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Liberation Road: A Novel of World War II and the Red Ball Expressby David L Robbins
Synopses & Reviews
With his acclaimed novels of World War II, David L. Robbins awakened a generation to the drama, tragedy, and heroism of some of historys greatest battles. Now he delivers a gripping and authentic story set against one of our greatest wartime achievements: the Red Ball Express, six thousand trucks and twenty-three thousand men-most of them African-American-who forged a lifeline of supplies in the Allied struggle to liberate France.
June 1944. The Allies deliver a staggering blow to Hitlers Atlantic fortress, leaving the beaches and bluffs of Normandy strewn with corpses. The Germans have only one chance to stop the immense invasion-by bottling up the Americans on the Cotentin Peninsula. There, in fields crisscrossed with dense hedgerows, many will meet their death while others will search for signs of life. Among the latter are two very different men, each with his own demons to fight and his own reasons to risk his life for his fellow man.
Joe Amos Biggs is an invisible “colored” driver in the Red Ball Express, the unheralded convoy of trucks that serves as a precious lifeline to the front. Delivering fuel and ammunition to men whose survival depends on the truckers, Joe Amos finds himself hungering to make his mark and propelled into battle among those who dont see him as an equal-but will need him to be a hero.
A chaplain in the demoralized 90th Infantry, Rabbi Ben Kahn is a veteran of the first great war and old enough to be the father of the GIs he tends. Searching for the truth about his own son, a downed pilot missing in action, Kahn finds himself dueling with God, wading into combat without a gun, and becoming a leader among men in need of someone-anyone-to follow.
The prize: the liberation of Paris, where a ruthless American traitor known as Chien Blanc-White Dog-grows fat and rich in the black market. Whatever the occupied citys destiny, destroyed or freed, he will win.
The fates of these three men will collide, hurtling toward an uncommon destiny in which people commit deeds they cannot foresee and can never truly explain.
From the screams of German .88 howitzers to the last whispers of dying young soldiers, Robbins captures war in all its awful fullness. And through the eyes of his unique characters, he leaves us with a mature, brilliant, and memorable vision of humanity in the face of inhumanity itself.
From the Hardcover edition.
In the seven-month struggle following D-Day, the Allied forces faced an enemy nearly as deadly as the Axis: lack of supplies for the American lines as they swept west, pushing the Germans out of France and back toward Berlin and defeat. Thus was formed the Red Ball Express, the lifeline which fed the Allied effort to end the bloodbath of World War II. Overwhelmingly manned by African American troops, the soldiers of the Red Ball Express were a unique band of combatants: back home, their loyalties and intelligence were questioned, but in a war that had to be won, their courage and their willingness to fight and die for their country were never in doubt. Master storyteller David L. Robbins spins a searing and powerfully intimate historical novel about these unknown heroes, demonstrating once again that "against a meticulously researched historical background...he captures the human side of people caught up in a give-no-quarter war." (San Antonio Express-News).
About the Author
DAVID L. ROBBINS is the author of War of the Rats, The End of War, Scorched Earth, and Last Citadel. A former attorney, he lives in Richmond, Virginia, where he is at work on his next historical thriller.
From the Hardcover edition.
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