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Citizen Soldiers

From the Normandy Beaches to the Surrender of Germany
Written by: Stephen E. Ambrose
Narrated by: Cotter Smith
Length: 5 hrs and 59 mins
Categories: History, Americas

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Publisher's Summary

A masterful biography of the U.S. Army in the European Theater of Operations, Citizen Soldiers provides a compelling account of the extraordinary stories of ordinary men in their fight for democracy. The story opens on June 7, 1944, on the beaches of Normandy and ends at the end of the war on May 7, 1945.

Along the way, Ambrose draws on hundreds of interviews and oral histories to recreate the experience of the individuals who fought in the battle, from the high command - Eisenhower, Bradley, and Patton - on down to the enlisted men. Plus, the author reveals the learning process of a great army, from how to cross rivers, fight in snow, hedgerows, and cities, and coordinate air and ground campaigns, to the intricacies of fighting in winter and on the defensive. But most incredibly, Ambrose tells the story of how ordinary citizens became soldiers in the greatest army in the world.

©1997 Stephen E. Ambrose, All Rights Reserved (P)1997 Simon & Schuster Audio, All Rights Reserved, AUDIOWORKS is an Imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster Inc.

What the critics say

"What a wonderful book, an emotionally powerful argument for our wonderful, flawed system, and its home-grown heroics. Ambrose's pen is a machine gun: detached, hot, and devastating." (Ken Burns)
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Brooke P. Anderson
  • 2004-07-28


This is every bit as good as Band of Brothers. My only regret on this one is that it is abridged. This is one of my favorite books on war -- very well written and very well narrated, with fascinating stories to tell.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Wolfpacker
  • 2008-07-21

Wait For the Unabridged Version

This book suffers quite a bit because of the abridgement. You move from a battle scene in the forest to a street fight in the town with no transition or explanation. I was able to follow some of it, but my wife was constantly stopping the book to ask what was being discussed. My daughter has read the unabridged book, and she says it is very good.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Joseph
  • 2008-01-20

Citizen Soldiers

The book was ok. Not like other ambrose books I have read. It seamed to be choppy and bounced around like Flags of our Fathers. Not bad but not his best.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • AFru
  • 2011-11-26

A rare look at WWII Europe from the soldier's view

I'm not a WWII military authority, but this is one book I could not drop. The audible was great, getting the right French and German pronounciations; having to hear ALL the story, and not just the part I didn't skim. Its personal nature - specific stories of soldiers - makes one feel apart of the fears, horrors, and hardships they lived with and died with. Its a long audible - about 6 hours - but worth it!! If your into reading WWI and WWII history and related stories this book is a must!!