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The Bitter Road to Freedom


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About the Author

William I. Hitchcock is a professor of history at the University of Virginia and the Randolph Compton Professor at the Miller Center for Public Affairs. A graduate of Kenyon College and Yale University, he is the author most recently of The Bitter Road to Freedom: The Human Cost of Allied Victory in World War II Europe, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. For more about the book, visit AgeofEisenhower.com.


Not exactly a glowing account of World War II in Europe, this recounts all the injustices, mistakes, and mass killings on both sides. The war in Europe was not just an honorable struggle to liberate a continent from a vile dictatorship; Hitchcock (history, Wellesley Coll.; The Struggle for Europe) reminds us that it was also a disaster that cost millions of people everything they had. An anodyne to more simplistic views, this work, per its author, aims for a "richer, more complex history of the 'good war.'" For large World War II collections. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

"[T]he first book I have read that explicitly addresses the plight of civilians during the 'crusade for Europe.'...[T]his tale vividly demonstrates that there was no cause for triumphalism in the condition of Europe following the defeat of Hitler." -- Max Hastings, Sunday Times
"Remarkable.... [U]nderlines that the liberation of Europe was both a major military triumph and a human tragedy of epic proportions." -- Irish Times
"A powerful and important new work of history.... [A] thorough, passionate corrective to any simple telling of the terrible last year of this war." -- Financial Times
"The Bitter Road to Freedom is an eloquent presentation of what are too often called war's 'collateral effects.' Chaos, destruction and suffering are not collateral. They are fundamental." -- History Book Club

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