Rediscover: The Longest Day
This coming June 6 marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day, when U.S., British and Canadian forces landed in Nazi-occupied France. In the run-up to this milestone, Shelf Awareness will periodically highlight some of the best books about D-Day.
Irish writer Cornelius Ryan became a war correspondent for the Daily Telegraph in 1941. He flew on 14 bombing missions with the Eighth and Ninth United States Army Air Forces before transferring to General George Patton's Third Army for the remainder of the war. After working for several American magazines, Ryan toured Normandy in 1949, where he became interested in writing a comprehensive history of Operation Overlord. He conducted more than 3,000 interviews in the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, France and Germany. In 1959, Ryan published The Longest Day, which has since sold tens of millions of copies. Ryan helped adapt his book into a 1962 film with an enormous ensemble cast including John Wayne, Sean Connery and Henry Fonda. On May 7, Library of America published Cornelius Ryan: The Longest Day, A Bridge Too Far ($45, 9781598536119), which includes Ryan's history of the disastrous Operation Market Garden paratrooper attack on Nazi-occupied Holland in September 1944. --Tobias Mutter