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Recommended Reading: Remembering the 75th Anniversary of D-Day

Remembering the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion in Normandy, June 6, 1944, Falvey Memorial Library Staff shared their recommended reading on the battle and World War II.

sophie scholl and the white roseGeoff Scholl: Sophie Scholl and the White Rose by Annette Dumbach and Jud Newborn

Dave Burke: Stalingrad by Anthony Beevor; Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Michael Foight: Manzanar by Peter Wright, photography by Ansel Adams

Sarah Wingo: City of Thieves by David Benioff

Linda HauckAll The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Marianne Watson: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand unbroken

Darren Poley: The Myth of Hitler’s Pope: Pope Pius XII And His Secret War Against Nazi Germany by David Dalin

The Night Trilogy: Night, Dawn, Day  by Elie Wiesel

On Trial at Nuremberg by Airey Neave

Helmet for My Pillow: From Parris Island to the Pacific by Robert Leckie

Run Silent, Run Deep by Edward Beach

The Shadow of His Wings: The True Story of Fr. Gereon Goldmann, OFM by Gereon Goldmann

The Great Escape by Paul Brickhill

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

Guadalcanal Diary by Richard Tregaskis

thirty seconds over tokyoThirty Seconds Over Tokyo by Ted W. Lawson and Robert Considine

Letters and Papers from Prison by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan

D-Day, June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II by Stephen Ambrose

D-Day: The Battle for Normandy by Antony Beevor

The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat

At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor by Gordon Prange, Donald Goldstein, and Katherine Dillon

Miracle at Midway by Gordon Prange, Donald Goldstein, and Katherine Dillon

Mister Roberts: Play in Two Acts by Thomas Heggen and Joshua Logan

The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial: A Drama In Two Acts by Herman Wouk

Joanne Quinn: Armageddon: A Novel of Berlin by Leon Uris

Maus: A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman

Shawn Proctor: Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut


Marc Gallicchio, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of History, who was named a winner of the prestigious Bancroft Prize in American History and Diplomacy for his book Implacable Foes: War in the Pacific, 1944-1945, recommended American films that deal with aspects of war not normally captured on film. Below he shares his D-Day film recommendations:

 

The Longest Day (1962) “Offers the most comprehensive multi-national look at the different operations and services involved in bringing off the invasion. The Germans receive even-handed treatment and the scene of thousands of GIs moving ahead on Omaha beach outdoes in power similar scenes from Saving Private Ryan.

“Five directors worked on the film and they employed a star-studded international cast. The movie follows the story presented in Cornelius Ryan’s book of the same name. (Ryan also wrote A Bridge Too Far, which became a very good movie but which gave us one of the most vapid and overused clichés in the English language.)”

 

Saving Private RyanSteven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan (1998) “Best remembered for its first thirty minutes in which viewers find themselves suddenly thrust into the terrifying experience of the GIs on Omaha Beach.

“The remainder of the movie unfolds like an extended episode of the 1960s television show Combat, except that the guest stars aren’t the only ones who get killed.”

 

Sam Fuller’s memoir/movie, The Big Red One (1980) “Has a brief segment on D-Day. The film shows how Fuller’s unit got to Normandy by way of North Africa and Italy and follows it through the campaign in France and into Germany to the end of the war.

“Although the violence does not come close to reaching the Tarantino levels of Saving Private Ryan,  The Big Red One is more disturbing and thought provoking than Spielberg’s blockbuster.”

 

The dark comedy/farce The Americanization of Emily (1964) “Hollywood’s most subversive movie, takes place in England during the build-up for the invasion but concludes with a memorable scene on Omaha Beach.”

 


Kallie Stahl, MA ’17 CLAS, is communication and marketing specialist at Falvey Memorial Library. 


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Last Modified: June 6, 2019