D-Day Through French Eyes: Normandy 1944


Product Details

University of Chicago Press
Publish Date
May 21, 2014
6.1 X 1.0 X 9.1 inches | 1.05 pounds
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About the Author

Mary Louise Roberts is professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the author of What Soldiers Do: Sex and the American GI in WWII France.


"In the great tradition of Studs Terkel and Is Paris Burning?, Mary Louise Roberts uses the diaries and memoirs of French civilians to narrate a history of the French at D-Day that has for too long been occluded by the mythology of the allied landing. Students approaching WWII history for the first time will now be able to go beyond the beachhead and think deeply about the French-American encounter in all its complexity. For the French, liberation meant American heroes--demigods packing Hershey's chocolate and chouine gomme--and it also meant the destruction of property and the loss of life, the violent end to years of waiting. The switch of point of view from American to French is an exercise in empathy that renews history at the core. What a great idea and what a gripping and artful book!"

--Alice Kaplan, author of Dreaming in French
"A moving examination of how French civilians experienced the fighting." --Telegraph
"Roberts's work is commendable, finally, because her work reminds readers that D-Day was not only a positive event that reestablished freedom, but that its cost was tragically high for all concerned."--New York Journal of Books
"The author shows great skill in allowing these eyewitnesses to 'speak for themselves, ' vividly evoking their experiences of the tragedy, the brutality, the destruction, the joy, and the fear that the invasion brought. . . . In its treatment of an often neglected aspect of military history, this will be an attractive acquisition for all libraries."--Choice