An energetic, highly readable account of the Allied military campaign in Italy which led to the occupation of Rome in 1944, with controversies revived, personalities rounded out, and great and terrible, frustrating, events reviewed. By the use of interviews, contemporary written material, and the authors' own commonsense perspective, both high level decisions and the situation of the harassed G.I. are investigated. Mark Clark, target of criticism for his ""arrogance,"" his brashness, nonetheless in retrospect, is declared ""unsophisticated. . . avid for publicity, (but) a commander who did everything that could have been done under the circumstances."" The Goat of Anzio, General Lucas, under heavy attack since for his holding, rather than pursuing, tactic on the beachhead, performed reliably without contradicting directives. Lucas was not a Patton, and should not have been expected to wage that kind of campaign. The authors also soberly assess the miasma of rumors concerning Vatican politics, and accept the calmer view of Pope Pius as dedicated to the preservation of the Vatican, hardly favoring the Germans but realistically appraising the limitations of papal influence. Less a military history than a competent, lively account of a remarkable collection of human beings under fire. Without the scope of The Last Battle, perhaps, but nonetheless a first rate reconstruction.