AMERICA AT D-DAY by Richard Goldstein


A Book of Remembrance
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 Goldstein's wide-angle observance of D-day's 50th anniversary is notable for the effective ways in which it spotlights events on the home front as well as in Normandy and links the past to the present. In retelling the story of June 6, 1944, the author (a New York Times editor) draws on interviews with surviving veterans of the hard-fought campaign that proved a turning point in WW II. He does a consistently fine job of recounting the many small-unit actions that drove stubborn German defenders from strongly fortified positions and yielded Anglo-American and Canadian forces an important victory, albeit at no small cost. While uncommon valor was a common virtue among the GIs and Tommies who participated in the assault, Goldstein (Spartan Seasons, 1980, etc.) leaves little doubt that the heroism and leadership exhibited on Utah Beach by General Teddy Roosevelt Jr. (who was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor) went far beyond the call of duty. Although vivid accounts of combat-zone engagements constitute the centerpiece of the author's panoramic narrative, he offers tellingly detailed glimpses of how news of the invasion was greeted throughout Great Britain and North America (where churches and synagogues were packed and one unfortunate newborn girl was named Dee Day Edwards). Goldstein also moves forward in time to provide perspectives on how liberators and the liberated have commemorated the 49 previous anniversaries of D-day. Even now (as in 1984), a German chancellor is discreetly seeking an invitation to the media- event ceremonies scheduled for the Cherbourg Peninsula, where legions of honored dead stand a perpetual watch. Pop history of a very high order. The resonant text is enriched by 90 splendid photos.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-385-31283-0
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Delta
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1994


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