Book Review: The Rising Tide

I haven’t done a book review in a while, so I thought I would alert you to this great new book by Jeff Shaara, “The Rising Tide.” Shaara plans to make this the start of a trilogy about World War II. The book begins in the North African theatre, and ends just after the invasion of Italy.

Shaara writes each chapter from the perspective of a set of main characters, so you see what is unfolding from the perspectives of Rommel, Eisenhower, Patton, an enlisted tank gunner, and an enlisted paratrooper. Although classified as historical fiction because Shaara elaborates on thoughts and conversations, he bases most of the book on memoirs and diaries, letters, and recorded conversations. The characters all really lived, and the events all really happened. The result is an engaging and informative work that really gave me a more nuanced perspective on the North African campaign in particular than I had before.

Most interesting, as I read about the political struggles and incompetence and blatant insanity of the people involved in these conflicts, I found myself marveling that the Allies won at all! At several points you see how easy it would have been for the Axis powers to have prevailed even though Hitler and Mussolini were completely nuts by that point.

I would highly recommend this book and am looking forward to the next volume in the series.

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