Cornlius Ryan, one of the finest writers of the history of World War II, was born in Dublin in 192. He worked as a correspondent from 1941 to 1945 and covered stories of the battles in Europe for Reuters and the London Daily Telegraph and in the final months of the Pacific campaign.
The first book written, published in 1959, was The Longest Day, that sold four million copies in twenty -seven editions and later in 1962 a film was made on it. However, it is said that The Longest Day was originally published in 1959 and since then it ahs reprinted several times.
Furthermore, another book was published in 1966 The Last Battle, while in 1974, he finished his third book A Bridge Too Far, though at the same time he was undergoing treatment for cancer that killed him in 1976.
Moreover, he was the author was a native of Ireland who later became an Air Force pilot and war reporter covering the D-Day landings as well as the advance of General Patton's Third Army across France and Germany. He published books, plays, screenplays, magazine pieces, and radio and TV scripts.
Background and Overview of the Book
The Longest Day is a true classic of World War II history that narrates the story of the enormous Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. The author cum Journalist Cornelius Ryan started working on the book in the mid-1950s, while the memories of the D-day participants were still new, and so he spent three years interviewing D-day survivors in the United States and Europe. Thus, after first publishing in 1959, the book was extremely successful, and set up many of the legends of D-day that last in the reader's mind.
Ryan was extremely skilled and competent at merging small personal stories into a complete one narrative, which he used later the same technique in order to portray the airborne invasion of Holland in A Bridge Too Far. Its not only The Longest Day that is a pleasure to read, as subsequent historians, unquestioningly noted its correctness in the book, and rely not only on this book's research findings but also on his other books.
I was a good storyteller and this history book is hard to put down. Not much like the film, this book gives the reader a bigger picture of what happened in the hours that lead up to and during June 6, 1944. For instance, the readers may find that the Germans heavily defended the Dog Green Sector of Omaha Beach, however, some Allied troops that landed on close by beaches met barely any resistance at all. In short, the book is a must read for all those who have the interest in the D-day invasion.
Analysis of the Book
Cornelius Ryan's highly praised account of 6th June 1944, sold over ten million copies, which takes his readers from the arrangement of the world's greatest-ever amphibious landing up to its completion. The book gives interviews with survivors, ranging from the highest-ranking officers of both sides, including the airborne troops who opened the Battle of Normandy before dawn, while the poor bloody infantry who waded on shore against the destructed fire of the defending Germans to the defenders themselves.
Thus, the book The Longest Day captures the dismay as well as the splendor of D-Day. The author has narrated and described the individual, as well as collective acts of heroism along with the foul-ups and mistakes. He has detailed the shambles of Omaha Beach that was even touchingly portrayed and showed in Steven Spielberg's new movie Saving Private Ryan.
The author provided factual information and not based on any bias. He interviewed over 1,000 individuals who took part in the event on that day, and gave their personal experiences and perspective that together flawlessly leave his readers thoroughly absorbed. However, there were few stories of heroism, which those that took part has been considered just normal, but to the younger generations it does to some extent seem to be unreal making the book so fascinating.
Contrasting some authors of more recent, Ryan does not become entangled in regurgitation of numbers as for him the most vital aim was to get this story across in the world in forms of the words of those people who actually comprehended and recognized as to what happened that day where one of the great interest…