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Download The Bitter Road to Freedom: A New History of the Liberation of Europe Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Bitter Road to Freedom: A New History of the Liberation of Europe Audiobook, by William I. Hitchcock Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (106 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: William I. Hitchcock Narrator: Mel Foster Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2008 ISBN: 9781400180479
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Americans are justly proud of the role the United States played in liberating Europe from Nazi tyranny. For many years, we have celebrated the courage of the Allied soldiers, sailors, and aircrews who defeated Hitler's regime and restored freedom to the continent. But in recounting the heroism of the "greatest generation," Americans often overlook the wartime experiences of European people themselves—the very people for whom the war was fought.

In this brilliant new book, historian William I. Hitchcock surveys the European continent from D-Day to the final battles of the war and the first few months of the peace. Based on exhaustive research in five nations and dozens of archives, Hitchcock's groundbreaking account shows that the liberation of Europe was both a military triumph and a human tragedy of epic proportions.

Hitchcock gives voice to those who were on the receiving end of liberation, moving them from the edge of the story to the center. From France to Poland to Germany, from concentration camp internees to refugees, farmers to shopkeepers, husbands and wives to children, the experience of liberation was often difficult and dangerous. Their gratitude was mixed with guilt or resentment. Their lives were difficult to reassemble.

This strikingly original, multinational history of liberation brings to light the interactions of soldiers and civilians, the experiences of noncombatants, and the trauma of displacement and loss amid unprecedented destruction. This book recounts a surprising story, often jarring and uncomfortable, and one that has never been told with such richness and depth.

Today, with American soldiers once again waging wars of liberation in faraway lands, this book serves as a timely and sharp reminder of the terrible human toll exacted by even the most righteous of wars. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The first book I have read that explicitly addresses the plight of civilians during the ‘crusade for Europe’…This tale vividly demonstrates that there was no cause for triumphalism in the condition of Europe following the defeat of Hitler.”

    Sunday Times (London)

  • “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

  • “Remarkable…Underlines that the liberation of Europe was both a major military triumph and a human tragedy of epic proportions.”

    Irish Times (Dublin)

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bryan Craig | 10/23/2013

    " I highly recommend this book to any WWII buff and student. It is not a topic you read or hear much about. Hitchcock is an excellent writer and some of theses chapters are hard to read, but important. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Dan Mauric | 7/11/2013

    " Didn't like enough to finish. Note the title- "A New History"... no thanks. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gail | 7/17/2012

    " An excellent book. The perspective is to show the situation of the civilian population of Europe and the millions of refugees from the time of the invasion of Normandy to several years after the end of WWII. The story was well told. I learned a great deal. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Adam | 5/27/2011

    " A very important and depressing book. After living under Nazi oppression, the allies were none to quick to help the displaced persons return home. The English treatment of the Jews was particularly despicable, as was selling out poland to the Russian. We all acted horribly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Twoster | 9/22/2010

    " I learned a lot about WWII that I wasn't aware of. This book looks at the end of the war from the perspective of the people living in Europe. The descriptions were so horrific and really shows the human cost of war. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carolyn | 9/15/2010

    " I learned a lot about the immediate post WWII period in Europe from this book, but it wasn't that well written and somehow felt wanting. I did not get a real feeling for thw refugees and DP's, I guess. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kirsten | 8/4/2010

    " Slow at first, but pretty fascinating by the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kirsten | 8/22/2009

    " Slow at first, but pretty fascinating by the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Twoster | 5/13/2009

    " I learned a lot about WWII that I wasn't aware of. This book looks at the end of the war from the perspective of the people living in Europe. The descriptions were so horrific and really shows the human cost of war. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gail | 2/26/2009

    " An excellent book. The perspective is to show the situation of the civilian population of Europe and the millions of refugees from the time of the invasion of Normandy to several years after the end of WWII. The story was well told. I learned a great deal. "

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About the Author

William I. Hitchcock is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Age of Eisenhower and The Bitter Road to Freedom, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. A graduate of Kenyon College and Yale University, he is a professor of history at the University of Virginia and the Randolph Compton Professor at the Miller Center for Public Affairs.

About the Narrator

Mel Foster is a prolific audiobook narrator, having read dozens of titles throughout his career. He is the recipient of the prestigious Audie Award, as well as the AudioFile Earphones Award. A former advertising agency executive who used to record test tracks for commercials, his narration career was born out of encouragement from his clients who would often say, “why are we hiring someone else? I like this guy.”