Book: Crusade in Europe by Dwight D. Eisenhower

Moderately interesting

Dwight D. Eisenhower
Crusade in Europe: A Personal Account of World War II
Doubleday, 1948
ISBN: None
478 pages
$22.50 currently

Crusade in Europe is a very readable, though rather sanitized, account of the American participation in the North African and European theaters of the second world war. There's little in it that will be new to someone who is even moderately informed about that war. It seems to have been written, in part, as a reply to various questions about the American conduct of the war, such as why it was begun in North Africa, why the German counterattack through the Ardennes mountains in late 1944 (the Battle of the Bulge) was allowed to happen, and how it is that the Soviets ended up with so much of Berlin.

The most surprising thing in the book to me is the degree to which General Eisenhower already knew many of the lessons that I had supposed were new to the American army in Iraq. For example, "Politics, economy, fighting -- all were inextricably mixed up and confused one with the other" (p. 129).

For a pretty short, readable history of the part of the second world war that General Eisenhower participated in, you could probably do a lot worse. The book is likely to make a reader want to know more than it tells, but perhaps that's what a good history book does.

Posted: Fri - November 7, 2008 at 04:58 PM   Main   Category: