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The Rising Tide

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A modern master of the historical novel, Jeff Shaara has painted brilliant depictions of the Civil War, the Revolutionary War, and World War I. Now he embarks upon his most ambitious epic, a trilogy about the military conflict that defined the twentieth century. The Rising Tide begins a staggering work of fiction bound to be a new generation's most poignant chronicle of A modern master of the historical novel, Jeff Shaara has painted brilliant depictions of the Civil War, the Revolutionary War, and World War I. Now he embarks upon his most ambitious epic, a trilogy about the military conflict that defined the twentieth century. The Rising Tide begins a staggering work of fiction bound to be a new generation's most poignant chronicle of World War II. With you-are-there immediacy, painstaking historical detail, and all-inclusive points of view, Shaara portrays the momentous and increasingly dramatic events that pulled America into the vortex of this monumental conflict.As Hitler conquers Poland, Norway, France, and most of Western Europe, England struggles to hold the line. When Germany's ally Japan launches a stunning attack on Pearl Harbor, America is drawn into the war, fighting to hold back the Japanese conquest of the Pacific, while standing side-by-side with their British ally, the last hope for turning the tide of the war.Through unforgettable battle scenes in the unforgiving deserts of North Africa and the rugged countryside of Sicily, Shaara tells this story through the voices of this conflict's most heroic figures, some familiar, some unknown. As British and American forces strike into the "soft underbelly" of Hitler's Fortress Europa, the new weapons of war come clearly into focus. In North Africa, tank battles unfold in a tapestry of dust and fire unlike any the world has ever seen. In Sicily, the Allies attack their enemy with a barely tested weapon: the paratrooper. As battles rage along the coasts of the Mediterranean, the momentum of the war begins to shift, setting the stage for the massive invasion of France, at a seaside resort called Normandy.More than an unprecedented and intimate portrait of those who waged this astonishing global war, The Rising Tide is a vivid gallery of characters both immortal and unknown: the as-yet obscure administrator Dwight D. Eisenhower, whose tireless efficiency helped win the war; his subordinates, clashing in both style and personality, from George Patton and Mark Clark to Omar Bradley and Bernard Montgomery. In the desolate hills and deserts, the Allies confront Erwin Rommel, the battlefield genius known as "the Desert Fox," a wounded beast who hands the Americans their first humiliating defeat in the European theater of the war. From tank driver to paratrooper to the men who gave the commands, Shaara's stirring portrayals bring the heroic and the tragic to life in brilliant detail.


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A modern master of the historical novel, Jeff Shaara has painted brilliant depictions of the Civil War, the Revolutionary War, and World War I. Now he embarks upon his most ambitious epic, a trilogy about the military conflict that defined the twentieth century. The Rising Tide begins a staggering work of fiction bound to be a new generation's most poignant chronicle of A modern master of the historical novel, Jeff Shaara has painted brilliant depictions of the Civil War, the Revolutionary War, and World War I. Now he embarks upon his most ambitious epic, a trilogy about the military conflict that defined the twentieth century. The Rising Tide begins a staggering work of fiction bound to be a new generation's most poignant chronicle of World War II. With you-are-there immediacy, painstaking historical detail, and all-inclusive points of view, Shaara portrays the momentous and increasingly dramatic events that pulled America into the vortex of this monumental conflict.As Hitler conquers Poland, Norway, France, and most of Western Europe, England struggles to hold the line. When Germany's ally Japan launches a stunning attack on Pearl Harbor, America is drawn into the war, fighting to hold back the Japanese conquest of the Pacific, while standing side-by-side with their British ally, the last hope for turning the tide of the war.Through unforgettable battle scenes in the unforgiving deserts of North Africa and the rugged countryside of Sicily, Shaara tells this story through the voices of this conflict's most heroic figures, some familiar, some unknown. As British and American forces strike into the "soft underbelly" of Hitler's Fortress Europa, the new weapons of war come clearly into focus. In North Africa, tank battles unfold in a tapestry of dust and fire unlike any the world has ever seen. In Sicily, the Allies attack their enemy with a barely tested weapon: the paratrooper. As battles rage along the coasts of the Mediterranean, the momentum of the war begins to shift, setting the stage for the massive invasion of France, at a seaside resort called Normandy.More than an unprecedented and intimate portrait of those who waged this astonishing global war, The Rising Tide is a vivid gallery of characters both immortal and unknown: the as-yet obscure administrator Dwight D. Eisenhower, whose tireless efficiency helped win the war; his subordinates, clashing in both style and personality, from George Patton and Mark Clark to Omar Bradley and Bernard Montgomery. In the desolate hills and deserts, the Allies confront Erwin Rommel, the battlefield genius known as "the Desert Fox," a wounded beast who hands the Americans their first humiliating defeat in the European theater of the war. From tank driver to paratrooper to the men who gave the commands, Shaara's stirring portrayals bring the heroic and the tragic to life in brilliant detail.

30 review for The Rising Tide

  1. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    “Victory comes from the strategy, the plan, the tools we are given.” “The Rising Tide” is the first of four books historical novelist Jeff Shaara wrote about WW II. It was better than I expected it to be. This novel follows the North African and Sicilian campaigns of the war, a part of WW II I know little about, despite the fact that BOTH of my grandfathers served in those campaigns. Shaara does an excellent job demonstrating in this novel how pivotal those campaigns were to what came next, the i “Victory comes from the strategy, the plan, the tools we are given.” “The Rising Tide” is the first of four books historical novelist Jeff Shaara wrote about WW II. It was better than I expected it to be. This novel follows the North African and Sicilian campaigns of the war, a part of WW II I know little about, despite the fact that BOTH of my grandfathers served in those campaigns. Shaara does an excellent job demonstrating in this novel how pivotal those campaigns were to what came next, the invasion of France. I read a novel, but I learned a lot of history along the way. The 16 page Introduction to the text is as concise and informative an overview of the lead up to, and beginning of, WW II I have ever encountered. It should be used in schools and textbooks. Seriously! In this novel Shaara sticks to his formula, each chapter is told from one character’s perspective, and the ever changing point of view gives a nice complete picture to all sides of the conflict. In this text we get in the heads of Eisenhower, George Patton, Erwin Rommel and occasionally of other historical players. However, the book really shines when we get the perspective of common soldiers. In this text Shaara creates two composite characters to achieve this effect. One is Jack Logan, a tank gunner in the North African campaign, and the other is Jesse Adams, a paratrooper in the Sicilian and Italian campaigns. Although they are Shaara’s creations, he uses real things that happened to various GIs and has them happen with these two characters to show the life of the foot soldiers of this conflict. The novel is at its best when we are in combat. Shaara is one of the finest writers I have come across for recreating that experience. The invasion of Sicily is gripping. The author creates vivid and palpable tension as he writes of the US paratroopers jump into Sicily in July of 1943. The human emotions and technical details combine nicely in this section. I read this book quicker than I thought I would, was thrilled that it engaged me in the manner that it did, and I will be reading the other three novels Shaara has written about WW II. Can I say anything more than that that could endorse this book?

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mr. Matt

    The Rising Tide is the story of the American experience in the Second World War in Europe. The action picks up in Africa, waiting on Operation Torch to begin. As with other Shara books, the author follows some of the key actors - Eisenhower, Patton, Montgomery, and, intriguingly, Rommel and Kesselring. It is through their eyes that the reader experiences the Desert campaign in North Africa as well as the invasion of Sicily and Italy by the allies. I appreciate the insight into the decision-making The Rising Tide is the story of the American experience in the Second World War in Europe. The action picks up in Africa, waiting on Operation Torch to begin. As with other Shara books, the author follows some of the key actors - Eisenhower, Patton, Montgomery, and, intriguingly, Rommel and Kesselring. It is through their eyes that the reader experiences the Desert campaign in North Africa as well as the invasion of Sicily and Italy by the allies. I appreciate the insight into the decision-making and strategy of the generals. This is especially true in the case of Rommel who is portrayed as a brilliant strategist/tactician who is serving a cause he does not fully support and commanders who are misguided at best and incompetent at worst. The lack of resources and bad orders cost the Germans multiple opportunities for devastating victories over the Allies. The perspective is a mixed blessing. While Rommel was interesting, some of the other perspectives were merely vaguely interesting. Exhibit A is Eisenhower who comes across as a bit of a cardboard automaton who emotionlessly builds his strategy and executes on the way to final victory. I would like to see more of the experience of the common soldier - or even a civilian caught up in things. To be fair, Shara does give his readers some of this. In North Africa we follow an American tank man who experiences the horror of taking under-armored American tanks into battle against heavy panzers. And in Sicily we get to follow a paratrooper into combat against an elite unit of SS troops. That was pretty cool. Outside of the perspective, I was taken aback by the beginning of the book. It starts right at the planning of Operation Torch. It felt odd. Somehow I thought it was going to begin earlier, even the invasion of Poland by the Germans. Coming into the war mid-way is disconcerting. Maybe it should have at least begun at the start of the war for the Americans? On the whole, three stars out of five. Shara does what he does. You either like it or you don't. I'm mixed on it. Of course, I will still read the next two books. I enjoy the history.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    The first book in Jeff Shaara's series on World War II focuses on the campaigns in North Africa and Sicily. Each chapter is told from the perspective of one person. Some famous / historical such as Eisenhower, Patton, Rommel and others where the protagonist is a fictional character. Actually a composite of real GI's to provide the view of the citizen soldiers and their experiences. One of these fictional characters is Jack Logan, a tank gunner in the North African campaign. The other is Jesse Ad The first book in Jeff Shaara's series on World War II focuses on the campaigns in North Africa and Sicily. Each chapter is told from the perspective of one person. Some famous / historical such as Eisenhower, Patton, Rommel and others where the protagonist is a fictional character. Actually a composite of real GI's to provide the view of the citizen soldiers and their experiences. One of these fictional characters is Jack Logan, a tank gunner in the North African campaign. The other is Jesse Adams, a paratrooper in the Sicilian campaign. The book opens in 1939. The majority of Americans did not want to get involved and considered it a European problem. Churchill was desperate for help from the United States and Roosevelt tried to help (i.e. Lend Lease Act). Everything changed with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Dwight D. Eisenhower is named the supreme commander of the Allied forces in Mediterranean Theater of Operations. His generals include George Patton, Mark Clark, Omar Bradley and Bernard Montgomery. They don't often agree and sometimes it is hard to tell they are on the same side. On the other side is Erwin Rommel, the “the Desert Fox”, a veteran of many battles who hands the Allies their first defeat. Since each chapter was written from the perspective of these different characters the reader gets to "know" them. Their thoughts and perspectives. What is was like for Eisenhower who was a soldier but had to get everyone to work together for the common cause. Basically he was forced to be a diplomat. Not always easy when you are dealing with someone like Patton. Or those who thought the Americans were a bunch of cowboys. Lots of egos and personalities. As is usually the case in Shaara's stories the most interesting parts of the story are those that deal with with the common soldier. Here we have Jack Logan and Jesse Adams. To be in a tank in the middle of a battle. Or to jump out of a plane in the middle of a night not knowing what was below you. I would be interested in reading the other books in the series. At the end of this story the Allies prepare for Operation Overlord. The Battle of Normandy.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nathaniel

    Ever since reading Gods and Generals I have been convinced that Jeff Shaara doesn't have anything like the gift for writing his father, Shaara, Michael, exhibited in the breathtaking historical novel The Killer Angels. This book cemented my impression. If you want to read some interesting World War II history (specifically, the time period around the American entrance into the war in North Africa) that focuses on the personalities of the generals involved: this is a great resource. I have little Ever since reading Gods and Generals I have been convinced that Jeff Shaara doesn't have anything like the gift for writing his father, Shaara, Michael, exhibited in the breathtaking historical novel The Killer Angels. This book cemented my impression. If you want to read some interesting World War II history (specifically, the time period around the American entrance into the war in North Africa) that focuses on the personalities of the generals involved: this is a great resource. I have little doubt that the writing is very, very well-researched and I did learn things that (even as a minor WW2 buff) I didn't know about Patton, Eisenhower, Montgomery, Rommel, and others. I feel like I definitely *learned* something from reading this book. It just wasn't a lot of fun to do. It's like 3/4 a well-written textbook interspersed with 1/4 of a mediocre action novel.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Shaara's books are always entertaining and this was my first of his that dealt with the subject of World War II. This book focused on the battles North Africa and then Italy. As always, Shaara writes each chapter from the perspective of one person and alternates between famous people and unknown soldiers to tell both the big picture and on the ground stories. I particularly enjoyed the chapters on Eisenhower and Rommel - and some of the work on Patton as well. If you enjoy history, Shaara is can Shaara's books are always entertaining and this was my first of his that dealt with the subject of World War II. This book focused on the battles North Africa and then Italy. As always, Shaara writes each chapter from the perspective of one person and alternates between famous people and unknown soldiers to tell both the big picture and on the ground stories. I particularly enjoyed the chapters on Eisenhower and Rommel - and some of the work on Patton as well. If you enjoy history, Shaara is can't miss.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jay Pruitt

    As much as I love all things Shaara, having consumed a dozen novels from Jeff and his father, Michael, The Rising Tide is probably my least favorite. IMO, the book tries to cover too much ground (literally). We read about the numerous conflicts between Rommel's panzer division (Germans), Montgomery's Desert Rats (Brits), Ike/Bradley/Patton (Americans), and Musolino's Republican Army, initially taking place in Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Libya, etc. Then they proceed from Africa to Sicily, As much as I love all things Shaara, having consumed a dozen novels from Jeff and his father, Michael, The Rising Tide is probably my least favorite. IMO, the book tries to cover too much ground (literally). We read about the numerous conflicts between Rommel's panzer division (Germans), Montgomery's Desert Rats (Brits), Ike/Bradley/Patton (Americans), and Musolino's Republican Army, initially taking place in Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Libya, etc. Then they proceed from Africa to Sicily, then Italy. The book reads more like a history book, than a typical Shaara novel that dives into the characters of a dozen or so key players. I learned a lot from reading The Rising Tide, but failed to become engaged in the story.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Barnabas Piper

    I really like Shaara's blend of history and character. He brings out historical setting, context, and happenings through the lives of characters based on reality. It's the kind of historical fiction that makes history real and reminds the reader of its impact and how fascinating it is. I really like Shaara's blend of history and character. He brings out historical setting, context, and happenings through the lives of characters based on reality. It's the kind of historical fiction that makes history real and reminds the reader of its impact and how fascinating it is.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Arthur

    A nearly 23 hour unabridged audiobook. In 2 and a half hours of listening we go from prelude to war, to August of 1942. That's a bit absurd and annoying where it gives me the impression that the author is running to get to the parts he knows best - American involvement. If you can get past that then it's smoothe sailing. The only other critique I have is that it seems that the author gives too much credit to the insight of the main characters, which may be a product of applying hindsight rather th A nearly 23 hour unabridged audiobook. In 2 and a half hours of listening we go from prelude to war, to August of 1942. That's a bit absurd and annoying where it gives me the impression that the author is running to get to the parts he knows best - American involvement. If you can get past that then it's smoothe sailing. The only other critique I have is that it seems that the author gives too much credit to the insight of the main characters, which may be a product of applying hindsight rather than they having actually been as clever as portrayed. That being said the author makes the story easy to listen to and I liked this book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mike (the Paladin)

    I just finished with the 4th book Shaara has written on WW2. This is the first and does a good job of giving a view in a novel of the events of the European war (note I said the "European" war, more on that in the review of the 4th book). While this is a novel the facts in the book are "the facts". The events of history are laid out here as they happened. What makes it a novel is/are the imaginary thoughts, and voices of the participants. From Generals to privates we get "a" view of events early I just finished with the 4th book Shaara has written on WW2. This is the first and does a good job of giving a view in a novel of the events of the European war (note I said the "European" war, more on that in the review of the 4th book). While this is a novel the facts in the book are "the facts". The events of history are laid out here as they happened. What makes it a novel is/are the imaginary thoughts, and voices of the participants. From Generals to privates we get "a" view of events early on in the war.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Brian Eshleman

    My experience was the opposite of one of the reviewers here. I enjoyed the staff meetings in the interplay between the generals, particularly the diplomatic difficulty of Eisenhower as compared to the bluntness of Patton. For whatever reason, I didn't get into the battle scenes as much. Overall, I didn't find this book nearly as engaging as those of the Revolutionary, Mexican, and Civil War. Still, the author has earned my loyalty with his unique work, and I look forward to continuing to read th My experience was the opposite of one of the reviewers here. I enjoyed the staff meetings in the interplay between the generals, particularly the diplomatic difficulty of Eisenhower as compared to the bluntness of Patton. For whatever reason, I didn't get into the battle scenes as much. Overall, I didn't find this book nearly as engaging as those of the Revolutionary, Mexican, and Civil War. Still, the author has earned my loyalty with his unique work, and I look forward to continuing to read this trilogy. It definitely makes one appreciate that victory in World War II was not a foregone conclusion.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Jeff Shaara made an admirable attempt to complete his father's Civil War series, but his sequels, valuable though they are, could not hold a candle to The Killer Angel. Well, Jeff has done a lot of writing since then, and his WWII series, if The Rising Tide is a fair indication, matches the work of his father. What Michael Shaara did for the Civil War, his son is doing for the Second World War. One of the marks of good historical fiction, for me, is the way it prompts me to start researching stu Jeff Shaara made an admirable attempt to complete his father's Civil War series, but his sequels, valuable though they are, could not hold a candle to The Killer Angel. Well, Jeff has done a lot of writing since then, and his WWII series, if The Rising Tide is a fair indication, matches the work of his father. What Michael Shaara did for the Civil War, his son is doing for the Second World War. One of the marks of good historical fiction, for me, is the way it prompts me to start researching stuff on the internet. And that's what I found myself doing in Tide. Another of telling sign happens when I find myself living what the characters are going through, and in Jeff's chapters on the tank battles between Rommel and the Allies, I felt the awe. To a lesser extent, only because this topic receives less coverage, is his portrayal of the training and daring of the paratroopers. There are many similar scenes in Tide - POW camps, stress disorders, command failures - that truly bring home the complexity of the topic to readers who have never experienced warfare at any level. The only other WWII series that does this so well is Herman Wouk's Winds of War, and War and Remembrance. The Rising Tide is a valuable addition to WWII fiction.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Teri Pre

    I've read quite a few books about WW2...mostly the European and Pacific campaigns. This is the first book I've read about the campaign in Africa. I never realized just how important it was and why it was important. This book isn't for the casual reader. Even though it's classified as fiction, it's really not, except for some of the dialogue which might or might not have happened exactly the way they're reported. I've read quite a few books about WW2...mostly the European and Pacific campaigns. This is the first book I've read about the campaign in Africa. I never realized just how important it was and why it was important. This book isn't for the casual reader. Even though it's classified as fiction, it's really not, except for some of the dialogue which might or might not have happened exactly the way they're reported.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sanklo

    Great historical fiction on the war in northern Africa and Italy; both parts of WWII that don't get nearly as much attention as the Pacific theater and the Normandy invasion. Shaara's writing makes you feel like you're right there with the troops, and brings to life all the hurdles the U.S. forces had to overcome as well as their steep learning curve. Can't wait to dive into part II! Great historical fiction on the war in northern Africa and Italy; both parts of WWII that don't get nearly as much attention as the Pacific theater and the Normandy invasion. Shaara's writing makes you feel like you're right there with the troops, and brings to life all the hurdles the U.S. forces had to overcome as well as their steep learning curve. Can't wait to dive into part II!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    A fairly large book, I nonetheless devoured it in two days and for the first time understand at least something about the command on both sides of the lines and the experience of the tank battalions in North Africa and eventually the invasion of Sicily and Italy, not to mention the importance of the North African campaign to the success of the Allies in World War II. Maybe someone should have required reading like this as part of my high school curriculum because apparently historical fiction is A fairly large book, I nonetheless devoured it in two days and for the first time understand at least something about the command on both sides of the lines and the experience of the tank battalions in North Africa and eventually the invasion of Sicily and Italy, not to mention the importance of the North African campaign to the success of the Allies in World War II. Maybe someone should have required reading like this as part of my high school curriculum because apparently historical fiction is the way to give me the perspective I never got from maps, documentaries or classes in my school years or since. Admittedly, this book was heavy on history and light on fiction, with little interest in manufacturing diversions from the story to throw some romance or drama into the mix that wasn't there already. That said, through the telling of the stories of individual's day to day experience however I found myself caring to understand something about the men behind the names: Patton, Rommel, Marshall and their staffs. Understanding their conflicts, problems with supplies and more, I was able to form a picture of what some of what happened before the invasion in Normandy, a topic I'd given little thought to before.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Richard Gullickson

    This exciting WWII historical fiction from the author of “Gods and Generals” tells the account of German, US and British forces in north Africa, Siciliy, and mainland Italy from the perspective of the tankers led by “the Desert Fox,” Erwin Rommel, and the vain and bombastic and aggressive tank warrior George Patton. The insights, foibles, and exploits of Dwight Eisenhower, Bernard Montgomery, Mark Clark, and Omar Bradley are fascinating. Shaara provides a balanced approach that draws the readers This exciting WWII historical fiction from the author of “Gods and Generals” tells the account of German, US and British forces in north Africa, Siciliy, and mainland Italy from the perspective of the tankers led by “the Desert Fox,” Erwin Rommel, and the vain and bombastic and aggressive tank warrior George Patton. The insights, foibles, and exploits of Dwight Eisenhower, Bernard Montgomery, Mark Clark, and Omar Bradley are fascinating. Shaara provides a balanced approach that draws the readers sympathy to the tragic figure Rommel as he struggles with inadequate resources, delusional German leaders, inept Italian allies, and illness.

  16. 4 out of 5

    John Roadman

    Took me awhile to get going but I ended up loving this book. Learned a lot of things I didn't know. Like when our troops first landed in Northern Africa I was surprised to learn that the french were shooting at us. And that the Italians turned on the Germans after Mussolini was arrested. Really love Jeff Shaara's writing style how he tells you what the characters are feeling and thinking. Now on too book number 2. Took me awhile to get going but I ended up loving this book. Learned a lot of things I didn't know. Like when our troops first landed in Northern Africa I was surprised to learn that the french were shooting at us. And that the Italians turned on the Germans after Mussolini was arrested. Really love Jeff Shaara's writing style how he tells you what the characters are feeling and thinking. Now on too book number 2.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    Jeff Shaara provides another great installment into very entertaining and mostly accurate historical fiction. I always appreciate his ability to fill out the personalities of well known historical figures, as well as giving credit to little known or appreciated figures. All aspects of World War II are incredibly intriguing, but none more so than the less heralded North Africa campaign. I am glad that Mr. Shaara tackled this lesser known and vastly important battlefield, as opposed to the more co Jeff Shaara provides another great installment into very entertaining and mostly accurate historical fiction. I always appreciate his ability to fill out the personalities of well known historical figures, as well as giving credit to little known or appreciated figures. All aspects of World War II are incredibly intriguing, but none more so than the less heralded North Africa campaign. I am glad that Mr. Shaara tackled this lesser known and vastly important battlefield, as opposed to the more common theatres like D-Day, the South Pacific and Stalingrad.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Trudy

    Jeff Shaara is a master story teller. He combines the factual details of war and battles with memories of men fighting side by side. He captures both the officers and the enlisted men's side of war and planning. His research is broad and very in depth. Loved making the history come to life while visualizing the countries and peoples embattled. Jeff Shaara is a master story teller. He combines the factual details of war and battles with memories of men fighting side by side. He captures both the officers and the enlisted men's side of war and planning. His research is broad and very in depth. Loved making the history come to life while visualizing the countries and peoples embattled.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Art

    I enjoy Jeff Shaara and his style of writing. My sense of adventure was awaken again as I read about the Desert Fox, Field Marshall Rommell and about General Patton, along w/the Tank duels in the desert. Good overview and look at main characters involved w/American entering the war in WWII and why we went to Africa. Also an idea that had the Nazi's captureded Egypt, Hitler may not had to fight against the Russian for oil. Would have given the war a different twist and outlook. I enjoy Jeff Shaara and his style of writing. My sense of adventure was awaken again as I read about the Desert Fox, Field Marshall Rommell and about General Patton, along w/the Tank duels in the desert. Good overview and look at main characters involved w/American entering the war in WWII and why we went to Africa. Also an idea that had the Nazi's captureded Egypt, Hitler may not had to fight against the Russian for oil. Would have given the war a different twist and outlook.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ralph Wark

    A great read I love historical novels, the setting in real events of interest (of course, why would they use uninteresting events?) expanding on the story lines with fictional characters. What this does I'd put you into the story, It becomes a first person narrative rather than a somewhat distant third person telling of the tale. Here, Jeff Shaara uses a fictional tank crewmen and paratroopers to give you an eye view account of the war in North Africa, Sicily, and Italy. And he does it so well, y A great read I love historical novels, the setting in real events of interest (of course, why would they use uninteresting events?) expanding on the story lines with fictional characters. What this does I'd put you into the story, It becomes a first person narrative rather than a somewhat distant third person telling of the tale. Here, Jeff Shaara uses a fictional tank crewmen and paratroopers to give you an eye view account of the war in North Africa, Sicily, and Italy. And he does it so well, you become invested in he characters and their personalities, at least the American participants. With the exception of General Alexander, briefly, there is little detail of Churchill and Montgomery, two well known characters in any case. Still, he makes Eisenhower and Patton come alive, their personalities, struggled, and thoughts. I truly enjoy Shaara's books. I also have a vested interest, my father was in an Engineering battalion in WW2 and fought all these campaigns, I remember him mentioning the Kassereine pass, so I am trying to discover what he went through, what, made him as he was when I knew him. Almost 30 years gone, it is my only chance.

  21. 5 out of 5

    J.F. Bell

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. -Spoilers Ahead- The campaigns in North Africa are the red-headed stepchild of WWII U.S. History. Normandy and the Bulge take center stage, Italy and Sicily may get some share of the limelight, but anything before the first transports full of GIs shoved off from Bizerte to stick pins in the soft underbelly of Europe? Good luck, friend. With that in mind I was ecstatic to find a title that purported to cover a sadly neglected portion of the war effort. Granted, North Africa was hardly an all-Ameri -Spoilers Ahead- The campaigns in North Africa are the red-headed stepchild of WWII U.S. History. Normandy and the Bulge take center stage, Italy and Sicily may get some share of the limelight, but anything before the first transports full of GIs shoved off from Bizerte to stick pins in the soft underbelly of Europe? Good luck, friend. With that in mind I was ecstatic to find a title that purported to cover a sadly neglected portion of the war effort. Granted, North Africa was hardly an all-American show, but just the same I was glad to see somebody acknowledge that it existed, that battles were fought there, and that this bore at all on the campaigns to follow. Nothing against the Brits and no cause to ignore the German side of things, but honestly I picked this up for the U.S. parts. That being disclaimed… Operation Torch was the point when an American army began to shake itself - painfully, at times - from a neglected peacetime stupor to an instrument of victory. The transition was not an easy one. Too often the equipment and leadership was ill-prepared to face a veteran German defense, and the demands of our British allies (to that point, the primary check on German power in Western Europe) often sought to push the United States into a supporting role. North Africa is the theater that both made and broke Erwin Rommel, Hitler's vaunted Desert Fox. In the same stroke it made a household name of English field marshal Bernard Montgomery, and before the dust settled set him sharply at odds with an American tanker named George Patton. Atop the chain was a man who'd sat out the last war entirely and who, despite his lack of combat experience, was to deftly glue the various Allied factions into a more or less cohesive unit. But the Dwight Eisenhower who orchestrated the Normandy landings was years away yet. Given this backdrop it must be said that Jeff Shaara has managed one fine trick - an uneven, plodding doorstop of a book that goes nowhere and takes its sweet time. The story opens with the crew of a British tank crew preparing to meet their German counterparts in 1941, well prior to American landings in Morroco and Algeria. At this point Rommel is still running wild and the security of the British toehold in Egypt is uncertain. We see the crew for a couple of installments before they slip off the page, never to reappear. But it's an effective trick - by putting an armor engagement front and center Shaara draws the reader in and leads one to believe this a book about a shooting war. And then the brakes slam on and we wander into the labyrinth of Rommel's headquarters. We watch his mounting concern at Hitler's growing mental instability. We watch him riding around the desert in a captured British command car. He talks to his staff. Thankfully we learn their names, lest they all run together into incoherence. Rommel writes his wife. He argues with Albert Kesselring about the precarious state of his panzer army. He flies to Germany, talks to Hitler, and flies back to Africa. More talk. More paperwork. More letters home. He flies to Germany again and argues with Hitler. Evidently there's some big to-do going on in Russia that’s draining any support for Rommel and Africa. Who knew? When it seems the reader will be subject to another four hundred pages of this dreck a bright spot appears on the horizon - we flip to a new chapter and there, finally, we see a name that is not ROMMEL. But oh God...it's Montgomery. Shaara's Montgomery is about as colorful as Shaara's Rommel. An inordinate share of ink is devoted to both commanders in their headquarters with their staff. Monty wonders what Rommel's doing. Rommel worries about Monty. If Taylor Swift ever discovers the Western Desert campaign we're certain to hear this in song. Perhaps Miss Swift can impart to this story the depth that is thus far eluding Mister Shaara. Is there action, you may ask? But of course. It's all there - all in past tense, all crammed in between staff meetings, excursions out to the wastelands of sunny northern Africa, and stripped entirely of any kind of urgency. I'm tempted to guess that Shaara Junior fosters a deep-seated wish that - someday! - he can get back to his one true passion, writing the sort of lifeless dreck that compels generations of bored high school students to the belief that history is useless and uninteresting. There are also maps, which is fortuitous; if we allow that a picture is in fact worth a thousand words, we can also extrapolate that our fearless author might have wrung out a dozen extra chapters in their absence. Small mercies, I suppose. And because the past hundred-odd pages of intra-office politics cannot help but to captivate, we soon gain yet ANOTHER perspective, this one of Eisenhower. Eisenhower, commander of all Allied Forces in the theater as he works to get the U.S. Army into Africa and maybe draw some of Rommel's attention away from Montgomery. The best part of Eisenhower's presence? Now we can get even MORE politics, more maneuvering, more flat dialogue, and more descriptions of offices, though in fairness some of these are situated on Gibraltar and therefore somewhat cave-like, so it may be that this counts as new and exciting. On top of that, being theater commander means Ike gets to deal with the Vichy French. The Vichy French. Order in the next fifteen minutes and the shipping is free. Then...a misstep. Into this grand novel about office life during wartime rides a new character. He's a gunner on a Stuart tank, and across a couple of pages we get to see him make the Torch landings. He even gets to blow up a Vichy truck. It’s not exactly a rollicking change of tempo, but it’ll do. This part is interesting, if only accidentally; very seldom does one find an account by the man on the ground for this theater - even less so from that of a tanker - so this is a nice exercise in prolonging the false hope that things are picking up and the war machine is about to get rolling. You know...like was advertised on the back cover of the book. Then Mister Shaara spots his mistake. A few chapters later our friend is transferred to a larger and more heavily armed Sherman. No matter – tank and crew are drawn into the fighting around Kasserine Pass, things go about as expected, and in short order he’s off to a prison camp. With him go our hopes for the war story this is supposed to be. One supposes the allure of garrison life is simply too strong for the author. Now we can get back to the sluggishly beating heart of this epic. Here - have a map. This one has an arrow for Patton, so now there's more arguing. At least Patton has something approaching texture. The downside is that the more you read of Shaara's Patton the more you want to ditch this slog of a book and go watch George C. Scott chew the scenery. I suspect our author felt much the same, given how close some of his scenes bear to the movie, but no matter. And then Mister Shaara slips again. This time it's a sergeant in the 82d Airborne making training jumps in the Tunisian desert. Disregard the strange detachment with which he addresses those around him. Pay no mind that he seems to know only the names of his immediate superior officers. Presumably, the presence of a third stripe precludes his ability to make friends or hold normal conversations. Given his bearing, we must conclude he completed his Stateside training entirely by his lonesome. He is, however, quite adept at changing 'ammo clips' on his Thompson submachine gun. So there's that. And he's from New Mexico. We may suppose this passes for character development. Something something office. Something something Eisenhower. Rommel shows up just long enough to be relieved of his command (what's left, anyway) and flown to Germany. He describes his office and lists his aides again, just for old times' sake. Ike doesn't like Monty. Monty doesn't like anybody. Nobody's seen the French since Casablanca, but evidently SOMEBODY, SOMEWHERE is fighting a war because out of the blue there’s talk about setting foot on mainland Europe. Sort of. Looks like we’re going to Sicily. Yeah, buddy. Hey...there's that tank gunner who got captured a while back. Evidently the SS have been visiting his camp and pulling certain prisoners. Seems fishy, but there's not much time to develop any weight or significance before some liberating friendlies show up at the front gate. Oh, by the way...Patton's nephew was there before they moved him. Just in case you were wondering. You don’t get to meet him, of course, nor do you learn much about life as a POW - that would interfere with Mister Shaara’s practice of having interesting things transpire off-screen. And now we're in Sicily for Operation Husky, as seen through the eyes of our curiously-detached paratrooper friend. Everything's screwed up for the drop. Good thing the Italians have the resolve of wet toilet paper. Too bad there's still some German tanks in the neighborhood. Dirty krauts gotta ruin everything. But we may take heart to see his ability to swap out ‘ammo clips’ hasn't degraded in the chapters since last we met. Per the narrative it would also appear that the airborne were armed exclusively with carbines and submachine guns - not a single M1 rifle to be found. News to me but what do I know. The engagements to follow aren’t especially interesting or articulated all that well. Nonetheless, given all we’ve endured to this point we’re grateful to be momentarily free from inventorying paperclips at headquarters. Somehow our airborne quasi-protagonist survives, and for no particular reason this makes him a hero. I suppose if you find yourself in a story written by a hack it never hurts to be friends with the author. But enough of that - back to the real war! Patton doesn't like Monty, either. So much so that he's plotting to steal his thunder by conquering the whole of Sicily singlehanded (possibly with the help of a few riflemen and some armor). In the meantime he's developed a habit of smacking the junior enlisted which, we may presume, will lead him to grief. Oh look. Rommel, again. We can safely assume pity brought him back for one last look since he has nothing to add. Poor old fool doesn't even have an office now. Lo, how the mighty have fallen. Paratroopers again. Fighting? No! Our boy must be something special. Evidently he’s the picture of the perfect NCO - so much so that the newly-relieved division commander has requested him by name for a special assignment. They're going to England. Something about June and crossing the English Channel, which is an impressive degree of foresight given the landings in Northwest Europe are the better part of a year distant. And there it ends. *** So what precisely did we learn? Not much, really. The Rising Tide commits numerous sins, not the least of which is being dull and - in the instances it wanders into something interesting, often technically incorrect. Personally, my major gripe with this book is that it follows in the some pretty well-beaten footprints, and poorly so. Entire libraries have been written on the varying generals of both sides, their quirks, successes, and failures. In this Shaara fails to add any special depth or color; if anything, he makes cardboard cutouts of men who changed the world. Further, he commits the cardinal sin of reducing a series of crucial early campaigns to a game played with maps and pins. The reader does not feel the African heat, cover his face against the blowing sand, or gaze in nervous wonder at the low scrub country, the distant crags, or the Roman ruins that will very soon bear witness to modern mechanized warfare. There is no feeling of unease as the C-47s take off for Sicily, no airsickness, no anti-aircraft tracers (courtesy by and large of the U.S. Navy). For pitched engagements fought in the dark against unexpected German armor, there is surprisingly little tension. For all the characters in this novel there are no people. Providing one is willing to spend $20 on a book with the aim of skipping most of the content this might not be a bad choice, though the rampant abuse of commas and the author's dead-flat dialogue may prove a stumbling block. If you want a good read that covers the same ground pick up Rick Atkinson's superb (nonfiction) An Army At Dawn instead. Atkinson manages to sidestep the pitfall that claimed Shaara - while the brass feature prominently he's also far more adept at explaining the 'big picture' and one comes away with an understanding not only of what happened, but how. As for that great fiction novel about North Africa...maybe someday. Not today.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Michael A.

    Great account of the Allied efforts in WWII in North Africa and Sicily. Shaara's unique historical fiction style of putting you in the rooms with the generals from both sides and on the battlefield with the soldiers and paratroopers is very appealing. Looking forward to book #2 of his WWII trilogy. Great account of the Allied efforts in WWII in North Africa and Sicily. Shaara's unique historical fiction style of putting you in the rooms with the generals from both sides and on the battlefield with the soldiers and paratroopers is very appealing. Looking forward to book #2 of his WWII trilogy.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Warren

    Limited historical view of North African allied campaign of World War II. As a starter its a good yarn filed with little known historical data about some of the best known Allied and Axis figures of the times.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bart Breen

    Formulaic .... But the Formula Works! I listened to the 18 CD audio version of this book as read by Larry Pine and let me tell you, it made a Washington DC commute much easier to bear for almost 2 weeks! Jeff Shaara has something of a cross to bear in that he is the son of a Pulitzer prize winning author and has chosen to write in a similar genre and also, to utilize many of the literary devices of his father. That is a tall order for anyone and invites comparison and criticism and an almost foreg Formulaic .... But the Formula Works! I listened to the 18 CD audio version of this book as read by Larry Pine and let me tell you, it made a Washington DC commute much easier to bear for almost 2 weeks! Jeff Shaara has something of a cross to bear in that he is the son of a Pulitzer prize winning author and has chosen to write in a similar genre and also, to utilize many of the literary devices of his father. That is a tall order for anyone and invites comparison and criticism and an almost foregone conclusion that he is not his father and his work is not on par with his father. This is a particularly easy criticism to make when the subject matter early on has drawn from the Civil War. I want to give Jeff his due however. His forays into the First and Second World war have shown me that he is a successful and worthy author in his own right and regardless of the source of his formula, and it is of course clearly an emulation of dear old dad, the formula works and works well! Historical fiction is not an easy genre. The non-fiction element of the story will be known by many of the readers who carry to the experience their own biases, prejudices and understandings and anything that moves contrary to that within the text of the book is going to be judged by that standard and found wanting. To overcome that the author has to move beyond the events and bring the character alive and in so doing attribute a level of understanding and psychological analysis that sells or convinces the reader that they are being brought behind the scenes. Yes there's a formula to it in Shaara's work that is very familiar and identifiable. Not just anyone can do this however, and Shaara, in the context of a different war and scope of activity, shows to me that he is a fine writer in his own right and worthy of investing the time to read. Listening to the audio version with its abridgment to that form, I have to comment as well on the performance of the reader Larry Pine. He does a magnificent job mimicking the accents and distinctive historical voices. I wasn't really appreciative of how much work must have gone into this until the character Montgomery arrived on the scene with a distinctive English lisp. Pine does his homework and it makes the rendering come to life that any listener should appreciate. The difficulty with a great deal of Historical fiction is how to weave the necessary narrative into the story to where the context and outside events are given their proper weight. Too much narrative in a pure form and the book begins to take on more of a sense of the non-fiction and the reader becomes impatient. Shaara wrestles with this in a few places to my observation with the obligatory aides bringing information and the bouncing back and forth from the information and the processing in the mind of the Character. He never quite breaks the spell however although he pushes against it in places. Overall, I can't fault him for this. The other means of accomplishing this other than the obligatory foreward and afterword setting and resolving the scene, is pure narrative and Shaara breaks in only where the scope is so broad that there's no real way to accomplish it otherwise. I recommend this book in any form. I found the Audio to add to the experience and can recommend it enthusiastically. Bart Breen

  25. 4 out of 5

    RyanP

    I’ve always been interested in the World Wars and have read probably hundreds of articles. But I never would have considered reading a full book. I recently finished the Harry Potter series and was looking for my next read. Then I found The Rising Tide in my house and decided to give it a try. The first few pages were all I needed to realize I would love the book all the way through. The Rising Tide is a novel based on the Allied campaign in North Africa during WWII called Operation Torch. Dwight I’ve always been interested in the World Wars and have read probably hundreds of articles. But I never would have considered reading a full book. I recently finished the Harry Potter series and was looking for my next read. Then I found The Rising Tide in my house and decided to give it a try. The first few pages were all I needed to realize I would love the book all the way through. The Rising Tide is a novel based on the Allied campaign in North Africa during WWII called Operation Torch. Dwight D. Eisenhower, the commander of the Allied forces in the Mediterranean Theater, is tasked with planning and directing the movements of the air force, navy, and armies of both the US and Britain. Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, commander of the German Afrika Korps, is the primary opponent and leads hundreds of advanced German tanks that were far more powerful than any Allied machinery. The British have been fighting with Rommel for months in back in forth offensives and the British forces are cornered in Egypt. Then General Bernard Montgomery turns things around and pushes the Germans back towards Tunisia. In 1942 the US makes its debut in the war against the Nazis by invading Morocco and Algeria, preparing to cut the Germans off during their retreat to the Tunisia stronghold. The operation was eventually successful, but with countless losses over about 9 months. The Germans pull their remaining tanks to Italy, their main ally in the war. The Allies follow with Operation Husky, where they invade Sicily to use as a staging ground. The Island is taken in only a few months, due in large part because of the use of paratroopers, and plans for Operation Avalanche begin right away. The highest officials in the Allied command believe that the only way to take down Germany is by taking Italy out of the war. Operation Avalanche is the codename for the invasion of Italy. With the beginning of the operation and the liberation of Naples, Italy becomes an Ally and turns against Germany. I absolutely loved this book. I never would have expected that facts from WWII could actually be turned into a novel with a moving storyline. Through many school projects and independent reading and research, I can personally vouch for the accuracy of all of the major events and battles in the story. While I obviously have never met any of the characters and can not compare the story to real life, I still love how realistically Jeff Shaara describes each one. It seems as though he personally knew everyone he wrote about. I also loved how he wrote the book from several perspectives, from Eisenhower, head of Allied operations, to Erwin Rommel, commander of the Afrika Korps, to Jack Logan, an Allied tank gunner. I only wish that the end of the book was more eventful. Up until the Allied victory in Sicily, Shaara’s was meticulous in his descriptions of every person, battle, and even officer meetings. But the invasion of Italy was slightly disappointing. After the American paratroopers landed, there was only a brief explanation of what followed. I have never read another book by Shaara, so I wonder if he tells the rest of the Italy campaign. I have already committed to another book, but after I finish I will definitely look for more WWII novels from Shaara.

  26. 4 out of 5

    William J.

    Jeff Shaara like his father Michael write excellent historical fiction. This is an interesting book that blends real characters with a couple of fictional characters to present a rounded picture of World War II. The fictional characters present the front line soldiers perspective while the factual characters present the planning and leadership view. Jeff Shaara does put words into the mouths of factual characters and the only time I found it difficult to believe conversation was when he had Gene Jeff Shaara like his father Michael write excellent historical fiction. This is an interesting book that blends real characters with a couple of fictional characters to present a rounded picture of World War II. The fictional characters present the front line soldiers perspective while the factual characters present the planning and leadership view. Jeff Shaara does put words into the mouths of factual characters and the only time I found it difficult to believe conversation was when he had General Eisenhower call General Marshall, George. From everything I have read about General Marshall the only two people who ever called him George were his spouse and President Roosevelt. This is a good break from non-fiction because it doesn't stray too far from history and facts. Easy to read and enjoyable, The Rising Tide is a Good Read!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Iluvbooks

    I apologize to all of you Jeff Shaara fans out there but I tried. I really did. I was excited to read this entire trilogy but I had to stop. I couldn't get past page 200. The problem with this book isn't the topic, or historical inaccuracies (I can forgive an author for that given the depth and scope of this project), it was simply the way Shaara writes. He completely misunderstands the proper usage of a comma and is unable to properly deliver speech. Let me give you an example of each chosen com I apologize to all of you Jeff Shaara fans out there but I tried. I really did. I was excited to read this entire trilogy but I had to stop. I couldn't get past page 200. The problem with this book isn't the topic, or historical inaccuracies (I can forgive an author for that given the depth and scope of this project), it was simply the way Shaara writes. He completely misunderstands the proper usage of a comma and is unable to properly deliver speech. Let me give you an example of each chosen completely at random from the book. Page 188: "Rommel pointed toward the door, the order for Westphal to leave,the young man exiting, the door pulled tightly shut." I may not be the best writer in the world, but that is what my literature teachers would call a run on. The entire book is filled with sentences of this exact same structure and I simply couldn't stand it. The other problem I had dealt with the way Shaara executed the dialogue between characters. Here is an example of dialogue taken completely at random. Page 148: "'Hutchinson said, "Shut up! Anybody hurt?'" This really isn't that big of deal. It is fine for an author to tell the reader who is doing the talking before the dialogue ever comes. Unfortunately, Shaara uses this device to such an extent that I found that in some sections this novel reads more like a screenplay. I don't know why I was bothered by the sentence structure so much, but in a book that runs over 500 pages I decided to give up and save myself from the agony. I am sure that for the majority of readers these points will be of little issue. Jeff Shaara deserves a lot of credit for embarking on a writing project like this and I hope that the books are entertaining to anyone who can get past these minute writing issues. Unfortunately for me, I just couldn't do it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    Damn fine novel from a gifted author. Geronimo!!! Mr. Shaara is a gifted author that both educates and entertains with his historical novels. Whenever I read his work I often get immersed to the point that I feel that I am almost there. He never disappoints. I count his father's work "Killer Angels" as one of the finest historical novels I have ever read. We are all fortunate that he inherited his father's wonderful gift. If not in many ways exceeding it. Damn fine novel from a gifted author. Geronimo!!! Mr. Shaara is a gifted author that both educates and entertains with his historical novels. Whenever I read his work I often get immersed to the point that I feel that I am almost there. He never disappoints. I count his father's work "Killer Angels" as one of the finest historical novels I have ever read. We are all fortunate that he inherited his father's wonderful gift. If not in many ways exceeding it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Dale

    The Rising Tide: A Novel of World War II is the first book in Jeff Shaara's series about World War II. It is the weakest in many ways. Shaara approaches most of his books with the docudrama format - a little bit of narrative history, a lot bit of historical fiction. His narrative history is quite well written and flows nicely. The historical fiction in this book is its weak point. The action is very good, but there is not a lot of action - just a few pages in the Africa Campaign and some ver The Rising Tide: A Novel of World War II is the first book in Jeff Shaara's series about World War II. It is the weakest in many ways. Shaara approaches most of his books with the docudrama format - a little bit of narrative history, a lot bit of historical fiction. His narrative history is quite well written and flows nicely. The historical fiction in this book is its weak point. The action is very good, but there is not a lot of action - just a few pages in the Africa Campaign and some very solid stuff from the Sicily campaign. The majority of the historical fiction part of the book, among the Allied characters at least, is Shaara's characters putting themselves into place to fight Rommell and setting the scene for the second book. It would have moved more briskly if Shaara would have reverted to the historical narrative form, but it would severely limit the fictional aspects of the book. On the Axis side... Read more at: http://dwdsreviews.blogspot.com/2010/...

  30. 4 out of 5

    Malcolm

    Jeff Shaara, son of the late Mike Shaara, hit the literary scene running with his well received "Gods and Generals" (1996) and "Last Full Measure." (1998) These books, with his father's "The Killer Angels" comprised a wonderful Civil War Trilogy. "The Rising Tide" focuses on the first part of America's involvement in World War II, primarily the North Africa and Italian campaigns, in the same style both he and his father used for the Civil War books: thorough research and the telling of the story Jeff Shaara, son of the late Mike Shaara, hit the literary scene running with his well received "Gods and Generals" (1996) and "Last Full Measure." (1998) These books, with his father's "The Killer Angels" comprised a wonderful Civil War Trilogy. "The Rising Tide" focuses on the first part of America's involvement in World War II, primarily the North Africa and Italian campaigns, in the same style both he and his father used for the Civil War books: thorough research and the telling of the story from the points of view of major and minor players in the war. In this case, we focus primarily on Eisenhower, Patton, Rommel, a tank gunner, a German general and an American paratrooper. Each sees the war from a different perspective and a different level of the command hierarchy. I'll be looking forward to Shaara's follow-up book "The Steel Wave," due out in May of this year. Shaara's other historical novels have covered World War I, the American Revolution and the Mexican War.

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