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Download Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour: Armistice Day, 1918; World War I and Its Violent Climax Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour: Armistice Day, 1918; World War I and Its Violent Climax, by Joseph E. Persico Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (192 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joseph E. Persico Narrator: Jonathan Marosz Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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November 11, 1918. The final hours pulsate with tension as every man in the trenches hopes to escape the melancholy distinction of being the last to die in World War I. The Allied generals knew the fighting would end precisely at 11:00 a.m., yet in the final hours they flung men against an already beaten Germany. The result? Eleven thousand casualties suffered—more than during the D-Day invasion of Normandy. Why? Allied commanders wanted to punish the enemy to the very last moment and career officers saw a fast-fading chance for glory and promotion.

Joseph E. Persico puts the reader in the trenches with the forgotten and the famous—among the latter, Corporal Adolf Hitler, Captain Harry Truman, and Colonels Douglas MacArthur and George Patton. Mainly, he follows ordinary soldiers’ lives, illuminating their fate as the end approaches. Persico sets the last day of the war in historic context with a gripping reprise of all that led up to it, from the 1914 assassination of the Austrian archduke, Franz Ferdinand, which ignited the war, to the raw racism black doughboys endured except when ordered to advance and die in the war’s last hour. Persico recounts the war’s bloody climax in a cinematic style that evokes All Quiet on the Western Front, Grand Illusion, and Paths of Glory.

The pointless fighting on the last day of the war is the perfect metaphor for the four years that preceded it, years of senseless slaughter for hollow purposes. This book is sure to become the definitive history of the end of a conflict Winston Churchill called “the hardest, cruelest, and least-rewarded of all the wars that have been fought.”

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Once again Joe Persico has brought us an unforgettable moment in history. At a time when our own world is changing, Americans are increasingly understanding how we are still affected by World War I, and Persico takes us into the experience of how that war ended—the violence, sacrifice, frustration, and hope.”

    Michael Beschloss, New York Times bestselling author of The Conquerors

  • “A compelling account of the dramatic final moments of World War I that not only captures the tragedy that marked the final hours of the Great War but brings to life the remarkable stories of its participants. This is a splendid book by a born storyteller and a superb historian.”

    Carlo D’Este, author of Eisenhower: A Soldier’s Life

  • “A tight focus—the activities of the British and American troops on the final morning of WWI—has yielded a somewhat sprawling study for Persico…A good introduction to what it covers for new students of WWI.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “For readers who may be new to the chronology and character of World War I, popular historian Persico illustrates the struggle by treating its last day as typifying the war…Effectively marshaling his source material, Persico powerfully reconstructs Armistice Day as an emblem of the war.”

    Booklist

  • “Joe Persico has done the impossible—he has written an original book on World War I. By starting with the last day, he has found a way to see the nightmare as a separate world, something that became for all the participants a totally consuming passion.”

    Thomas Fleming, author of The Illusion of Victory: America in World War I

  • “The days preceding November 11, 1918, featured a deadly minuet involving exhausted armies conditioned to fight, yet desperate to avoid still more futile bloodshed. Joe Persico recreates this twilight struggle with heartbreaking intimacy. His pointillist portrait is at once harrowing and heroic. Written with a narrative elegance and factual command reminiscent of David McCullough or William Manchester, this is much more than a poignant account of the road to armistice. It is the single finest work I have read on the Great War.”

    Richard Norton Smith, executive director, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Richard E Chamberlin | 1/24/2014

    " A real eye-opener into the ravages of the trench warfare that occured in World War I - and into the useless and massive loss of life on both sides (Germany and the Allied nations - France, Britain and later - U. S. A.) The miseries of fighters in the trenches on both sides are well-documented by Persico who's research for the book was excellent. Since my grandfather fought in WWI, it really made me understand what he likely endured (including the dreaded mustard gas attacks) that, later, contributed to his early death when he returned home to Montana. The book also shows how Germany's defeat in WWI (and the ambitious private Adolph Hitler who was in the German trenches) caused a festering psyche of belittlement that resulted in Germany's rise and instigation of WW-II. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jason Reeser | 1/22/2014

    " This was very well done. Having read books on WWI before, I was happy to see a good deal of new material, and a somewhat fresh perspective on some of the more redundant facts and figures. Concentrating on the last hours of the war, Persico introduces us to certain members of each of the armies involved at the beginning of that last day, then backtracks and tells their story throughout the war, bringing them up to that fateful last day. A fascinating journey that spotlights men who had endured so much misery, courage, and hell. Then, we see these men as they struggle through one last day, as they are ordered into combat, hours before the armistice, most of them knowing it had already been signed and for the first time in the war they have both the hope of actually living through the hell around them, and the terror that they will die with only minutes left. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Vanderpham | 1/20/2014

    " The book, not the CD. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Converse | 1/17/2014

    " The author describes World War I on the western front through soldier's memories, starting with the last day. Interestingly, many allied generals insisting on fighting for land that the Germans would evacuate under the armistice. "

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