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Rick Atkinson: The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily & Italy

In 1943, after their victory in North Africa, the Allied forces made their next move: into what Churchill called "that soft underbelly" of the Axis beast, Sicily and Italy. It was one of the campaigns that won the war, but the cost to soldiers and civilians alike would be catastrophic.

The Day of Battle is not a book of strategy and tactics - it is a book of the real people whose lives were swallowed up in the conflict, and the heart-wrenching losses that came hand-in-hand with every triumph. It is a story of the decisive battles that were won, the tragic mistakes that were made, and the human drama that lay at the foundation of both. Atkinson interweaves portraits of Eisenhower, Patton, Roosevelt, and Churchill with unforgettable images of regular soldiers confronted with the transformative effect of fear and violence on their own natures.

"Someone once observed that the first duty is to remember," Atkinson has said. "I believe that, just as I believe in the power of this tale and the enduring allure of those who people it. Much of this is about keeping faith with them."

The first volume in Atkinson's Liberation Trilogy, An Army at Dawn, won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize in History for its brilliantly researched, deeply felt narrative of the Allied campaign in North Africa.

Rick Atkinson, an award-winning editor and journalist at The Washington Post for more than twenty years, has covered conflicts in the Persian Gulf, Somalia, and Bosnia. He is also the author of the recent best-seller In the Company of Soldiers, which followed the men and women of the 101st Airborne Division in Iraq, and has recently returned from Afghanistan and Iraq. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago.