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The Rising Tide by Jeff Shaara

The Rising Tide (2006)

by Jeff Shaara

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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
Tight, crisp prose characterize this fact-based retelling of the first part of WW II. That style worked great for the combat scenes, but tended to shortchange individual character development. Nevertheless, Shaara captured the personalities of Rommel, Patton and Eisenhower quite well, in my opinion.

The more interesting stories were of the line soldiers, Adams and Logan. Their daily struggles, precise detail of the essence of combat—chaos, brutality, the waste of life, inner fears—was nicely chronicled.

My preference for historical novels leans toward Leon Uris' style—novels about individuals or small groups set against the background of major world events like WW II. But this book will appeal to fans of WW II who are more interested in the strategy, politics, and high-level power struggles that have the greatest impact on the day-to-day events. ( )
  ChrisNorbury | Apr 17, 2014 |
This book is an amazing multi-perspective book about the landings of Sicily and North Africa in World War two. The first person that you get a perspective from is a random British tank commander. Then you get the perspective of the quick witted and charismatic Field Marshal Rommel. Then you get one short chapter of Montgomery's point of view preceding the battle of El Amien which shows up nowhere else in the book. Then you have the invasion of North Africa given from both Eisenhower's and a tank gunner named Logan's point of view. After the invasions and Logan is taken captive then released he is sent home and no more is said about him. Then you meet a paratrooper named Adam who then gets sent to be one of the first men to jump into Sicily. This book ends with the invasion of Italy and the build up to D-day.
This book was made good because of the multi-perspective views. The way that Jeff Shaara puts it it has many high brass moments where you can get your thoughts gathered for the next front line experience. This mix of High ranking planning and lowly soldier fighting makes this book great. The Prelude that seems to always be in his latter books also gives you the point of view of an inferior or lesser group of troops also gets you interested. The few seconds of action in this book give flavor to an otherwise flat out history book. The planning is only interesting when put into context with action. Which this author does. ( )
  williamf.b4 | Mar 20, 2014 |
"He opened his eyes now, felt the cool, dusty air swirling through the tank, focused on the periscope. There was silence in the earphones, no more of the chatter, no more playful insults from Parnell...no more drills and lessons. The training was over."
Tank Gunner Logan in Jeff Shaara's "The Rising Tide: A Novel of World War II"

Jeff Shaara delivers a detailed world in the first book in his military series focused on World War 2. Built upon a solid foundation of historical fact, "The Rising Tide" puts the reader in the middle of the war by tracing the activities and interactions of a number of characters; some real-life heroes like General Dwight D. Eisenhower and Erwin Rommel, some larger than life wartime personalities like George Patton and Winston Churchill. He also provides a grounds-eye view through the perspective of a pair of troops engaged in the key battles themselves, a tank-gunner in North Africa and a paratrooper on Sicily.

Shaara's story is purely plot-driven. If you enjoy military tactics and strategy, with a steady dose of world politics driving the military actions, then you'll love this book. "The Rising Tide" is not a character study of the leaders of WWII, however Shaara integrates the key personalities with a deft and subtle hand, that provides the emotional fuel for the novel.

In places, Shaara builds on the legends of mid-20th century personalities. Displaying the clichéd brash bravado from the legendary George Patton, Shaara includes a scene between Eisenhower and Patton. "We’ll do it, Ike...We'll do it or we'll die trying." And in another, Patton sits to write in his diary as he comes to terms with his newly minted promotion which translates to his need to lead from the rear rather than lead from the spear point: "Well, the battle is on. I'm taking off my shoes to go to bed."

Shaara provides a generalized attribution to many papers, documents, diaries and letters from the real life players, but without specifically referencing what's real and what's fiction. Ultimately it doesn't matter to me. Shaara writes an energetic, literate and smooth-flowing story.

Jeff Shaara's writing style is reminiscent of the battle scenes in his father's "Killer Angels"; a short, clipped style, which favors sparsity of language over verbosity.
And sometimes the drama turns a bit melodramatic. In one scene, Eisenhower talks with his Naval Aide, "No matter what anyone says in Washington, no matter how much bitching and doubt falls on Marshall or Churchill or FDR, it's the men in the landing craft and the assault craft who matter, the men who fire the big guns. If they do their job, then you'll have done yours. Sir."

But this is the kind of drama I enjoy - heavy, sweeping, life changing, and often dark, drama. We see this in the early military action that the Americans engage in against Germany's famed Erwin Rommel in North Africa. After an easy entry onto the continent, the Americans inevitably come up against Rommel's powerful Panzer Army. The tank gunner, Logan, actualizes that they are no longer playing at war, but dealing with a very harsh reality: "Are we ready for this? Do we know what will happen when we face a real enemy?"

This series will be my personal introduction to many aspects of World War II. I'm not interested (yet) in reading deep and onerous histories of the time, but I'm thoroughly enjoying the military and political machinations as drawn out by historical novelist Shaara. I highly recommend "The Rising Tide" by Jeff Shaara. ( )
  JGolomb | Aug 26, 2013 |
Fascinating story of this part of the war. Set in North Africa as Rommel and the Germans show their force. Excellent story behind the weaknesses brought about when politics and egos get involved in the decision-making process. This is the first part of three about WWII. ( )
  creighley | May 13, 2011 |
This is a personal story about some key and not so key characters from the North African and Sicily campaigns during World War 2. The personal history of Patton, Eisenhower and Rommel is fascinating. However, this book is seriously lacking in detail and facts, enough so that the history suffers. I really enjoyed Shaara's Civil War books, but I feel that due to the complexity of 20th century warfare, this format leaves a bit too much out. For example, because there are no aviators or seamen included, that part of the campaigns is almost completely omitted. That works for a Civil War history, not for WW2.
Still good, but not as good as I expected.
If you want to learn more about these campaigns, 'An Army At Dawn' by Atkinson is much more detailed, and oddly enough, covers the same time period. It also focuses on the Army though. ( )
  Karlstar | Jun 21, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345461371, Mass Market Paperback)

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.

A new level of accomplishment from this already acclaimed author, The Rising Tide will leave readers eager for the next volume of this superb saga of the war that saved and changed the world.

From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:28 -0400)

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As the forces of Nazi Germany overrun the nations of Europe and America is drawn into the war by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, American troops and their British allies launch a campaign to stop Hitler on battlefields ranging from the deserts of North Africa to the rugged mountains of Sicily.… (more)

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