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The traditional image of Europe in 1945 is of grateful civilians showering soldiers with flowers and dancing in the streets. In reality, liberation was an extraordinarily violent and chaotic process. Using first-hand accounts, Hitchcock describes the catastrophic effects of invasion on Northern France, Belgium and Holland, the huge civilian death tolls from indiscriminate bombing, with towns destroyed and crops burnt. He shows that the motives and behaviour of the Allied forces were far from noble; they frequently abused power and authority, looted homes and sexually assaulted women. Hitchcock also writes about the discovery of the major concentration camps, and the often shocking lack of empathy shown by its liberators. Lucid and compelling, Liberation explores the paradoxes of 'the good war', its glories and its horrific human costs.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780571227723
ISBN-10: 0571227724
Format: Hardback
(240mm x 165mm x 37mm)
Pages: 464
Imprint: Faber & Faber
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Publish Date: 22-Jan-2009
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


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Author Biography - William I. Hitchcock

William I. Hitchcock is Professor of History at Temple University in Philadelphia. He was born in Fukuoka, Japan, in 1965, and has lived in Tokyo, Tel Aviv, Paris, Brussels, Washington, Boston and New Haven. He is the author of France Restored and The Struggle for Europe. He is the co-editor, with Paul Kennedy, of From War to Peace. He is married to the historian Elizabeth R. Varon.

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