eyes? No, this did not happened! There are even no dates of those situations and if they are some, you could find out that story is completely incorrect!
In book you can find references of Stephen Bungay: The Most Dangerous Enemy. Yes, this was bestseller, but my personal copy is full of "incorrect" notes. Book is filled with misleading and inaccurate statements. They are like hunderts of them. Why? Because Stephen Bungay is not historian, but right wing manager. So, when I found this sentence in the book, I knew imediately who was author: "Britain had 48 squadrons of 754 Hurricanes and Spitfires [roughly 16 planes to a squadron] against the Luftwaffe's 1,464 fighter planes and 1,808 bombers." Yes, this was Bungay, p. 107.Read more ›
Unfortunately, the book is bedevilled by factual inaccuracies which should have been corrected during editing/proof reading and which ultimately detract from the narrative.
Saying that, the writing style is engaging and the book whips along when read. It is not the definitive work on Americans in the Battle of Britain and it is not entirely accurate in places, but I suppose it will do the job of encouraging readers who know little about the Battle of Britain and these men to want to find out more. In my opinion it is a shame that it could not have been more, both in accuracy, scope and research.
However, from the standpoint of one who was around in 1940, I think the book has defined some of the debt we owe these Americans who, regardless of initial motivations ascribed to them by the author, served selflessly (and most of whom died) in the cause of a country not their own. Alex Kershaw may not have produced a literary triumph here but he succeeds in reminding us of the obligation we have towards these people and those like them. In that sense alone, the book is a worthwhile undertaking although, in my view, the personal contributions of these brave men deserve a chronicle better than this.
Kershaw gets the points across with professionalism and care for his subjects.
I recommend this to anyone interested as a starting point of the huge subject which is the battle of Britain. I look forward to reading more of his work
gave it for stars just to take into account the inaccuracy otherwise would defiantly been 5
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Another book to add to my collection. I am the grandchild of one of The Few who was shot down and killed.Published 11 months ago by larchdown candy
I only bought the book because a cousin of mine was mentioned in the book. I have not read it persae.Published on 1 Dec. 2012 by John Mackenzie