Rick Atkinson salutes Lucian K. Truscott and the men and women who liberated Italy
Sixty-five years ago, in May of 1944, the Allied forces began the final push north from Sicily to Rome and beyond, keeping the Axis forces on the defensive in Italy while Eisenhower planned the decisive Normandy invasion of June 6, 1944. Introducing the second volume in his Liberation Trilogy, The Day Of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944 (Holt Paperbacks; September, 2008) at the 2008 National Book Festival, Pulitzer Prize winning historian and Washington Post reporter Rick Atkinson compared the historical narrative form to the art of fiction storytelling and poetry. Infusing his historical analysis of the Allied forces strategy to invade Sicily in September of 1943 with stories of Allied heroes, such as Major General Lucian K. Truscott, Jr., and descriptions of historical debates on the historical significance of the invasion of Sicily and Italy in bringing WWII to an end, Atkinson wrapped his formal presentation with a reading from The Day Of Battle. Afterward, Atkinson took questions from the audience on 'Was It Worth It?', and whether there were better alternatives to the costly and bloody liberation of Italy.
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