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Quentin James Reynolds (1902–1965)

Author of The Wright Brothers

46+ Works 3,152 Members 23 Reviews

About the Author

Image credit: Courtesy of the NYPL Digital Gallery (image use requires permission from the New York Public Library)

Works by Quentin James Reynolds

The Wright Brothers (1950) 1,384 copies
Custer's Last Stand (1951) 422 copies
The F.B.I (1777) 273 copies
The Battle of Britain (1953) 218 copies
Winston Churchill (1963) 134 copies
They Fought for the Sky (1957) 126 copies
The Life of Saint Patrick (1955) 102 copies
The Curtain Rises (1944) 59 copies
Courtroom (1950) 45 copies
Dress Rehearsal (1943) 35 copies
Only the Stars are Neutral (1942) 31 copies
The wounded don't cry (1941) 21 copies
A London Diary (1941) 18 copies
I, Willie Sutton (1953) 16 copies
The man who wouldn't talk (1953) 11 copies
By Quentin Reynolds (1963) 11 copies
Known but to God (1960) 10 copies
Headquarters (1955) 9 copies
The Miracle of the Bells [1948 film] (1998) — Writer — 8 copies
Convoy (1942) 5 copies
Adolf Eichmann 5 copies
Leave it to the people (1949) 4 copies
Parlor Bedlam and Bath — Author — 3 copies
Police headquarters (1958) 3 copies
The F.B.I. Story (1954) 1 copy

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In August 1942, nearly two years before D-Day, Allied forces landed in France in large numbers. The Dieppe raid, which consisted mainly of Canadians, was considered a failure at the time. No permanent beachhead was established, nearly 100 RAF aircraft were downed, and something like a third of the Allied troops were killed, wounded or captured.

But Quentin Reynolds, an American journalist who was an eyewitness to the raid on board a British destroyer, wrote a powerful account of the raid, and his conclusion was that it was a dress rehearsal for something else. He was of course referring to Operation Overlord, the Allied landings at Normandy in June 1944.

Reynolds was a great journalist and wrote very well. This book is a kind of follow-up to his London Diary, which described the Blitz. One striking feature of the book is the merciless characterisation of the German enemy. Reynolds quoted Lord Lovat, a British Commando officer, saying: “My job is kill Germans … I do not regard men who have already killed about 50,000 civilians in Britain as anything but beasts, so I do not feel I am committing murder when I kill them.” Reynolds himself, describing the shooting down of a German aircraft, described it like this: “It was a lovely site if you hate Germans, and I hate Germans.”

The immediacy fo the writing, aimed at the audience of that day with no thought of posterity, makes books like these into virtual time machines. Writing in London in early 1943, Reynolds transports us back to a very dark and dangerous time, when no one knew for certain how it would all turn out.
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ericlee | 1 other review | Oct 8, 2020 |
One thing I love about reading older books is that often they were intended to be read immediately, to change the way people thought, and were not aimed at posterity. This is that kind of book, and it works as a kind of time machine for that reason.

Quentin Reynolds, a legendary American journalist, found himself in London during the Blitz 80 years ago. This is his day by day account of what happened. A documentary film made at the same time -- he was the narrator -- was called "London Can Take It". And that pretty much sums up Reynolds' view.

His descriptions of how Londoners -- and other British people -- coped under the most difficult circumstances are memorable. His portraits of his fellow journalists (who seemed to spend most of their time in bars and restaurants) are unforgettable. The case he makes for America to do more to support Britain is unanswerable.

The one lapse in the book -- and I found this odd -- is his characterisation of U.S. Ambassador Joseph Kennedy, father of the future President John F. Kennedy. Joe was a notorious isolationist, and an opponent of America's entry into the war, but Reynolds writes about him with great sympathy, and says he was very well liked in Britain.
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ericlee | Sep 30, 2020 |
5684. Courtroom, by Quentin Reynolds (read 2 Apr 2020) This book tells of the famed lawyer Samuel Liebowitz, of whom I heard much from Stanley Epstein, who was my roommate in 1950-1951 at Georgetown Law School. I am not sure I had head of him before that. Stanley was from Brooklyn and of course was more familiar with Liebowitz, who was a New Yorker
 
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Schmerguls | 2 other reviews | Aug 16, 2020 |

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Works
46
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3,152
Popularity
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Rating
½ 3.7
Reviews
23
ISBNs
46
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